A Travellerspoint blog

Story Time

A highlight of my first month here

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Having being gone for just over a month now, I will recap some of my favorite memories, including pictures. Okay, here we go:

Stored Memory #1: Spanish Helper

Before one of my flights, a guy asked me about the book I was reading. We started talking, and it turned out his sister was going to Mexico, and didn’t know anyone on the plane and spoke no English. I told him I would help her get on the plane, and whatever else she needed assistance with. As we both boarded together, we laughed over little things, and on the plane I was able to relay what the flight attendants were saying. Who knew I’d be speaking Spanish on my way to Zambia.

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Stored Memory #2: Walking Alone

The first time I walked alone outside at night, I thought I would faint of fear. I was so afraid I was going to run into a snake, that I walked quickly, jumping at nearly every movement the wind blew through the bushes, all the while praying that I would be spared from a snake attack. As of today, I have not had any encounters with a snake, besides a tiny dead one. I can’t express how excited I am about this.

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Stored Memory #3: In a Truck, Down by the River

I always enjoy leaving the Orphanage compound and traveling to Choma, roughly 45 minutes away, but when rain pours out, it's best to stay inside the grounds, or you might get stuck. This happened to 5 of us, who ended up down by the river while it was flooded. We thought it would go down by midnight, but as midnight approached, we realized the river was going up rather then down. We ended up sleeping in our vehicles, tired, exhausted, cold and wet. When we awoke, the bridge was till flooded and the Zambians also waiting for it to go down said it probably wouldn't go down until 4 p.m., so we decided to brave the other, much longer path, in hopes of that bridge not being flooded. Though we drove over walking paths and scraped through trees and slopped through muddy puddles, we made it, safe and sound, unloaded our cargo, and went to bed. What a day that was.

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Stored Memory #4: Played Guitar in Construction Site

Each Tuesday is guitar lesson day, but with my teacher busy trying to finish the Guest House, lessons can sometimes not happen. This past week, the following conversation took place.

Me: So, should I just practice on my own today?
Blu: No. (Talking from standing on the roof of the Guest House) Bring the guitar here and play.
Me: (Looking around at the construction zone) Here?
Blu: Yes, here.
Me: I can't tell if you are being serious or not.
Blu: I'm dead serious. Bring it here and we'll have lessons.
Me: What about the rain?
Blu: Go get the guitar and bring it here.
Me: Okay then.

By the time I got back, a roof of medal sheets was being placed over my head, and I was all set up and ready to play in the middle of the construction site, with saws going off, guys coming and going and lots of yelling. I sang quietly to myself and worked on getting out my horrible chords while holding conversations as to why I would not sing louder, why this was not serenading the workers and how silly I felt while doing it. After 1 hours of rehearsal, I was done. I packed up the guitar and music and headed home. What an experience that was.

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Stored Memory #5: Performed first time with the kids (Shut De Do)

Among many basic music concepts that I have been teaching in my Music Class, the kids have also learned motions to the song "Shut De Do," and were able to perform it this past evening for out Wednesday night Prayer and Praise gathering. The smiles and joy seen in those kids faces as they performed was priceless, and I couldn't help but be so very proud of what all that have been able to do.

Hello, I'm Jenna, and these are some of my Zambian stories.

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Posted by WorldRun 23:56 Archived in Zambia Comments (1)

Scheduling

The when to my where

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There are schedules and routines everywhere you go. Zambia is no exception. Bellow is a list of my day to day schedule, complete with the Zambian time.

  • *Note: Bellow is Zambian time. Most people will be 8 hours behind this time.

Monday

7:30-8:00 a.m.: Devotion with the workers and hired hands
8:00-10:15 a.m.: Construction work
10:45-11:15 a.m.: Teach Bible (K)
11:15-11:45 a.m.: Teach Music class for all ages (Pre-K -4th grade)
3:00-4:00 p.m.: Redeemer Drama

On the roof painting during construction.

On the roof painting during construction.

Tuesday

7:40-8:00 a.m.: Lead kids devotions
9:00-9:30 a.m.: Teach Flute Lessons
9:45-10:30 a.m.: Taught Guitar Lessons
11:15-12:15 p.m.: Yoga
3:00-4:00 p.m.: Written Drama
4:30-7:00 p.m.: Americans cook for the orphanage

Nothing like 10 bags of chips to go with 4 dozen hamburgers.

Nothing like 10 bags of chips to go with 4 dozen hamburgers.

Wednesday

7:30-8:00 a.m.: Devotion with the workers and hired hands
8:00-10:15 a.m.: Construction work
10:45-11:15 a.m.: Teach Bible (K)
3:00-4:00 p.m.: Redeemer Drama
7:00-8:00 p.m.: Prayer and Praise (All of Orphanage)

Theater games.

Theater games.

Thursday

7:40-8:00 a.m.: Lead kids devotions
9:00-9:30 a.m.: Teach Flute Lessons
11:15-12:15 p.m.: Yoga
2:00-3:00 p.m.: Show movie to younger kids
3:00-4:00 p.m.: Written Drama

Movie time.

Movie time.

Friday

8:30-9:00 a.m.: Teach Music (3rd Grade)
9:00-9:30 a.m.: Teach Music (2nd Grade)
10:15-10:45 a.m.: Teach Music (4th Grade)
10:45-11:15 a.m.: Teach Music (K)
3:45-5:00 p.m.: Go to neighboring village and help with girls bible study

Music warmups for the class.

Music warmups for the class.

Saturday

2:00-3:00 p.m.: Taught Chitonga (native language)
3:00-5:30 p.m.: Kids Club (kids from neighboring villages come and play games, hear a bible lesson and eat dinner)

Kids Club kids playing games.

Kids Club kids playing games.

Sunday

9:00-11:30 a.m.: Church
6:00-8:00 p.m.: American fellowship night with dinner and games (Once a month, American worship night with Zambians)

Only my Sunday best for rainy Sunday days.

Only my Sunday best for rainy Sunday days.

My down time consists of writing lesson plans, reading, playing with the kids, cooking and sleeping. As you can't predict much here, my internet stays coming and going, usually going and not working. I stay in contact with everyone when I can and embrace where I'm at now. Oh Zambia, how fun you are.

Posted by WorldRun 23:57 Archived in Zambia Comments (0)

Hello, My Name Is___________

Names and Relationships

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School has begun, workers continue to work around the compound and I keep meeting new people, which means more new names for me to learn. It occurred to me that here in Zambia, on this compound, I have been called Miss in 3 different languages, and go by several things. Let me give you a little insight into this.

Every day as I pass construction going on by my house, one of the workers greets me with "Mademoiselle Jen." (#1)

The kids are taught to call me either "Miss Jenna" or "Teacher Jenna." (#2)

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The cook here, reminding me very much of my recently deceased Grandfather, knows a little Spanish and since we like to talk in Spanish with each other, he calls me "Siñorita." (#3)

Other workers and villagers that either work or go to church here greet me in the native language of Tonga. (Don't ask me how to spell it). (#3.2)

To the adult Americans, I am simply known as "Jenna." (#4.5)

To the goats and other animals, they just look at me and keep passing. No name is used. (#4.6)

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These first almost two weeks of being at the orphanage have been busy (at times), fun, challenging and already helping me grow as an individual. The kids have taught me new games (exhibit A), warned me against standing under the "sausage" tree too long or I could be hit (exhibit B) and already started acting very silly in class (exhibit C).

Exhibit A:
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Exhibit B:
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Exhibit C:
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Hello, my name is Jenna, and this is my Zambian life.

Posted by WorldRun 22:23 Archived in Zambia Comments (2)

Zambian Way

Settling In

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After two days of traveling, 4 airplane rides, 1 bus ride and lots of rain later, I made it to New Day Orphanage. Though my luggage didn't make it with me, and it has been a week since I last saw it, I am thankful with what I have and hopeful to be reunited with my luggage on Thursday or Friday.

Being here, I've been able to start figuring out my schedule and trying to find my place among the already many people here. Starting on Monday, I'll be teaching Bible to kindergarteners, Music to K-4th grade, and theater to Pre-K - 4th, all in an actual school setting. My name among everyone here is Teacher Jenna, and to be honest, it's going to take a few more days to get used to it. My time thus far has been spent organizing the library, writing up my lesson plans, figuring out what I need for my classes, trying to learn everyone's name, starting to learn one of the native languages, making lists of what food I need to shop for, and trying to stay cool in the warm weather. All in all, it has been a good start to my 4-month stent here.

I have already gotten to experience a glimpse of an African sunset, and it's even more beautiful then the pictures. Bellow is my own quick snapshot to it from my front porch through the trees.

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My daily walk on the compound consists of sharing a road with goats and cows. I've been told there are poisonous snakes around, and every time I'm out, I pray I don't run into any. Ever.
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I'm doing well, enjoying this experience, and trying to take in as much as I can while I'm here. It'll be a challenge for me getting everyones names down, and it's hard to not know when the power might go out, but I'm thankful. I know I'm supposed to be here, and what better place to be at then the place you are supposed to be.

Posted by WorldRun 11:47 Archived in Zambia Comments (3)

Heading Out

Traveling to my second and final destination

snow -5 °F

It's finally here. Tomorrow, I board a plane that will take me on my next great adventure. I can't tell if I'm excited, nervous, or just ready for my 4 flights to be over with. Here's a quick reminder on where I'm going, and what my flight arrangements are.

Final Destination: New Day Orphanage, Zambia, Africa (A link bellow to visit the site and get a tour of where I'll be living)
http://www.newdayorphanage.org/newdayorphanage.org/Home.html

Length of Stay: 4 months

Depart: January 2, 2014
Return: May 2, 2014

Main Duties While Away: Teachers aid, Music and Theater teacher, Sunday School Teacher, help with building projects

Goals: Reach and help as many orphans and Zambians as I can in my short stay.

Address of Zambian Location:
PO Box 630260, Choma, Zambia

How I will get there

Plane leaving Omaha departs at 11:05 a.m. (Jan. 2)- 2:05 flight duration
Second flight leaving Dallas, TX departs at 4:45 p.m. local time (Jan. 2)- 8:40 flight duration
Third flight leaving London departs at 6:00 p.m. (Jan. 3)- 10:55 flight duration
Fourth flight leaving Johannesburg, ZA departs at 10:40 a.m. (Jan. 4)- 1:45 flight duration

All in all, travel will be long and I'll hopefully be doing lots of sleeping. I'll be going from the beautiful snow and cold to warm and sunny 80-90 degree weather. What a switch that will be.

I'll update when I have internet next. I'll have internet while I'm away, however I'm not sure how well it will work. Hoping for the best!

Posted by WorldRun 21:59 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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