So today is my second birthday in Zambia. I have one more to go, I think. See the kids that got into country a year before I did are all leaving today, and by all I mean 9. Out of the 18 left in this intake, half are staying an extra year doing work in different applied areas all over Zambia. Your 3rd year you get a tiny bit more money, modern day amenities, and a more structured job usually with a NGO or government organization. Its funny, the more time that I spend here the less I reach out to the newer kids. People leaving you takes a toll on your well being, its keeps you constantly having to adjust to life here, and frankly life here is hard enough without that. Kind of makes me feel bad though for these new new kids that are swearing in next Friday; finally becoming volunteers, trainees no longer. I found out that two friends that are not COS-ing (Close Of Service (your finished! They did it!)) have left or are leaving this week. Really it’s such a trippy feeling, but people always say that it is harder to be left behind. Maybe it really is.
I have waged war and a personal vendetta against ants, and in the past few weeks I have been poisoning them out of house, home, and hut. I have a cemented floor, which is great, but these little monsters have been eating through that cement and marching all around my house eating everything in sight, smell, or sense. Really I don’t know how they find things and I have been eating drinking and dreaming ants because of this. I wish I was just trying to paint a image in your heads but seriously. I have. I have an empty cup, I pick it up get some drinking water, then moments later I am wondering what that weird feeling in my mouth is, only to be pulling out many, many ants from the sides of my mouth and tongue. I just tell myself its protein, but that doesn’t seem to help me very much its still gross. I set a plate of food down for a moment and I am no longer just fighting my cat from it but the ants too. And let me tell you there is nothing more devastating then putting away some Annie’s Mac and Cheese to the side to finish later; with the lid on the pot and the pot height up on your tallest of two tables, to only find it so infested with ants that you can not possible even eat around them. So finally I bought the poison and moved around all my things and furniture; swept up around the massive amounts of dirt dust and sand that they brought above ground with them and didn’t even dilute the poison as instructed. Just poured it straight down. Man oh man was that a gratifying feeling. Like the winner of a long hard race where you were racing cheaters that were trying to sabotage you! Victorious! We shall see how long this last this time. I just want the feeling of ants always crawling on me and all over me to stop. This is not the first time I have had this problem, and with the heat comes the return of all kinds of bugs. Shall be getting interesting in the bush!
My site visits and being a trainer and programs are almost finished now! I have one more the first week of October that is called, Mid-term Medical Conference. I think the name says it all, and I am now over half way through my service and we are having a conference about it, and while we are there we are going to be poked and prodded to make sure we are still in top health and are teeth are still in our head! I am excited about this, it is like a reunion of my intake, we haven’t all been together since January. I cannot wait to see how people have grown, changed, and what their service has developed into by now, I know that mine has changed and taken turns that I wasn’t expecting! All in all though I must say, “things are just ok this side”. That is Zam-lish for everything thing is great over here! Thank you for all the birthday cards, emails, facebookings, and calls this year. It was a really great birthday. I think 24 will be the year that I have been waiting for in many different ways. Look forward to hear from you all. Mwenda Bwino!