"... living on less than one dollar a day" You hear this phrase on commercials to sponsor children in Africa, a catchphrase when it comes to describing the complicated issue of poverty. It's tossed around often, as is the idea that most people on the ginormous continent of Africa are poor. Yes, poverty is certainly … Continue reading What Can One Dollar Buy in Zambia?
Peace Corps is a unique development organization in that volunteers live in the communities they serve. Like our neighbors, our house is made of mud bricks and mortar. We poop in a hole, cook over a fire, and fetch our water like everyone else does. Living in a rural village isn't an easy adjustment, but … Continue reading 5 Essential Items in a Zambian Village
Only a small fraction of Peace Corps volunteers serve with a partner. Until recently, only those married for at least one year were accepted, but the organization opened positions for unmarried and same-sex couples. The Peace Corps' reasoning for only accepting married couples is that service can put a strain on a relationship, but I … Continue reading Serving in the Peace Corps as a Couple
When Adam and I applied to serve in the Peace Corps last year (our application timeline), we originally selected to be Environmental Education volunteers in Panama. Since we were in Australia, we couldn't take the Spanish language test to meet the requirement, so we said to place us anywhere. Two weeks later, we open the … Continue reading Peace Corps Zambia: Rural Aquaculture Promotion (RAP)
I would normally list "cooking" as a hobby of mine, but during the first few weeks of community entry, it was a burden just to whip up some kind of nourishment. Initially, it took me up to two hours to get the brazier going plus another two hours to cook, eat, and clean. So, eating … Continue reading Peace Corps Zambia: Cooking in the Village
After swearing in as official volunteers, we moved into the village and started Community Entry, a two to three-month period dedicated to integrating into the community. During this period, leaving our site is prohibited other than going to the nearest town for food (about a 30km bike ride for us) and required Peace Corps business. … Continue reading First Month in the Village: Community Entry
During pre-service training, we learned about some important customs in Zambia such as funerals, marriage, headmen/chiefs, etc, to prepare us for life here. With 72 tribes living harmoniously in one nation, the customs vary wildly - not only between tribes, but within villages. So my limited experience attending two funerals in Northern Province cannot be … Continue reading A Bemba Funeral in Zambia