Lea In Zambia

Monday, February 18, 2008

~ Everything Starts As Somebody's Daydream
~Larry Niven

After several months of preperation, we are finally up and running on the Peace Corps website to take donations for our clinic project!!!! I have updated the link to the left of this page... it will take you to the PeaceCorps Partnership Project page for Zambia. Just scroll down until you see my name and you can click on the project for a complete summary of what were doing. There are two different clinic projects, so please be sure to pick the project with my name next to it.

The community and I are busy at work preparing for the "ground breaking" on our clinic project. However, we will not receive any of the funds until we have reached our fundraising goal in full. So this is your chance to help. It will literally be the difference between life and death for the villagers. The area I live in sadly holds the highest maternal death rate in the district due to the distance to the clinic. When our clinic is completed, the journey for health care will be cut to mere kilometers for some, and nearly in half for others. It's a project that will increase the quality of life for everyone in the community. Both the Chief and Chieftainess in the area are supporting our project, and are helping to mobilize the community to contribute their 25% to the project.

This project is certainly not mine though. It belongs to the villagers, and to you; because without your help,this clinic will never become a reality. Help does not always need to come in the form of a monitary donation,we know that making a donation is not always possible, but even telling the people you know about our project willmake all the difference in the world.
It's nearly impossible to explain the extent of suffering and death in the rural village setting, but it's there,and it's real; I see it everyday. The people you are helping are not people you know, but they are my friendsand family in the village. They are people who take care of, and have accepted me into their lives, culture andhomes with open arms. They are as much a part of my life as I am to you.

Our clinic cannot become a reality without your help. Please consider making a donation or telling your friendsand family about our project.

West side Story... Village Style

Last week the girls who fequent my house to play decided that we should have a "girls day". So we sent all the boys home and spent the afternoon cooking, coloring and playing games in my yard. Clearly, the boys were just toocurious about what "us girls" were doing all afternoon, so they would stand on the road "planning their attack",only to be chased and out run by the girls.
By 15:00 it just seemed like too much for the boys to take, and they returned with rocks and sticks, planning to fight their way back into my yard. What they had not expected was that the girls in my yard had an equally strong feeling that they boys should leave them alone. They were met by a "gang" of girls on the road in front of my house... and they too had rocks and sticks... ready to defend their "girls afternoon" with me. It was quite interestingto watch, and all in good fun, so I didn't interfere and let things run their course.

One by one, a girl and a boy would meet in the middle of the "battle field" with their respected rock or stick andthrow friendly insults back and forth at one another. Then at the same time, each would feel embarassed and runback to his/her friends and laugh. Then they would send out another from their team and repeat the process.

(insert background music here... "when you're a Jet you're a Jet all the way...")
Eventually, the girls grew tired of the boys and simply decided to chase them away. I can never be sure just howfar the girls chased the boys, but they returned after about 20 minutes stating that the boys would be leaving usalone from now on, and that we could get back to the "Kabuta Girls Jump Rope Tournament... 2008", which I did not win.

Termites 2... Lea 0...

When I first moved into my hut, the decor consisted of hard mud floors and mud bricks baked in the sun and held together by... you got it... more mud. During my stay in Kabuta, I've made quite a few changes to my house, cementing the floors and painting the walls etc. we even put on a whole new roof because the termites had eaten through the old one. Everything was falling into place, and my house was pretty cute for being a mud hut.

Apparently, the termites were not quite as taken with the home improvement choices I had made and decided to come out by the thousands to prove a point and to make their own "home improvments". The termites decided that thebest place to begin their own home improvements was from the ground up. For months, they silently ate their way through the foundation of my house, and up through the walls. I clearly had no idea that they were there, wagingwar day and night... until last week.

I was on my way to a meeting with Traditional Healers and busy going through the usual routine of shutting all the windows in my house. All of the sudden, the floor in my bedroom simply gave out, and I went crashing through thecement, which had just been neatly polished the day before. so there I was, thigh deep in a hole in the ground.

May I just note, that this incident happened right after a return visit to Americaland... home of good food and,for me, little exercise. Immediately, my first thought was... "oh shoot, I shouldn't have had that extra desert just before getting on the plane to come back". Then I just stood, in the hole in my floor, simply too embarassedto move for a moment... I mean, how could I explain to people with little to no embarassement that I had justbroken through my cement floor!?!?!?

Then it dawned on me... termites!! I hopped out of the hole faster than village children can devour a Flinstone'svitamin (which is the new favorite "sweetie"). After a few moments I worked up the courage to look back down intothe hole in which I had just been standing in; and there they were, in all their glory... thousands of termitesenjoying their afternoon lunch... which consisted of the foundation of my house. To this day, I swear I saw onesmiling at me!

Crashing through the floor was the termites second revenge... they also decided to send their extended familyover into my toilet, which my neighbor Ba Charity had stepped through just the day before!!! And really, if Ihad to pick a floor to fall through, I would have choosen the bedroom floor any day over the toilet floor!!

There haven't been any falling thorugh the floor incidents since then, but I did notice a hollow sound near thefront door of my house... leading me to believe that if I don't watch my step inside, I could very well go crashing through the cement once again. Only this time, I'll know that it's because of the termites, and not that extra piece of cake I had last month!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Biggest Project Ever!!

Up until recently, every project I've worked on has seemed bigger than the last, and I repeatedly hear myself saying "this is the biggest project ever"... but this time, it really is the biggest project ever. We (the community and I) are well on our way to approval for a Peace Corps Partnership Project to build a new clinic and expand the existing clinic in my catchment area.

The catchment area for my clinic is home to more than 30,000 people and we have 1 clinic with only 2 clinic staff. The furthest village is 58km (36 miles) away from the clinic. Most people don't have bicycles, so they must walk the distance to the clinic. As a result of the distance, we have a high death rate, especially in maternal cases, during transport to the clinic. Also, those who are on ART (Anti-Retroviral Therapy) or TB (Tuberculosis) medication must go to the clinic on a weekly basis to refill their prescription, because of the inaccessibility of the only clinic, many become non-compliant with their medications, causing complications.

The project consists of the construction of a new clinic, 2 staff houses and 7 VIP (Ventilated Improved Pit latrine) in two different sites. We will also be working with the Zambian Government over the next 10 months to ensure a proper staff for our new clinic, and to make the necessary changes to divide our enormous catchment area into two very manageable catchment areas, each with a fully operational clinic.

This is your chance to help, we need to raise around $27,100 in order to successfully complete our much needed clinic project. We are working in partnership with Peace Corps, and will have a web page where you can find more information about our project, as well as make a donation (via credit card or otherwise). Anyone who donates will receive a tax write-off. I have pamphlets available to anyone who needs them, or wants to pass them out. Please spread the word to everyone you know, we can't complete this project without you.

I will post the web link just as soon as I get it. The villagers of Kabuta catchment area and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for any help you can give. I will be sure to post pictures and updates whenever I can.

Chicken in a Bag!?!? - Bufi!!

The direct translation of "bufi" (pronounced boo-fee) is "lie", but it isn't as harsh as the translation sounds. In Bemba, it's used more like calling someone out on something, as if they are "pulling your leg", or it can be used as a falsehood. So its not like you're directly calling someone a liar if you use the word bufi.

In my village, there is this super cute little girl, Mable Mulenga. she's a spunky little 8 year old with a raspy voice. She loves to laugh and teach me Zambian jump rope and hand-claps. So Mable was over helping me wash dishes when she spotted an empty package of chicken (you know, like tuna in a bag, only its chicken). Mable quickly picked up the bag inquiring about its former contents while very intensely twisting and turning the package in her hands.
"ninkoko" I replied (it's chicken), not even thinking how it must look to Mable, who has only seen the kinds of chickens with feathers. Mable responded, "nkoko! Mu chola! Bufi" (chicken! In a BAG!, It's not true!)"eh - nkoko mu chola" (yes - chicken in a bag).

Clearly by this time, I realized how crazy I sounded... I mean, really... chicken in a BAG!?!? Before I had completed my thought Mable had called over all her fiends to tell them that in America chicken comes in a bag! They all broke out into peels of laughter and we finished washing dishes together.

What's My Schedule Again?

Every month I make a new calendar in my notebook. I've never ha to draw out my own calendar before. I mean, in America-Land you simply buy one that is already printed out, all ready to hang on the wall or sit on your desk. My homemade calendars always started with Monday, instead of the usual Sunday. This happened because when reciting the days of the week, one always begins with Monday. Well, this month I decided to start my calendar days with Sunday, and as a result, I've been off a day. Especially since my watch is broken, and I can no longer glance at my wrist to check what day of the week it is. Last Saturday, I was sitting on the porch, working on crocheting small pattern samples for various women's groups. I was definitely not in a hurry because I thought it was Friday... a meeting free day. There were 3 little boys whom I've never seen before watching me from the road. Its nothing unusual to have children observe my every move when I'm outside, so i didn't think anything of it. Then I noticed a few more children gathering (again not unusual). After some time, they all stood and stared intently at me while I was knitting. They would stare and then break into group discussion, then stare some more. Finally, after several moments, a few of the children started slowly walking toward me, turning around occasionally to motion for their friends to join them. Eventually, they all made it to my porch and asked me:

"Finshi mulepikula?" - what are you knitting?"Ama-Samples" - samples"Bushe, mwakwata mitingi pa 14:00 hours lelo kuli Kapela?" - don't you have a meeting today at 14:00 hours in Kapela's Village?

I glanced at the sun and realized that it was around 14:00hours. I quickly closed up my house and started off for the meeting. Of course, it started late, but if it hadn't been for the children, I wouldn't have made it at all! It just makes me laugh to think that the children in the village know my schedule better than I. I mean, really, who needs a calendar anyway...

Just Call Me Rachael Ray

Nutrition is a rather large component of the HIV/AIDS program. I have been holding cooking demos about twice a month since my posting to Kabuta, but recently, I've had more cooking demos than I can count. Usually, the cooking demos are with a specific group that I'm working with, so it's very interactive... everyone cooks.

The new trend seems to be just me demonstrating various cooking techniques or high protein recipes. For example, I've been working with the mothers of underweight children, so that they are more aware of the importance of their children's nutrition. The set-up reminds me of something I would see on the cooking channel... only village style. There are several women, all taking notes and observing as I cook in front of them... saying things like "and just add a pinch of salt" or, "and don't forget to roll the lemons first so that you can get maximum amount of juice from them". So there I am, in front of all these women, with my brasiers a'blazin' and my extremely dull village knife, whipping up a quick and simple batch of groundnut stew or millet cake. In the end, I'm always sure to say "and don't forget to come back next week... we're going to make peanut butter and jam!" I don't think I've ever cooked so much in my life!

The Scorpion and the Tarantula

This certainly was not as enjoyable as the Tortoise and the Hare. I didn't even think that there were scorpions in Zambia, but apparently I was wrong. I only know this because I found a scorpion in my house. Just a small one (phew...), but none the less, a scorpion. As if that wasn't enough, there were also 2 tarantula's in my house. Fortunately Libby was there for the first one... She's the brave one of the two of us. She sprayed it with half a can of Doom and finally it died. It was huge! There were even teeth!!

Then a couple of weeks later I noticed another tarantula in Kushipa and Talala's water dish. This time I was alone, after a brief meltdown followed by an outright freak out, I composed myself I ran for the can of doom. I sprayed once and the tarantula flipped over and all of its legs curled up. I thought it was dead, and having been liberated by spraying the spider all by myself, I thought that I would take a closer look... I mean, it was dead. So with my weakly lit headlamp, I leaned in for a closer look. All of the sudden, the spider jumped up!! All its legs were outstretched and it was coming straight for my face!!! I unleashed the remainder of my can of doom in every direction I could manage, and fell back onto the floor, all out of breath, as if I'd just run a marathon! I know, I know, looking back on the situation, I was being completely ridiculous, as I often am when it comes to insects. Today, I'm laughing about it, but at the time, it was clearly not a laughing matter.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Just a quick update today. I'm writing a project proposal that I have to finish today before I go back to site tomorrow morning.

Butticles and such...

We had our WASHE workshop (Water And Sanitation Health Education). It was a huge success!! It was scheduled to last for 6 days, but we had to extend it to a full week in order to finish the toilet we were building as one of our practicles. The participants completed 3 days of theory where they studied various water and sanitation practices, as well as the protection of wells, and the building of toilets and spring boxes. Then we had 4 days of practical work in the field where we were able to do hands on work protecting a well in the community, as well as building a toilet and a spring box. In the morning before going out into the field, we all did a bit of yoga (which everyone loved)! Libby took some great snaps, so when I have a chance I'll post them. Since there were people to facilitate the sessions I spent a majority of my time helping in the kitchen, preparing breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 tea breaks. Part of helping in the kitchen was clearly preparing food, during which time, I slaughtered countless chickens and even a goat!!! I know, I know... last year I wouldn't have even considered doing such a thing. The knife was so dull, I could have done a much better job with a spoon!! But it was a good cultural experience. Needless to say, I didn't eat goat, or anyother meat for the rest of the week... I still haven't gotten to the point where I can see my dinner wandering around the yard, and eat it a few hours later when it appears on my plate! Libby came over for the last few days to help with the workshop, and she was a huge help. I couldn't have finished the workshop without her.
So now, I'll explain "butticles". When we were preparing chickens, not only did I slaughter them, but I also learned how to pluck them and prepare them... which includes taking the insides out. Ba Mavis (a traditional birth attendant in the community) was teaching me how to gut the chicken, and when we came to cutting off the rear-end, she promptly said "and Ba Lea, now we cut off the butticles, because we don't eat that part". So as I'm looking at this poor chickens rear-end I said "oh yes, the butticles, that must be a very techinal term" to which Ba Mavis replied, very seriously, "yes, it is a very techinal term, it's a medical term". I thought it was pretty funny, I mean, clearly... butticles seems to be a very techinal term to me!!

Back in the Saddle Again...

So i'm readjusting to village life after quite some time out of the village. After the cholera outbreak, I was in the village for the WASHE workshop, then shortly after, it was back to Mansa again, but this time for Raven's going away party. I went back to site for a few days, then left for Libby's wedding and Egypt. The day after I came back, I hosted a 2nd site visit for the new HAP volunteers coming to Luapula. Now I'm back in Mansa again to finish one project proposal and write another. This time, we are organizing an HIV/AIDS workshop for Traditional Birth Attendants, Community Health Workers, Community Counselors and Traditional Healers. It's another week long workshop, so the community and I will be quite busy for the next couple of months organizing this.

The roof on my house was finally put back on, after over a month of having no roof (luckly I was gone for 3 weeks of it). It had to be replaced because the termites had eaten through the grass. It wasn't as bad as it sounds. At least it wasn't rainy season, and sleeping in a tent on my bed WAS a bit of an adventure.

Mutomboko Festival...

At the end of July, a bunch of us went to the Mutomboko Festival in Kazembe. Its an celebreation of the battle victories of the Lunda people in Luapula. It was quite an interesting day. In the morning, everyone (and I mean literally everyone) gathers around the gates of the Paramount Chief (the Chief to all the Lunda people, and other Lunda Chief's) to await his exit from the palace walls. When he finally comes out, there are drums so loud that you can feel the beats rumbling through your body, and gun shots from old guns which have to be loaded from the top. He comes out to pray to his ancestors by a tree with bones surrounding it. After that he makes his way to the river to make offerings to 2 brothers who drowned in the river. It is practically a stampeed of people all russhing to witness the Mwata (meaning chief) make his offerings in the river. In the afternoon, there is a ceramony at the "stadium" in Kazembe, where all the Chiefs come out and dance. There are offerings to the Mwata and the Vice President of Zambia even came and gave a speech. When the Mwata makes his entrance, again the beating of the drums, and he is carried in sitting on a wooden chair (which he will also be burried in after he dies) by several others. He is dancing in his chair, and also beating a drum of his own. It was spectacular!! I have some pictures which I will post when I get a chance. But we stayed with a missionary family during the ceremony, and Tom (the father) has made a website fully explaining Mutomboko, and all the symbolism which makes the ceremony. He also has AMAZING pictures there for you to see. The website is www.mutomboko.org I hope you enjoy it. I haven't actually seen it, but if it's half as good as his pictures I've seen, it will be fantastic.

I hope everyone is well. I miss you all.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I'm just back from Egypt with my friends Raven and Rebecca. There are so many things to tell, but I don't want to bore anyone, so I'll just touch on a few places we visited. we moved around a lot, spending 2 days in Cairo, Aswan and Luxor. We spent the night sailing on a feluka (a traditional Egyptian sail boat) to Luxor, and then a night in Alexandria.

Egypt is so much busier than I ecver expected. It's so interesting because the pyramids are right in the middle of the city. So when you look at the pyramids all you see is desert and pyramids (it looks just like the pictures), but then if you turn around, you see Cairo, there is a golf course right next to the pyramids and the 20 million people who live in Cairo are all moving around. There are tall buildings, and the drivers hoot their horns constantly. We took camels out to the pyramids, which was a lot of fun. My camel's name was Ali-Baba, Raven rode Michael Jackson, and Rebecca rode Mickey Mouse. It took 30 years to build the pyramids with 100,000 workers. But when the construction was done, all the workers were murdered because there was a fear that they may share the secret to building the pyramids. We went inside the last pyramid (the first, and largest pyramid only allows 150 people a day inside). When you first walk inside the pyramid, you must immediately bend over and walk down this long ramp. It takes several minutes, and there is aboslutely no air circulation (I mean, you are walking down into a tomb). Anyway, I'm not a clusterphobic person at all, but there were a few times when I could feel the walls closing in on me. After walking down for a while, there is a small space for you to stand and stretch, but then its back to another ramp, this time going up. Finally you enter the tomb itself. There is a large room with what seems like a 20 ft. ceiling. The only thing left inside is the sarcafagus. Everything else was either taken by grave robbers or has been moved into the Egyptian museum in Cairo. None-the-less, it was still amazing to actually be inside one of the pyramids.

We also went to the library in Alexandria. Holy moly!! The library is just incredible. The building itself is shaped like a dome, and there are 11 floors. When you walk in, you are actually walking into the 4th floor. There is a sail shaped glassed area where you can stand and look over the entire library!! The light source for the library is entirely natural. There are eye shaped windows int he ceiling (this is to let in maximum amount of light, but without the heat). Then on the outside of the eye shaped windows, there are eye lashes!! They are there to keep the rain water from blocking any light that may be getting in through the eye shaped windows. There is complete sound proofing on the walls, so sound just doesn't travel inside the library. There are 3 different musems and the capacity for 8 million books (but right now, there are only 500,000). The entire library is also computerized. So if you have a chance to check out the library website you should. You can pick any book, and the computer will open directly to the page you need!!! Raven and I were in Awe, especially coming from the village! Then there is this machine called the Espresso Book Machine. There are only 2 in the world, on in DC and the other one in Alexandria. The book machine, depending on how thick your book is, will actually print a copy of the chosen book and bind it in 20-40 minutes!!!! The library is ironing out copy right issues now, but once that is finished, you will be able to go into the library, and have a print out of any book there!!

We visited various temples. Of course each one special in its own way. There is just so much history written on the walls, floor to ceiling hyroglyphics. I can only imagine what it must have looked like when they were first carved... just alive with color. There are larger than life statues, some fully intact, and others just bits and peices. The snaps I took certainly don't do it justice.
While in Aswan, we also visited a Nubian village. I held a crocadile!! We were hosted by a beautiful Nubian woman and her 2 children. One of which was absolutely in love with my camera. Here name was Ro'hya and she was 6. She has a priceless smile. I took a bunch of snaps, so I'll post them first chance I get. Nubian homes are interesting, when you walk in, there is no roof. So the inside is just like the outside (sand on the floor). There are sitting areas on either side of the home, covered for protection from the sun (it was 110 degrees while we were there). Then there are 2 rooms with dome shaped ceilings, one was full of hand made things to buy. The floor was covered in gravel. Then there was a room with a bed and a couple of wardrobes. This is where the woman slept with her two children.

Egyptians are also very friendly. Of course there is always the person try ing to hustle you for money, but we met so really nice people along the way. Most notably was the hotel manager in Aswan, Husein. He was very interested in our safety and making sure that we didn't get ripped off in the bizare. So he escorted us through the bizare and waited while we all went shopping (and when Raven and I are together... well, lets just say that that its a bwafya). He made sure to take us the shops where he knew the owners, so that we wouldn't be hastled. The hospitatlity was incredible. We were always being offered a cup of Egyptian tea, or water. But we did learn the hard way while we were visiting the pyramids in Giza, that if someone says its a "gift" it really isn't and you have to pay for it. So back to Husein, after taking us to the bizare he treated us to tea and a lemon juice drink at a local coffee shop, which, by the way, was open only to men. We were able to go because we were tourists, but it was still a bit strange, just a bunch of men smoking hukas, and then the 3 of us and Husein.

So we had a great time, Raven and Rebecca are off to Turkey next, and I'm back to the village today to host 2nd site visit.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Drama on the Nile

It's been a while since I've last posted... I seem to start every entry with that. So much has happened since my last post. I'll have to tell you all about it when I have more time on the internet. I just wanted to post quickly while I have the chance.

Raven and I arrived in Cairo this morning. Her friend Rebecca is here visiting as well... she's a lot of fun!! Tonight we went for a dinner cruise on the Nile. There were whirling durvishes (I have no idea how to spell that). Anyway, the performance was amazing. I'll try to post my photos first chance I get. The evening started with 3 dancers and a drummer. For some reason, one of the dancers felt compelled to come and pick me from my seat to join him in his dance!! It was a lot of fun. Luckly, I wasn't the only one picked from the audience. Only, it was just my luck that the skirt I was wearing was a bit big, so I was in fear of loosing my skirt during our dance!!! So that was akward, but over all, it was a good time.

There was also a belly dancer. She was amazing!! I've never seen anyone dance like that before. Well, it seemed as if some people were offended in the audience. The women who were wearing head scarves got up towards the end and walked out. But then, as the woman was dancing on the table, this man walked up behind her and kicked the table out from under her!!! And so the drama began, she got up in a rage and picked the cane she was dancing with and tried to beat him over the head!!! A bunch of men rushed out to hold her back, and also to hold back the man who had kicked the table out from under her. There was a lot of shouting in Arabic (which I clearly couldn't understand), but it was apparent that people were quite angry. I really felt bad for her. I mean, that guy didn't have to kick the table out from under her. So finally, everyone made their way out into the hallway to finish their "discussions" and the whirling durvishes came out for their performance.

It was an interesting evening. Tomorrow we're off to the pyramids and a couple of other places, then its straight onto an overnight train to Luxor (or maybe Aswan). The 10 days here are going to pass quickly, I can already tell. I'll post pictures as soon as I have the chance.

Also, my friend Libby got married on 2nd July. If anyone from her AMAZING family is reading this... I hope you had a great time during your travels to Zambia. I look forward to seeing you in America-Land. I'm so happy to have met everyone. And Lib... you were absolutely BEAUTIFUL.

my love to everyone.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Welcome Back To Kabuta!!!

I never thought it would happen... but after pleading with Peace Corps to let me stay in my village (which didn't work), I decided that it was clearly time for some solid ground work and evidence that Kabuta is, in fact, not prone to cholera outbreaks annually and that my water source is safe from the lake. After presenting my findings, Peace Corps has reversed the decision to move me from Kabuta. In fact, I can go back to my very own home!!! It was definitely worth spending my Easter holiday doing some research into the matter. In the end, everything worked out perfectly, I couln't be happier!! The past few weeks have been rough in Mansa, and only due to the fact that I was dreading having to leave my village. I can't wait to get back to Kabuta and pick up where I left off. Actually, I'm going home to America for a quick visit first, so I'll have to wait for a few more weeks before I can head back to Nchelenge, but the most important thing is that I can go back... what a relief!!!

Missing you all so much.
ps. I'm not quite sure how this post is going to look. Actually, I'm not sure if I'm even posting to the right blog, for some reason, everything on the screen is in German!! Go Figure...

Friday, March 30, 2007

Good Bye Kabuta...

As it turns out, my village is at the center of the cholera outbreak; and even though there were no actual cholera cases from Chile Village (my village), Peace Corps isn't willing to take a chance. So right now, we are starting the process of looking for a new house, further inland from the lake. I understand why Peace Corps didn't want to risk letting me stay in the village, and believe me, I certainly don't want cholera; but there couldn't' have been a worse time for me to leave. There are so many projects going on right now. Luckily, I am working with some very reliable counterparts, and we're able to keep in touch and work on projects long distance. We're still planning on having our WASHE workshop, and completing the clinic project, but I just don't want to be away. I love my village, and my neighbors are wonderful. I feel so at home in Kabuta. I'm trying to find good things about this situation, but sometimes it's difficult. So I'm not sure where my new site will be, at least I can stay in my catchment area, so I can still work with my community, which is the most important part. I just wish I didn't have to move; but everything will be okay in the end, and if it's not okay, it's not the end.... I just have to keep telling myself that.

Hooray for Egypt!!

On a much happier note, Raven just booked our tickets for Egypt. We're going there for a holiday in July!! I'll be sure to post those pictures!