Monday, July 21, 2008


One food, one word. Four days in bed. Kapenta.

Kapenta is a staple food here in Zambia. What is it, you ask? Good question. Small, tiny, dried fish with little poking eyeballs. Now I can't be sure that this is what left me vomiting up my toes for four days, but I ate nothing else out of the normal. And so began my four days of misery. I've never felt worse in my life.

But rest assured, I am feeling better now and back to happy self. Our electricity has been going off for longer than usual recently, as much as 7 hours everyday. So, on the last day of my illness, my great roomate Alissa built a fire outside of our house using a car cigarette lighter so that she could heat up my soup. What a blessing to me because I hadn't eaten anything in three days, and as my appetite returned I was pretty starving. Aren't my roomates fantastic?

All that said, I just wanted to let you know that this is why my blog has been suffering. I'm also pretty exhausted. My friends John, Paul, Erin and Kent are here this week, and also my cousin Elaine. So these next two weeks will be quite busy but I hope to post again very soon. Love you and miss you guys so much!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunday with the Kaundas

I had the immense privilege of spending the entire day Sunday with a family that is very dear to me, The Kaundas. Precious and Karen Kaunda have been in my small group at Camp Life for the last 4 years. They are beautiful children, and I have been in love ever since I met them. Precious memorizes scripture like no body's business and is very gifted in evangelism. She has a heart for people, very similar to her father's. Karen is quite shy, but one of the most empathetic people I have ever met. They are both beautiful children. They are how I came to know the Kaundas. Their father, Peter, is a pastor and a man filled with the Spirit. He and his wife, Beatrice have been an incredible encouragement to me during my time here in serving the kids.

There are 8 all together, 6 girls. Peter, Beatrice, Natasha, Joy, Mapalo, Karen, Precious, and the newest member...Victoria. I shall post pictures soon, but I can't be sure what happened to my camera. I'll find it, I loose and find it often.

First, I arrived at their house in the morning so that we could all go to church together. Peter pastors a church, called Destiny. My good friend Paul surprised me by showing up at church to also spend the day with us. There were approximately 40 people in the service, and I found the intimate setting to be very refreshing. Of course I always enjoy Zambian worship. Acapella voices minister to my heart. We all had a beautiful time, and I love dancing in church.

After church, we walked back to the house to have lunch. I was very excited for Karen to teach me how to make Nshima (the main staple food in Zambia). This process was quite funny. At first, Karen had difficulty actually teaching me. Making Nshima is so commonplace to her, that she couldn't understand how I didn't know the process. I would stir, and she would grab the spoon from me and say, "No, auntie don't stir nshima like that, you stir it like this." She would then proceed to show me. In the end, I kind of got the hang of it. The maize product used for nshima is very unlike anything you can find in the states. It takes quite alot of strength to make nshima. After we prepared Nshima, we then proceeded to prepare the lettuce type vegetable side that one eats with Nshima. Then we all sat down and ate a meal together, while everyone carefully watched me roll my nshima between my fingers, as one is supposed to do. I think they were observing for correct form. I passed, thank goodness.

After eating, I proceeded outside to help Karen wash the dishes. This was my favorite part. As we were washing, I wasn't doing it the exact way that she normally does, so as we were washing she asked me: "Auntie Stephan, have you ever washed dishes before?" That made me laugh out loud. She thought that because I had never eaten Nshima that I had never washed a dish before. I then had to explain to her that I lived alone and always washed dished, because if I didn't do it, then no one did.

After washing, we went to surprise a few of my kids at their homes for a visit. It was the best day I've ever spent in Zambia. I was sad to return home, but hopeful for the visits I had planned for later in the week with other families. I hope to write about those soon.