I have been learning so many things since arriving in Lusaka, Zambia. I don’t think I’m anywhere near feeling like an expert, or like I know it all. AT ALL. I don’t even feel like I’ve scratched the surface yet. Just when I think I’ve figured something out, it changes. Isn’t that always the way!
Some things I have learned so far:
- Never rush yourself. Don’t think that if you get to the office at 9, that you’re going to start your work at 9. I’ve learned how important it is to slow down, and be intentional with the people that I work with. It’s just been the past couple of weeks that I’ve realized how important it is to do that. When I would drive up to the gate, the security guard would open it and I would wave as I drove past. One day I thought to myself – I need to stop and actually say hello. Something as simple as that has started such a nice little relationship where we are now able to talk every day. I have now become the person that takes half hour washroom breaks because I am greeting everyone along the way, ha!
- Welcome interruptions. I have been praying that the Lord would help me develop better relationships with the girls in the Bible study, and just the kids in general. So, all week as I have been working, there would be little knocks at the door. Kids checking in and asking me about work, kids asking me to take pictures of them to send to their sponsors, kids wanting to just sit and talk…and I’m like: Ok, are you ready to leave? And in those moments this week, God reminded me that this is what I have prayed for.
- Now, just now, now now. Did you know that there are three variations of the word now?
- I’m coming now. Translation: I have not left yet.
- I’m coming just now. Translation: I have just left.
- I’m coming now now. Translation: I will be there in a minute – I am super close.
- Never forget to wear deodorant. Man alive, summer in Zambia is no joke.
- Driving. If you EVER want to make a turn, or get into a lane, you basically have to PUSH your way in. And when you do, everyone just smiles and waves at you.
- Always have more than enough fuel in your vehicle. Sometimes, the fuel stations run out of diesel and as you drive in the employees laugh at you and wave you off. Today I meant to fill up the truck right when I left Chongwe. There are two stations right near the village, and then nothing for about 30km’s until you are entering Lusaka. Those two stations had such big line ups so I just kept driving. About 5 minutes in my gas light turned on, but I figured I was ok because you can drive with that light on for a while, right? Anyways, I got closer to Lusaka and was convinced that I was going to run out of fuel. I finally got to the station and they had run out. I even pleaded with the workers like a fool asking if they had any stored away that I could buy – crazy muzungu! Thankfully I made it to the next station, and they even had fuel. I have learned my lesson and will not leave it to the last drop again…I hope.
And last but not least, don’t ask too many questions. Sometimes it’s better to be oblivious, and go with the flow then trying to figure things out.