Our life has officially down-shifted. Well, it down-shifted three months ago, but Mike and I have accepted it now. We are no longer thrashing around trying to figure out how we ended up in a house with a yard, two kids, and a pool. Now all we need is a dog and a mini-van! No dog yet, but there is talk of chickens. Anyone with any thoughts on that, please let us know. We are being sold on the concept of “you get fresh eggs every day and the kids think they’re so much fun!” I seem to remember my Dad telling us that chickens were noisy and stinky. I have no doubt that Eli and Jake would think they were fun, but I don’t want a bunch of noisy and stinky birds!
There is so much about living here in Zambia that reminds me of the childhood I remember in Arizona. It still feels weird to have free time to watch movies and bake cookies, and as a lover of cold winter days, I never imagined that I’d be living a life where we spend our afternoons playing in the pool and riding bikes around the neighborhood. Life is funny. We are so happy to be able to give this experience to Jake and Eli.
The pool net is an especially fun activity.
Our gardener, Steven, made a sprinkler out of a garden hose and a Coke bottle. Eli and Jake like to hook it up and then run their cars through the water and this piece of abandoned PVC pipe:
Most days we all get in the pool together, which can be tough because the water is pretty cold! The best way is just to follow what the kids do, and jump right in without thinking about it. I keep telling myself that in the Turkish Hamam or the Russian Sauna, I would actually be paying MONEY to be leaping from a hot place to a cold one, to stimulate my circulation and make me feel “alive.” It works!
I can only handle about 15 minutes of cold, though. Then I get out and wander around the yard, and this week there were so many pretty flowers that I had to take pictures of them.
Look at our garden growing! Zambians grow and eat a lot of green stuff. Collards, rape, kale, spinach; they chop it up fine and cook them with onions and tomatoes. They show up on every menu, in every cafeteria, at every meal. Nobody here needs to be told to “eat more green, leafy vegetables.”
Here is a tree, whose trunk is covered in mud by the flying ants, or termites, or whatever they are. They are bugs!
One night, after we’d used our new grill to have dinner outside on the patio, we got pictures of the bats.
Night comes early here, around 6pm, and that is when the bats come out to swoop around and dart in and out of the trees. It is really neat! Any night, we can go outside and watch bats if we want to. We’ve heard about a “bat migration” that occurs in the western provinces every November. We plan to go, so if anyone wants to go with us, come visit next November!
In addition to our days playing with friends in the backyard, Eli and Jake are doing other “kid” things. Like watching movies at the Marine House
Carving watermelons with Daddy
Mmm, says Jake!
Mmm, says Eve and Mike!!
There is still no car yet and still no shipment of our own things, but we are having a pretty good time here in Africa. The kids are pretty happy, and as long as we have chips and salsa, it will always feel close to home :).