Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Night Out

Isaac and his family met a fabulous Zambian couple named Lottie (La-ti) and Julian when Lottie was doing his pediatric residency outside of Cincinnati several years ago.  Lottie and Julian have since moved back to Lusaka, but their families have kept in touch.  When they heard that we were coming over for a visit, they were so excited. Lottie and Julian's two girls are Tite (4) and Lumba (1), and they were excited to meet Uncle Isaac. They had us over for dinner last night, along with three other Zambian families.  We had a fabulous time and didn't get home until after 10:00.  That's late around here...real late!

We saw how the Zambian 1% live last night, and I mean that with all the respect in the world.  They live in a beautiful community with gorgeous modern houses and fabulous lawns.  Any American would jump at the chance to live there.  Besides Lottie being a pediatric infectious diseases specialist, Julian is a nurse, and then there was a pastor, lawyer, two auditors, an electrical engineer, and stay at home mom in the group.  Wow.  The men went out back to grill the meat (a grill is called a brii here), and the women chatted in the kitchen. Some things are the same no matter where you go.  :)

After we ate, I ended back up in the kitchen with three of the kids.  Mwitu (14) and Tonga (12) are  sister and brother and their dad is the pastor.  They lived in Mississippi for three years while their dad was in seminary, so they've seen America and get that it's not perfect.  Mutale is Lottie's cousin who lives with them since her parents died 2 years ago.  She's the same age as Mwitu, and boy, howdy, can those two talk up a storm!  Mutale desperately wants to come to America, but Mwitu quickly told her that it's not perfect there, just like it's not perfect in Zambia.  It sounds better coming from a Zambian teen who knows both than it does from me.  I think the four of us talked for about two hours about everything from how to deal with a hot temper to unreasonable teachers to DisneyWorld.  Mutale said she'd never met a muzungu (white person) who wanted to spend time with her before.  Mwitu asked her if the white people she had met were South African, and they were.  Yet another time this week the racism from SA came up.  Mwitu explained that there's racism in America, but that most Americans she knows love Zambia and her people.  I hope she's right.  I figure if she can say that after 3 years in MS, we're doing ok...not perfect, but ok.  Again, better coming from her than from me.  Our chat made me miss our Sunday School kids so much. 

We were so spoiled and loved on last night, and I know it was good for Isaac to be with familiar people after a week of getting to know strangers.  It's hard being the odd man out; I remember from last trip.  Now I have even more friends here than originally, so Isaac's had to play catch-up.  
It was way past late-o'clock at this point.  Excuse tired faces.

Tonga, Mwuitu, Baby Lumba, and Mutale

Today we went to church with Kevin and Matlidah and Ty and then out to Arcades for lunch and craft market shopping.  I could seriously buy the whole market but there's never a way to get it all home.  Isaac has his eye on these 4 foot tall giraffe statues.  Bubble wrap and duct tape and call it a checked bag?!  I have a feeling we'll end up with a family of various sized giraffe statues before we leave.  We already had another huge painting, a drum, a teak wood globe, a quilt for my mom (assuming I don't claim it-it's gorgeous), and chitenge (fabric).  It's fascinating seeing the artisans working on pieces as we shop. 

Tonight, one of our Sunday School kids sent us a video that was made in class this morning.  We miss those kids!  Hopefully we'll be back in 2015 with some of them and their families!  There are no words to describe how much I would love to share Zambia with them!

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