Hey there campers.
Just a quick post to let you know that I am still here and doing well. Currently in Lusaka, for my Peace Corps, In Service Training, also known as IST. It has been really fun and informative, but a little overwhelming. Kind of crazy that you can go from nothing; one brand of sugar, salt, soya, rice; to everything, meaning choices, weird, in a matter of hours on a road. The poverty dived here is crazy, vast, and changes in a matter of km. I mean i have seen at least seven planes in the sky since i have come to Lusaka, and those who know me probably think i am being sarcastic right now, but I'm not. You got from lusaka, which can fool you on how the country is doing, to just 5-10km outside the city in any direction and no long have water or electricity, and watch the 'architecture' go from buildings, to mud huts. Its hard and sad to see, and more than that hard for me to understand. They are currently pumping money into Lusaka, building it up: new hotels, malls, fancy cars and restaurants. But they are not putting money into fixing the horrible roads or not bringing electricity the schools or clinics. Meds at my clinic are kept cold by a battery, in a cooler that was donated to them from Japan and USAID, the battery is rotated with others and charged by a solar panel. Most of the time we don't have many meds in our cooler, so the staff uses it to chill their drinks. Not a bad Idea, if its going to be plugged in might as well be used right? There is a rumor that a company or something is trying to get all of Zambia Wireless on a 3G network, which is laughable seeing that no one has electricity let alone a computer. And in the off chance that people have cell phones, most families, extended families, share one phone, they are models that are pre color screen let alone internet capability. Anyway, just something to think about. I could go on forever but I won't. I am writing to tell you about my trip to Malawi, which was really fun, and a learning experience. Like I now know that i will never travel/vacation with 10 or more people as it happened I did on this trip. Aside from that everything went really smoothly: the weather was beautiful, we got there in one piece, even if it did take us three days hitching, having both 'good' hitches in the back of trucks and canters, to crowded buses holding other peoples babies and sitting in aisles. The place we stayed was beautiful built into the side of a mountain/cliff on the Lake, however the stairs, which were everywhere, were VERY steep and uneven, not safe if one has been drinking, and not lit at night. lets just say it kept things interesting. It was nice to be with friends around the holidays, and in a new area, it was funny though, because although New Year's felt like New Year's, Christmas felt nothing like Christmas. This i believe is because of one of two reasons: 1. it was an average of 103 degrees in an exotic new place that looked, felt, smelled, tasted, and sounded nothing like 'Christmas' to me one little bit. How could I think it was Christmas, if it was nothing like any of my thoughts or feelings of my past 22 Christmas'? 2. Why let my mind go there at all if it was going to be hard. Love denial. I posted pictures on my facebook page of my walk to the road, also friends who were on the malawi trip with me have/are posting picture, so if you are my 'friend' of close with someone that is, check them out. But for your comfort level and especially my own please do not go through ALL of the pictures that are posted of me, I'm not embarrassed of anything that is up there, nor is there anything that is incriminating, but parent/adult figures are just that, and I would rather them not see a few of them. Love and good wishes to all that are reading this. Happy New Year! Love Elizabeth.