What a day. Although waiting 3 hours for people to arrive at the Kifuwe NHC Meeting and skipping lunch altogether was a bit frustrating, I was very happy and satisfied with today’s outcomes. At the meeting, Kifuwe NHC members elected a new Executive Committee, along with finalizing their constitution. It looks like they’re heading in the right direction, which is great news. After the meeting, I headed straight to the clinic to begin our first PS Ishiko program, a recuperation program for malnourished children, with Lubilo NHC and IYCF members. We enrolled 4 children and their mothers into the program yesterday, and today, cooking demonstrations, health education, and active feeding began. Today’s recipe was for Eggtastic, an egg scramble with rape leaves, tomatoes, and onions served as a side relish with nshima. The NHC and IYCF members were a little unorganized and discombobulated today since it was their first crack at it without my direct involvement, but by the end of the session, everyone was clear and on the same page on how sessions should be for the next 10 days. As the mothers were feeding their children, I watched the NHC and IYCF members smiled proudly at a job well done. The children gobbled up the food, and the mothers seemed happy and grateful to be there. There was a moment in time when I took all of this in that reminded me not to sweat the little things that frustrate me, to breathe more, and to be more present, instead of always trying to look ahead or worry about what’s to come. I realized that at the end of the day, if what needed to be done gets done, then everything’s okay, everything’s fine. And if it doesn’t get done, then either there’s another day, time, way, etc. to get it done or maybe it’s God’s way of saying that something else should be done instead.
Finally, a day off. The first rain of the season came and went last night and made watering my pigeon pea trees a whole lot easier this morning. I spent the day cleaning up my hut and organizing paperwork as James as Gabriel helped with washing dishes. These two boys are so helpful around the house. Almost every day, after I make breakfast for them, the boys help me with morning chores around the house in exchange for kwacha that goes directly into a savings jar devoted to new shoes for school. The boys currently go to school barefooted. We’ve grown really close to each other; if this is what it feels like to be a father one day, I can’t wait to be one in the future. I know I’m going to be a crying mess when I have to say goodbye to them. In other news, the heat is starting to become unbearable, increasing the number of cold, mid-day bucket baths. On the bright side, this will be my last hot season in country. In the world of Pokemon Go, I caught a Kabuto from lighting an incense, but I’ve run out of things to do – no eggs, no incense, no pokeballs. Sad.
A new Moleskin accompanied Starbucks, beef jerky, and a few must-reads among other exciting gifts from Jack and Andrew in a care package I picked up today. The package came at a perfect time. I needed a new journal and pens and the cravings for some real coffee and the new Harry Potter book needed to stop. As if the goodies weren’t enough, I got a little emotional reading Jack’s letter. It was really nice to receive news that Jack was accepted into AmeriCorps and that he was doing well. Jack is among a few friends who I’m always rooting for, always holding my breath and waiting to hear of amazing things that will happen to them because they, of all people, deserve it. I forget sometimes how much I miss my family and friends back home. It’s a little unbelievable that I’ll be seeing them in less than a year. I’m really excited to go home next August, but there’s still so much more I want to accomplish here in my village before that day comes.