Hello to my beautiful family and friends! I have been in the village for about a month, I'm sorry to be so out of touch. My cell phone service is spotty, I climb an ant hill to make and receive phone calls. My days are long, but the weeks are flying by. I love my work at the clinic and teaching at the school, traveling with friends, the sky. Things are slow in the village, which is alright unless it concerns my hut door and roof. I am learning patience, I am finding my voice, I am learning my strength. Testing my strength more than I could have ever imagined. Zambia is changing me every day, pushing me to grow up quickly. My best friend at the clinic is named Judy, and on slow days I sit and talk with her, Vivian (the HIV psychosocial counselor) and the nurses (who work day and night because there is no doctor at the clinic) and eat fruits called masuku. My clinic consists mostly of community health workers who come from far away villages and get paid next to nothing.
I give health talks to pregnant mothers on HIV testing, malaria prevention, and proper nutrition during their pregnancy and for their children. I have spoken to students about setting goals, both finding and being role models, and about gender roles. That boys and girls can BOTH do anything they want to do. I have begun to work with a women's group, and we are hoping to begin making citenge clothing to sell at the market and in our village. I will begin working with an AIDS club at the school next week. I splatter painted my hut, but the rains have put brown stains on my colorful walls. Zambia is teaching me to let go, completely and totally. Things take time, and it's finding peace in the long processes that is the key. I love and miss you all, and I can't wait to hear from you!