I just finished a long stretch in the village, maybe three months, just within my district and neighboring Ikelenge. No trips to Solwezi or Lusaka or to other provinces and by chance no internet (since it is out in our BOMA). Instead I spent a lot of time riding my bike around and visiting other volunteers, including a 270km ride around the province on some backroads to visit volunteers. I’d like to shoot for another long stretch, but that doesn’t seem likely as I’m getting a wonderful visit from my family and heading up to visit friends in a week or so. Tentatively trying to plan a trip for Ethiopia in December as well.

This was our route and a picture of the Chitunta plain and the Lewakela river where we crossed both on a random bush road.

At one point in Matonchi, Ryan Kenny’s village, we came across a man who excavates rocks and crushes them to sell to construction workers in the BOMA.

When we arrived after the longest day of cycling (85km) at Kelondu Village to visit Larry Maurin his family had slaughtered a goat for us.

We spent one day visiting the rapids of the great Zambezi River at Kaleni Hill area and visiting volunteer, Kinsie Rayburn. Below is our friend Alex, from Lusaka, visiting literally and figuratively as far from home as he can in Zambia. Being back in the village was relaxing, I’m including a few random photos at the bottom that I’ve liked although the majority of my pictures lately have been on film that I can’t include . . .

One of my PCV neighbor’s host brother cycled 15km to give me a small cage he had made with two little white eyed __________. I can only remember the first part of the name. They both died within thirty minutes of going into my house, which I only regret more for not releasing them straight off. The cage is pictured below.

Mr. Kabwita, my counterpart, in his fields.

A little girl washing dishes for a teacher at Ikonga School in the bush of Ikelenge

A random kid photograph . . . this was when he was in my lap and still too little to realize I am terrifying and to start crying.

Cassava leaves.


Scrawled on a chair at Mukinge Girls Secondary School. While it is most likely a mistake in grammar, I like the different meaning the phrase gets for omitting one ‘s’.

Life in Samuteba

I just returned to Solwezi, our provincial capital, after a two and a half week conference in Lusaka. While it was refreshing to see all the familiar faces from training, it also felt like a sensory overload to be in Lusaka. I went to have Indian, Thai, Ethiopian food and paid more for one meal than I spend in one month in my village. I’m glad to be on my way back to my village though and ready to get back to work. At least the time allowed me to edit some of the photos that I had on my 5D camera before it broke completely.

The neighboring children in my area try to put out the flames of a fire headed for my chimbushi, or pit latrine. Burning during cold season and tweluka (lack of relish) season because the children can come the next day and dig the field mice out of the ground to eat. It is also just accepted as part of what happens during this season, each time I ask someone in the village they respond with different reasons for the burning so I can’t say it is just the field mice. The main problem is that when children set the fires, they often burn out of control (like this one) and many fields, banana trees, and even houses can burn to the ground. Worse is that everyone has an idea of who set the fire, but no one would tell you anyway.

Dry season also allows for time to build and the biggest activity of the season, aside from harvesting, is brick building and home construction. Here my community is starting to mold bricks for one of our new school blocks. The men tend to delegate themselves the task of mixing the mud with water and placing it in the brick molds. Women carry the water, which sounds easy, but when you are talking about carrying a 20-30L (weighing well above fifty pounds) container on your head for 500 meters they may have the harder job.

I had some school children mold me bricks as well, I’m going to build a small chicken shelter to house my hens. Unfortunately they’ve been living in my small house in the kitchen . . . I even created a chicken door for them to come in and out but it is clearly a bad idea to continue living with them in the house. The small chota pictured below is also my kitchen area. It looks as if the area has been cleared of all trees, and it has, but only 300 meters away you can be in bush and a few kilometers and you’re in beautiful, tall forested areas. Although I don’t know if that will last my whole service with the rate people clear trees here.

This is my little house, you can note the small chicken/cat door on the right

My chota, or kitchen hut, which the goats like to rest in. My mother sent me paintballs and a slingshot so I'm working on keeping them away.

My pride and joy, this is the nursery bed in my garden. I can't wait to see a tangible proof of my labors in the village.

I think I’ll be using the film camera for a while, until I organize a new digital. Somehow I think the film camera makes more sense in the village. People won’t stop what they’re doing to jump and look at the back of a film camera.