From Everest to the Zambezi

From Everest to the Zambezi: Shari's Journey Across Nepal & Zambia

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Fabulous day

I apologize for not keeping this blog up to date. The last few weeks have been a blur of sunsets and scones, meetings and agendas, schedules and stipends. The hot season has enveloped the region and the dry earth is screaming for rain.There have been several hatchings of weird bugs…big ones with wings the size of bats that make screeching noises in the night, small ones with bright colors and large ones with dull colors. I saw a giant, green, stick-like bug last night, and I know I have seen it on the Discovery channel before.

There have been many challenging days filled with cultural frustrations, a seemingly endless workload, and numerous small annoyances such as lack of power and water that all add up throughout the week. My outlets here have been long sunset walks on the train tracks with Lucky (the pup) and home-made lemon drops, which are delicious!

Today, though, was a great day. It began with a meeting at the District Medical Office where I asked the newest DMO (who arrived just last week) to contribute a fair amount of money to a training we are having. Amazingly, he said yes. I then proceeded to have another successful meeting with a business man about installing a generator set in our new office. Once he “dumbed it down” for me, I learned a great deal about those huge machines and feel a lot more equipped for an argument to fund its installation.

After the generator tutoring session, I went to an epidemic preparedness meeting and was so “prepared” for it to start late that I accomplished a great deal of work in the hour-long delay. We were served cold coke and biscuits and I was pretty darn happy by the end. Walking out of the meeting, I mailed my election ballot at the rickety post office and got a call from Lusaka telling me to make a budget for our office Christmas party. And they will pay for it. I was going to mention that myself, as well as half of the office who are Jehovah’s Witnesses, do not celebrate Christmas, though I didn’t want the money retracted….so a Christmas party it is!

Closing the day, I took a visit to our new office, to plan out the furnishing and space allotment for the staff. Inside the office compound, I noticed numerous mango trees and citrus trees and one far off in the corner that I did not recognize. “It’s the one with the red seeds” said the landlord. I was in disbelief as I neared the fruit hanging off the tree. Pomegranate. My favorite.

As the sun was setting, the driver and I took the 3 remaining chickens to the house of one of the staff….ending the office chicken drama for good! The full moon was rising big and bright over the horizon and colors lit up the sky. We began pulling out of this picturesque, rural part of town, just as a small kid chucks a rock at our car. Bam….it hits the windshield, (thankfully there was already a huge crack in it) and the kid runs off. The driver swears but I just smile. Not going to ruin my fabulous day.

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Willingness

In the willingness to feel, there is healing.
In the choice not to closet, cast aside or deny experience, energy is freed and I dive deeper into life.

There may be maturity in choosing not to act, but there are no rewards for suppression and denial.
To be fully alive is saying yes to the wide array of human feelings.
When I soften, release and breathe, I discover I am more than what I think, feel reason or believe.

The Book of Qualities

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Flying Solo

Yesterday I said goodbye to Suzy, who has been my rock since the start of my internship in Kalomo. A great friend, mentor, nurse, roommate, baker and overall amazing person, it is difficult to imagine continuing this project without her. There is an empty void now, in the project and in the h’office which we shared for the last two months. For the next couple months, I will be flying solo in Kalomo. We will just have to take it one day at a time.