Thursday, September 25, 2014
My next door neighbors...
A family of nine lives next door to me. The childrens' ages range from two into the early 20s. There is a mother and father. The father is a pastor at a church. I am very close to this family. Currently I am working on designing a vegetable garden along with the mother. I was going to plant a garden at my site, but I had the idea: why not plant my garden at my neighbors'? This way I can use it as a demo garden for passers by to observe how conservation farming works. And, the family and I will benefit from fresh, organic veggies.
Yes, notice Shalome making a face second from left. He is standing with his two brothers and a girl who lives nearby. The father is walking into his house to the right. My hut is the same size as theirs, but they fit nine people in it as opposed to only me in my hut.
This is Happy. He is 13. Early on during community entry I was feeling like I wanted to give up on the Peace Corps until Happy walked passed my hut, waved and flashed that fantastic smile of his. That is when I said to myself: I'm here for Happy, and I stopped feeling bad about my service. I always think of Happy when I feel like I want to throw in the towel.
My good friend Maggie who is the mother. She is cooking nshima. She also works hard with helping me improve my Kikaonde.
Gertrude is the daughter of the oldest child of the family. Her mother is a single mother. Yes, Gertrude is holding a knife; not uncommon for young children to handle dangerous items. Amazingly they rarely get hurt. Parents also allow young children like Gertrude to chew on chicken bones. Young children here in Zambia behave very differently from American children. They are unusually very well-behaved.