Easter Weekend 2013

April 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

We had a lovely Easter and 4 day holiday weekend. We went out to the mall almost every day so that Nathaniel could practice walking. Although the mall isn’t my husband’s favorite, it is the perfect place for Nathaniel to practice walking on a big flat open surface.

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He even got to drive his favorite little electric “motocar” as a treat. He always says he wants the “jumping castle” then changes his mind at the last-minute when he see this beauty.

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We had a lovely Easter church service at our home church where we had a Passover seder celebration and enjoyed lovely food with our dearest friends (and their guests) in Lusaka. The kids with special needs ran around and had a nice time finding Easter eggs hidden around the yard. The older typical developing kids helped them out. It was a nice pairing.

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Nathaniel was so excited his chewy tube fell out of his mouth!

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His friend Isaac helped his find his eggs. Mama wasn’t needed.

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Joab and Andrew quickly tired of looking for eggs and took a minute to rest.

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Now that Sam is 18, he was WAY too busy texting and calling on his pretend phone to busy himself with an egg hunt.Easter-Weekend10

 

In the busyness of the day (I cooked 25 home-made latkes and made a big green salad. Latkes are way more work than you think.) we neglected to get a picture together even though we all looked great. I’m hoping you can imagine how handsome and pretty we looked. Higgins included. We are sending our love back to our family and friends at home!

 

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Long Weekend

March 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Twin Palm Road, Lusaka

It is the beginning of a four-day weekend here in Zambia. Yes, you read that right. Four. day. weekend. Good Friday and Easter Mondays are national holidays in this Christian nation. Adding to that joy is that my husband has returned from the Great Blue Yonder of the Luapula province of Zambia and has been returned to the loving arms of his family. We are taking some time off this weekend to be together and enjoy the Easter celebration as a family. Wishing you a lovely holiday and restful weekend.

This is Zambia: What’s in my mobile nursing kit?

March 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

I first visited Africa in 2006 with World Outreach Mission Fellowship in Uganda. I assisted with a few medical bush camps and had my first exposure to nursing outside of the US.

After another medical mission trip to Uganda and working as a nurse in Zambia for a year and half, I have gotten good use of my mobile nursing kit. Like many nurses, I often get calls to come look at a sick or injured person day or night and so I always keep the kit available to me. For those that are curious, I thought I would share what I keep in my nursing kit.

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Medical kit and water/sharps bottle

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{This is Zambia: Post by the Husband} Wonderful Waterfalls

March 25, 2013 § 1 Comment

Zambia is famous for Victoria Falls, and rightly so.  However, there are some other equally impressive waterfalls in this country.  I traveled north to Luapula Province, about 1,100 km from Lusaka, for work this past week.  Since I was in the neighborhood, I decided to visit two of Zambia’s most spectacular waterfalls: Lumangwe and Kabwelume.  It is the middle of the rainy season, thus the falls were full and powerful.   However, this meant that the roads were fairly bad, so our journey from Kawambwa to the site took about 1 and a half hours.  We were greeted at the site by Joseph, the park warden, who eagerly offered to show us around.  We started with Lumangwe.

Lumangwe is 100 meters across and 30 meters high, and is most often compared to Victoria Falls.  What made this waterfall so impressive is the fact that one is able to walk to the bottom and stand on a dock in the pool about 15 meters from the curtain.  It was awe-inspiring to see sheets of water pounding into the pound so close to me.  A fine mist filled the air, and waves reminiscent of the ocean swirled around.  Check out this video which I took from the dock in the pool:

After admiring Lumangwe, we headed to the 2nd of the falls: Kabwelume.  We took a poor road for 5km and arrived at the site.  The 300m path to the falls was in good repair, with two new bridges that were good-looking and provided secure footing over small streams.  There was one 10m section which was flooded, but not to fear: Joseph had me hop on for a piggy back ride, and we made it across just fine.  We finally reached the falls, a spectacle well-worth my long trip.  The falls are 75 meters across and 40 meters high, and they fall over a series of 5-6 curtains and levels.  Some say that this is the most beautiful falls in Zambia, and I would not dispute the claim.  You can judge for yourself:

After viewing the falls, we started back to Kawambwa.  By this time, it was getting late, and the rains started to fall heavily.  At times, I could hardly see the road in front of the vehicle as a wall of water poured down around us; even with a slow speed, we were sliding all over the sloppy road.  And every few minutes, the entire sky would illuminate with lightening.  With the waterfalls, rain, and lightening, I felt as if I was living in Psalm 42:7:

“Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.”

Thankfully, we made it through the storm and back to the tarmac, at which point my driver said, “We are safe!”

Giving to Get?

March 14, 2013 § 13 Comments

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Kalingalinga Sunset

Being in Africa and working in the NGO world has awoken me to the realities of development work. The truth is that the work is inexplicably tied to the money. It costs money to feed orphans and take care of vulnerable children (speaking of which, have you SPONSORED A CHILD yet?). It costs money to build schools and provide supplies so that children can learn and teachers can have a salary. It costs money to buy medicines and supplies for the sick.

In addition to private or public funds, this has caused many organizations to start income generating activities. An example would be local Africans who make jewelry, clothes, or purses and attempt to sell them in order to gain a profit. Most of the times, these items are marketed towards Westerners to purchase. The items are either sold in country and marketed to tourists or shipped out and sold in America or other developed nations. « Read the rest of this entry »

This is Zambia: How to Wear a Baby in a Chitenge

March 13, 2013 § 7 Comments

Last week, I posted on Instagram (follow me @lauramenenberg) about how Nathaniel needed to be close so I put him on my back with the chitenge. We did this a lot when he first came home, as well as with our ERGO baby carrier. Due to popular request (specifically my high school friend Lucy), I have done a tutorial on how to wear your baby in a chitenge.

Chitenges (2 meter pieces of colorful African fabric) are used for almost everything in a Zambian woman’s life. Most commonly, they are used as a skirt wrap to protect clothing when working or traveling, to carry a baby, as a cushion to carry goods on the head, or to make a dress suit.

Wearing your baby on your back in a chitenge is an easy, inexpensive, and intimate way to wear your baby. You can also easily shift the baby to the front for being seated or breastfeeding. Women usually start wearing a baby in a chitenge when the baby is around a few months old. Initially, a grandmother or auntie will help the mother to hold the baby on the back while the chitenge is tied. Eventually as the baby grows, the baby “gets used” (used to it) and will hold on while the mother ties the chitenge.

I borrowed our maid’s son Elijah for this exercise, as it’s a bit easier to demonstrate with him than with my almost 40lb son!

 Step 1: Bend over and place the baby on your back with the legs and arms facing towards your front.

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How YOU Can Help the Least of These: Sponsor a Child with Special Needs

March 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

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In honor of Zambian Youth Day, I want to highlight an easy way for you to help a child here in Zambia:

Sponsor a child with special needs.

Maybe you’re reading this and dreaming of living in Africa yourself. Maybe you want to teach your children about giving. Maybe you are waiting to adopt a child and are looking at other ways to help. Maybe you are looking for a good organization to give a charitable donation. Maybe you are tired of living for yourself, your own children, and your own well-being and want to give to someone who doesn’t have as much as you do. Maybe you have a special needs child and know the extra challenges involved in special needs parenting.

Sponsor a child with special needs.
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