Yamakwakwa Women’s Club

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Meet the women of Yamakwakwa’s Women’s Club! Twice a month on the first and last Fridays, I travel 10km into the bush and find myself in the company of these amazing women. Our sessions begin at 9:00 and usually end around 14:00. All mothers, these women have prioritized this learning space for them to continue attaining skills to not only improve their health , but the health of their family, as well.

Our sessions usually begin with an opening prayer, followed by some English lessons. Some days, I focus on grammar, other days, vocabulary, but nonetheless, we all enjoy each other’s company as the learning continues. Simultaneously, these women teach me Kikaonde (one of the local languages) and give me an opportunity to work on my language skills!

After English, I teach a health session, usually a nutrition talk that follows a cooking demonstration. This is an opportunity for the women to learn the value of preparing a balanced meal, but also, I get to share a little bit of America with them! I pick American favorites like spaghetti and meatballs, pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, and so on to share with them. I bring ingredients with me, and while they prepare a Zambian meal for me, I prepare an American meal for them!

We end our sessions with lunch, where America meets Zambia in a cross-cultural explosion of food fit for the queens that they are.

#peacecorps #zambia

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History Made Today

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Today is a historic day in our catchment. This morning, 4 Senior Headmen and 6 Neighborhood Health Committee (NHC) Chairpersons and Secretaries joined the staff of the Lubilo Community Health Centre and me in establishing our Advisory Council, a council of community leadership that I will be training next week on Project Design & Management. After training, the Advisory Council will be annually setting health priorities for our community and helping NHCs implement specific, measurable, and attainable health projects that will improve the health of villagers in all 6 catchment area zones. ‪#‎sustainability‬ ‪#‎knowledgeispower‬ ‪#‎peacecorps‬‪#‎zambia‬

Meet My Cat, Porkchop

Inherited from previous volunteer, Amy, who inherited him from our Provincial House, meet Porkchop, the fattest cat you’ll find this side of Zambia!

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He kills rats, spiders, and lizards in the hut for me, and in turn, I feed him every morning and provide him with a warm place to come home to every night after his hunting expeditions. Fair trade, for sure.

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When he’s not stuffing his face, Porkchop enjoys soaking up the sun on my doormat, flopping around in the dirt, and prancing around in the tall grass. Oh, and he seems to also enjoy licking his genitals when he thinks no one is watching.

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Want to hear a funny story? Just the other day, as I was preparing to fry some cassava, Porkchop decided it would be a good idea to slurp up an entire cup of cooking oil as I left the hut to tend to the fire. A couple of hours later, as I was reading Murakami underneath my mango tree, I hear behind me a copious amount of cat cries. I turn around to find my cat squatting in pain, as he squirted out a ridiculous amount of liquid from his butthole. Poor guy had no idea what was happening to him as he looked at me in pain. He covered up his regret with dirt and found comfort in a bed of grass in the sun as he continued to whine. I don’t think he’s going to touch oil anytime soon.

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Silly kitty.

Kwasha Mukwenu Vocational Training Centre

Peace Corps Zambia is one of the biggest Peace Corps posts around the world; we currently have over 250 volunteers serving in country. That said, from time to time, we get opportunities to help one another with our programs. Peace Corps Zambia has a total of four different work sectors: 1) Health, 2) Education, 3) Agriculture, and 4) Fish Farming. There are also volunteers called Response Volunteers, working on high-impact projects, lasting up to one year. I was able to join a few other volunteers and help one of these Response Volunteers with his work with a newly built training centre, Kwasha Mukwenu Vocational Training Centre, a training centre for Zambians living with disabilities, empowering them to secure employment and live happy and healthy lives. An exhausting day, for sure, equipped with heat and humidity, but well worth it.

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Mission Statement: To provide self-reliance in Zambia by providing career opportunities, entrepreneurship training, and vocational skills to the most vulnerable in society.

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Vision Statement: To be the model training centre in Zambia.

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December 2015

December was an eventful month with a lot of traveling. I was away from my village for the first time in three months, spending the first half of the month in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, for In-Service Training (IST), and the last half of the month on vacation in Malawi with a handful of other Peace Corps Volunteers from my cohort.

IST was held in Lusaka from December 6-19, two weeks of training on two separate topics. The first week of training was devoted to Project Design and Management (PDM), and the second week was training from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a $30 billion United States organization, who funds organizations like Peace Corps Zambia to implement projects and interventions designed to reduce HIV and AIDS, with the end goal of eliminating the disease. For each of these trainings, we were able to bring counterparts from our individual communities, allowing them the opportunity to learn alongside Peace Corps Volunteers with whom they work with. Having my counterparts at both trainings was very encouraging, seeing how they were eager to learn and highly motivated after training to get back to the village and implement projects and begin work for the new year.

PDM Training focused on action planning around theories of human behavior change, including identifying priority and influencing groups/segments, pinpointing right health behaviors, considering and weighing determinants, addressing key factors, both benefits and barriers, and developing activities and programs that support positive behavior change. Working with our counterparts, we were able to create three action plans for three pressing health issues pertinent in our villages that we will be implementing in the new year. Our three projects include: 1) re-establishing our community advisory council, 2) decreasing the rate of early marriages and early pregnancies, and 3) decreasing the rate of malaria and simultaneously increasing the rate of mosquito net usage.

PEPFAR Training included two topics: 1) general HIV/AIDS training and 2) Perma Gardening. General HIV/AIDS training included the usual suspects: transmission, prevention, treatment, and care, but we were also treated to training on Grassroots Soccer, a youth-driven, youth-focused program utilizing soccer as a means of HIV/AIDS education through experiential learning, team sports, and physical education/activity. Parma Gardening was a great training on utilizing both local resources and natural resources to create year-long fertile gardens, providing families with food and sustenance, with minimal work. We even built our own garden during the training, fully equipped with compost piles, seed and tree planting, and garden security and sustainability.

After IST, a group of us went on vacation to Malawi, a country just east of Zambia. Malawi is popular vacation destination for Peace Corps Volunteers in Zambia, as well as other neighboring countries where Peace Corps Volunteers serve, including South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, and more.

Our first stop before heading into Malawi was in Lundazi in Eastern Province, where fellow Peace Corps Volunteer, Claudia, lives. Claudia is assigned to a special project, along with a handful of other volunteers in our cohort, called Saving Mothers, Giving Lives (SMGL), a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) funded project, aiming to reduce the mortality rate of pregnant women in Zambia. SMGL volunteers work directly with Zambian government through the Ministry of Health offices in their respective BOMAs (provincial capitals), so their living accommodations vary from those of us living in the bush in rural villages. The said, all 10 of us were able to crash at Claudia’s apartment for the night in Lundazi before heading out in the morning for Malawi.

Bright and early, we loaded up a canter (think huge commercial truck with a open flatbed in back where we all sat in uncomfortable positions), and headed straight for the country border. At the border, we went into the immigration offices to process our visas to get into Malawi (visas were $75.00 USD, a new fee Malawi recently implemented). There, we were also able to exchange Zambian kwacha for Malawian kwacha. A little sketch, since the transactions were done on the dirt road with a group of men who rolled up together with wads of cash to exchange, but we were all able to trade in our kwacha for usable money in Malawi. Once in Malawi, we switched over from the canter to a minibus, which took us all the way to our lodge, Njaya Lodge, in Nhkata Bay, Malawi.
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Accommodations at the lodge were good, minus the last couple of days when running water became unavailable, forcing us to shower in the lake and transforming functional toilets into pseudo porta-potties. Besides that, food and drinks were good, staff friendly and fun, and the lodge even had fun activities for us to partake in as a group.
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Lake Malawi is absolutely breathtaking. The water, clear, temperature, perfect, and beach, clean. We went swimming every day, and we were also able to feed eagles, go out fishing on canoes at sunrise, and my favorite, go cliff jumping from 30 feet up in the air! On Christmas Eve, we had a nice dinner together as a group, and went dancing on the beach afterwards. On Christmas, we went over to a nearby lodge, and went swimming, paddle boarding, and canoeing. We had another nice dinner for Christmas, and ended the vacation in Malawi on a great note.

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My vacation ended a week earlier than the majority of our group, who  continued their vacation and rang in the new year in Livingstone in Southern Province. My travels took me back to Northwestern Province, where I stayed at our Provincial House for a couple of days before heading back to my village. Lucky for me, there were a few other volunteers at the house, and we were all able to celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day together. Hunter (a fellow volunteer in my cohort, who, awesomely enough, is also my fraternity brother from another chapter) and I bought a bunch of fireworks and we lit the Zambian sky aglow, along with our Peace Corps Volunteer Leader (PCVL), Ephriam, and other volunteers, Emily, Jenna, and Hannah. Ephriam surprised us all on New Year’s Day with a fancy roast dinner, and afterwards, we played a board game that I really like called “Settlers of Catan,” and watched movies, including Quentin Tarantino’s newest, “The Hateful Eight.” I left for my village the next morning and came home to a warm welcome from my host family and a beautiful sight of three pigeon pea trees growing nicely where I had planted them just before I left at the beginning of the month. Vacation was definitely nice, but it’s great to be back in village.

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I’m looking forward to 2016, a brand new year that will be spent in an entirely different country. So many projects and things to do, I don’t even know where to start! The first month of the year will be devoted to planning for the year and beginning smaller projects like perma gardening, jump starting my youth groups, women’s club, and Neighborhood Health Committees (NHCs), and cleaning up my hut and compound, which is now covered in overgrown grass due to the copious amount of rain that we’ve been receiving in Northwestern Province.

November 2015

Drum roll, please … Community Entry completed! 3 months have passed since we were sworn in as Peace Corps Volunteers, after our intense 3 month Pre-Service Training, and the final month of Community Entry proved to be just as busy and jam-packed as the first two for me.

The month started off with a bang with the Malaria Bike Tour, a program comprised of all 5 Peace Corps Volunteers in our district here in Mufumbwe. (Read all about it here). And smack dab in the middle of the program itself was my individual site visit from Peace Corps program staff. The purpose of site visits is check up on volunteers out in the bush to see if we’re still alive and doing well. If we are, then they proceed to see how everything is going with work, day to day life, safety and security issues, medical problems, and anything else we want staff to know about. The Peace Corps program staff also take these opportunities to visit provincial and/or district offices, checking in with updates and further strengthening their relationships with one another. My site visit went well; we started off meeting with the District Health Office (DHO) and proceeded to my little hut to finish the rest of the check-in. As soon as we finished, a huge storm came out of nowhere, which was lucky for me because I ended up getting a cruiser ride back into town to meet up with the others for the rest of the bike tour.

The middle of the month was routine work: health centre three days a week, my women’s club, three youth clubs, and computer literacy lessons each once a week, and a bunch of meetings littered throughout. My Malaria & Bednet Check Champions submitted their work for Peace Corps Zambia’s “10,000 Bednet Check Challenge,” and I’m super happy to say that all that hard work planning and implementing that training truly paid off. Altogether, the 12 trained community leaders visited a total of 823 households, checked and verified 1,018 LLINs (long-lasting insecticidal nets) were being used properly, and helped hang 224 unused LLINs. In addition, a total of 1,740 villagers were given health education talks on Malarial transmission, prevention, testing, and treatment. 1,018/10,000 (10%!) bednet checks in just one little catchment area in all of Zambia. I’m super proud of everyone because of their hard work and dedication in helping our catchment area fight Malaria by increasing bednet usage and cultivating a culture of malaria education and awareness, and therefore, decreasing the number of Malaria cases in our district and province.

The last week of Community Entry was a different and new experience for all of us newbies because we got to attend our first Provincial Meeting. Provs, as the cool kids call them, happen twice per calendar year, once in June and again in November. In a nutshell, every volunteer in each respective province gets together and meets with Peace Corps administrative staff, Peace Corps Volunteer Leaders (PCVLs), and Volunteer Advisory Committee (VAC) representatives for updates and announcements. There are VAC elections for new representatives every year, and yours truly was elected and will be representing Northwestern province in 2016. VAC representatives serve as liaisons between Peace Corps Volunteers and Peace Corps administrative staff on issues, concerns, and/or questions that may come up during their service. Peace Corps Volunteers submit Volunteer Concern Forms (VCFs) regarding these issues, concerns, and/or questions, and VAC representatives throughout the country meet twice every year with staff to address VCFs. This advocacy role will allow me to serve in an different capacity during the next two years, working with peers and staff and improving Peace Corps service in Zambia for current and future volunteers while simultaneously completing my current responsibilities as a Health Extension Agent. Besides updates, announcements, and the VAC election, we also plan provincial wide programs like Camp GLOW (girls empowerment program) and Camp ELITE (boys leadership program), clean the provincial house, and for our November meeting, cook and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner together. Reuniting with friends from my intake and swapping Community Entry stories with each other was very enjoyable, and although it was a bit overwhelming with so many people in one place at one time, it was really nice to meet everyone in the province finally. Oh, and I chipped my tooth, and I’m sexy now.

All in all, I think Community Entry was a good experience for me. I met a lot of people and learned and accomplished a lot of things. As in any new job back home in the states, learning how to adjust and adapt was a bit difficult in the beginning, and to be honest, there were even days where I felt like throwing in the towel and heading back home to the Bay Area. But, when I challenged myself to go out there and utilize what I’d learn during training, specifically language, and meet as many people as I possibly could, all with a good, positive attitude, I noticed that things started to change, and I started feeling more comfortable and welcomed. Once that was taken care of, everything else just fell into place, one at a time. Presentations, groups, and projects and programs came and went as these three months went by. In retrospect, I think the thing that truly helped change my view on everything, especially on frustrating days, was waking up and making the decision to have a good, positive attitude and outlook for the day (after taking my Malaria prophylaxis, of course). It may sound cheesy or simple-minded, but out here, in the middle of nowhere in a different continent, country, culture, lifestyle, etc., etc., a cheesy or simple-minded concept can be a game changer. Of course there were still days where I wanted punch my hut to the ground, but I’ve learned that on those days, cooking a nice dinner calms me down (I think chopping veggies gets the frustration out of me) and chocolate a good book afterwards definitely come in real handy.

Now that Community Entry is over, we move on to more training in the capital, Lusaka, for two weeks in December, called In-Service Training (IST). IST allows us to send two counterparts from our catchment area to come and learn alongside us on topics like Project Design and Management, HIV/AIDS, and Perma Gardening, in hopes of implementing projects and programs together in the new year. This is also a great way to provide our counterparts the opportunity to travel and get trained on topics that can help their specific communities, with or without a Peace Corps Volunteer present. Enter sustainability! Once IST is over, we can choose to head back to our villages or take our first vacation for the holidays. Since this is the first time we’re allowed to take a break (vacation is prohibited during both Pre-Service Training and Community Entry), a group of us have chosen the latter; we’ll be spending Christmas in Malawi, and work will resume when we get back to our villages in the new year.

My Hut

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Here it is! After collecting and/or buying all the necessary resources in September (river sand, cement, lime, twine, paint, paintbrushes, buckets, a wheelbarrow, some shovels, hoes, and trowels), we began working on my hut’s little facelift.

First, we traveled via ox-cart about 5k further into the bush from my hut to collect river sand. Once we got to the site, we used shovels and hoes to break up and scoop the river sand from the ground and filled up the ox-cart with a good sized mound. We transported the sand back home and unloaded it right onto my lawn, where it stayed put for about a week before we started working on the hut. My neighbor, Morgan, host brother, Benson, and his friend, Chico, all came at 6:00 on a very early Saturday morning, and we enjoyed some jasmine green tea (they never had it before and liked the way it tasted) before plastering began.

The task of plastering the walls of the hut involved the mound of river sand, two pockets of cement, a copious amount of water, and a bunch of farming tools, including the wheelbarrow, shovels, trowels, and buckets. The river sand and cement were first mixed together with water in the wheelbarrow and transferred to the buckets. It was super exhausting, especially as the mixture thickened by the minute. Once the mixture was ready, we used the trowels and began applying it to the walls, smoothing it out here and there. Plastering took us the entire morning, taking a lunch break from 1200-1300, but we finished well before supper.

After waiting a couple of days for the plaster to dry, the lime coating task began. Preparing the lime mixture was much easier than the plastering mixture; we just added water to the lime powder, using the recommended ratio and mixed it until it was ready to use. Paintbrushes in hand, my host brother, Jordan, and I spent two days applying the lime coat; it was a longer task than I projected it to be.

The lime coat dried almost instantly, but because of work and my Malaria and Bednet Check Training, painting the hut was put on hold for a few days, but on the following week, on a Saturday morning, I prepared the paint and began the paint job, using twine and sticks to partition the break between lime coat and yellow paint. Painting took three days, since I was doing it all by myself, but the hard work paid off because I absolutely love the end result.

Next on the home improvement front: interior painting of the hut and fixing up, plastering, lime coating, and painting my kinzanza (outdoor kitchen). Here’s me cooking rice and duck eggs in the current kinzanza!

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5 Things I’ll Miss this Holiday Season

1. Running the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot with my sister

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We started this brother-sister tradition back in 2010, getting up super early, grabbing Starbucks, and heading downtown, only to be corralled like cattle into groups based on our running times. Every year, I’d wave goodbye first and start off with the other 10k runners, and we’d rendezvous at the finish line, after she finished her 5k race. As if the race itself wasn’t enough, we would rush to stuff our free goodie bags with as many bananas, protein bars, and water bottles as we could. Mom always likes it when we come home with free stuff. Before heading home, we’d take our obligatory brother-sister photo in our official Turkey Trot shirts. Always such a fun time and great way to start off Thanksgiving Day. It made us feel less guilty when we stuffed our faces later on at dinner. 4 years in a row so far, now with a 2-year break in between, but we’ll come back strong in 2017, I’m sure!

2. Watching the Thanksgiving Holiday Parade while eating pho

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One of the best things about running the Turkey Trot so early in the morning is that by the time we get back home, Mom is always putting her finishing touches on pho. For those who don’t know or haven’t had it, pho is a traditional Vietnamese dish; rice noodles in a beef or chicken broth with a whole bunch of yummy stuff in it, basically. Once showering from the race was complete, Mom would prepare us a big, steaming hot bowl of pho, and we would sit down and enjoy it just in time to watch the Thanksgiving Holiday Parade. My guilty pleasure each year? Watching all the marching bands coming down the line and playing holiday music and reminiscing about my own band geek days.

3. Thanksgiving Dinner

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Turkey. Ham. Stuffing. Mashed potatoes and gravy. Deviled eggs. Green bean casserole. Chicken casserole. Buttered corn. Buttered peas. Buttered green beans. Butter, butter, butter. Pumpkin pie. Apple pie. Whipped cream. I could go on and on, folks.

4. Holiday get-togethers with friends

Get-togethers with the boys were a never a dull time, especially during the holidays. A handful of friends lived far from their families, and as a group we’d always gather so that everyone would get a chance to celebrate the holidays with loved ones. I’ll miss the potluck extravaganzas, boardgames, countless photos, and out-on-the-town shenanigans, but I’m more than positive they’ll still be there when I get back!

5. Christmas with the family

My favorite time of the year. Dinner on Christmas Eve is always a revisit of Thanksgiving dinner, but with a bajillion more items: hot pot (a piping hot fondue for raw seafood and vegetables), crab, oysters, fried rice, chow mein, jap chae, and a variety of che, Vietnamese tapioca-type desserts, just to name a few. Everyone in the family gets together and eats, drinks, sings karaoke, plays cards and games, and has a great time together until midnight. At midnight, everyone gathers around the tree opens presents together. We usually call it a night around 2:00am, only to do it all over again on Christmas Day, only this time, someone gets assigned to accompany Grandma to church in the morning. Oh, and if I’m super lucky, sometimes my two best friends make cameo appearances and join in all the holiday family fun.

October 2015

The second month of my 3-month community entry period proved to be very productive in more ways than one. And as each week passed, I felt more and more at home, settling into a groove with work, projects, and home life. It’s also really nice hearing my actual name on the bush paths of the villages I pass on foot or on bicycle, instead of “muzungu,” “chindeli,” or “Ba’China,” name-calling that I’ve been struggling with since I got here.

On the workfront, I continued to meet as many community members as I could in each of my six catchment area zones, attending meetings and doing community presentations. Working at the health centre three days a week in the mornings gets me up and starting my day early. Tuesdays are usually the busiest day of the week for us, with Under 5 Clinic. For the past handful of months, even before I came, there was an issue with vaccinations for the children; our health centre’s solar panels couldn’t support and operate a fridge to house the vaccinations and since our District Health Office (DHO) is 15k (roughly 9 miles) away, transporting the vaccinations every Tuesday turned out to be a challenge for both the health centre and the DHO. In short, imagine every under 5 child in a catchment area of over 5,400 people, including newborns coming in at 19 newborns per week (that’s almost 80 brand-spanking new babies), not receiving any immunizations. Huge problem, huh? I really wanted to do something about this issue, thinking of the children and families affected. With a lot of trips on bicycle back and forth to meet with the DHO in late September and early October, the health centre leadership, staff, and I were able to work out a temporary solution, and immunizations were administered to over 200 children in just three Tuesdays in October; the last Tuesday we saw 94 children! Such an exhausting day! In additions to immunizations, we also weigh the children and update paperwork, including Birth Cards, which show growth of the children over a span of 5 years (similar to our First 5 program back in the states). Wednesdays are Family Planning Clinic days, where I do health education sessions on family planning methods (in Zambia, options include condoms, contraceptive pills, 2-month or 3-month injections, and 5-year implants) and condom demonstrations (with both male and female condoms). And Thursdays with Antenatal Clinic, I support the health centre staff with teaching mothers (and fathers, at times) about Safe Motherhood, The First 1,000 Days, birth planning, and proper child nutrition and healthy food preparation. When the staff are tending to the mothers’ check-ups, I ready their medication, including Fansidar, a Malarial prophylaxis and do weight checks and blood pressure checks.

In addition to work at the health centre, I implemented and finished my first big project with community members here in the catchment: Malaria and Bednet Check Training. (Read all about it here). Very excited to see the results from the training when the Malaria Champions turn in their work this week. Another project that started in October began with meeting with two Neighborhood Health Committees (NHCs) in Chalimbana and Yamakwakwa zones and goal-setting for the new year. Both NHCs want to become an official registered organization with the district, as well as opening up bank accounts with the district bank, which means a lot of training and work is coming down the pipelines for us. With the Yamakwakwa Women’s Club, a registered community organization, thanks to the previous Peace Corps Volunteer before me (shout-out to Amy!), our first project together will be opening up a bank account for the club, so that the women can apply for assistance with the Ministry of Community Development to help them with their club activities. And last, with new community counterparts, the establishment of two new Youth Clubs in Chalimbana and Mutoma are in the works; their goal is to learn about and implement income-generating activities, a skill that will help them with current group activities, as well as their own livelihood in the future.

Also, work with the schools continued strong in October. Kamabuta Youth Club met every week in October, despite Grade 7’s having their end of term examinations. Our sessions this month focused on PACA (Participatory Analysis for Community Action) and HIV/AIDS. My computer literacy lessons with the Grade 8’s at Kifuwe Basic School continued with teaching the students about word processing and spreadsheets. Just having theoretical lessons and not having enough computers for practical learning is turning out to be very problematic, but Mr. Shimishi, Grade 8’s computer teacher, and I are doing the best with what we’ve got. I think it’s time to think outside the box to come up with solutions that will allow the students some more realistic computer learning. Grassroots Soccer for both the boys and girls in Lubilo are currently on hold, due to a death in one of my counterpart’s family. I’m hoping they’ll pick up again in the new year.

In other news, at home, I finally finished plastering, lime coating, and painting the exterior of my hut! It took all of September to secure the supplies and resources, and a total of two weeks in October to finish everything. I’m SUPER happy how everything turned out. It’s great to finally come home to something inviting and comforting. It really does help, especially after the long, exhausting, hot season days. Pictures to come soon!

And last, but not least, all 5 Peace Corps Volunteers in our district finally got together for the first time for our first BOMA Night (nights where all of us travel into the district town to hang out, cook, eat, play board games, watch movies, and relax together) on the last day of the month, just in time to celebrate Halloween! Super fun and a great way to end a productive and memorable month. One more month of Community Entry to go, and it’s time for a long-awaited reunion with my fellow cohort and friends in December for training in the capital, Lusaka!

Malaria 140k Bike Tour

Last week, all 5 Peace Corps Volunteers in the Mufumbwe District of Zambia’s Northwestern Province (Aubrey, Chad, Kat, MarMar, and yours truly) finished a Malaria Bike Tour, stretching 140k from one side of the district to the other. Along the way, stops were made at schools where a Malaria Day was held, complete with health education stations, teaching youth and community members about Malaria transmission, prevention, testing, and treatment. And of course, songs, dancing, games, and activities were littered throughout each Malaria Day. A total of 5 stops were made, reaching 5 schools, and over 500 youth and community members.

It was such an exhausting, yet truly rewarding program. Not only were we able to reach over 500 youth and community members, we were able to showcase and increase visibility for the Peace Corps program throughout our district; something that I think is vital for work in our individual catchment areas and for the overall mission of Peace Corps. On another note, all 5 of us were able to bond as a group and create new friendships and memories with each other, which is always a wonderful thing.

I highly recommend both current and future Peace Corps Volunteers to get together with other volunteers and plan and implement a Bike Tour in their own district. The health topic can be Malaria, just like we’ve done here in Mufumbwe, or some other health topic pertinent to your province, district, and/or community. We plan on doing another Bike Tour in the future with more stops and a new health topic in the future, ourselves. Good luck and have fun! Oh, and here are some photos!

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Side Selfie

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Cover Photo

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Dillan Kitungu

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NWP Kaondes 2015

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