Mother’s Day: Grief and Joy

May 12, 2013 § 1 Comment

Today was a happy Mother’s Day. We had brunch at home, played together outside with Nathaniel and our dog Higgins, and I dabbled in oil painting while my guys napped. We all watched a movie together while I finished some knitting. The day was wonderful, especially on the heels of a huge birthday party for Nathaniel the day before.

Mother’s Day hasn’t always been a happy holiday. I cried through the holiday the last three years.
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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.




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.



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.


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


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


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


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!


Long Weekend

March 28, 2013 § Leave a comment


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.

My Role as a Woman (in Honor of International Women’s Day)

March 8, 2013 § 5 Comments

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day as a national public holiday here in Zambia.

Since becoming a mother last June, I have been contemplating my role as woman and what that means for my identity, my family, and my work.

Growing up, my Dad was the sole breadwinner and my Mom worked to take care of our home. She home-schooled my brother and I through high school. I’m forever grateful to both my parents for their sacrifices for my education, well-being, and spiritual upbringing.

I had my own ideas about what being a woman would look like, which in my mind was the same as being a mother. « Read the rest of this entry »

Long Holiday Weekends

May 28, 2012 § Leave a comment


Memorial Day Commemoration 2008

Memorial Day Commemoration 2008 (Photo credit: davidyuweb)

This past Friday, we celebrated Africa Freedom Day in Zambia. Today, we are joining with our home country of America and remembering the members of our armed forces that have fallen for our country. We are forever grateful for your sacrifice.


Happy Birthday, My Love!

May 22, 2012 § 4 Comments

Today marks the second birthday that Ben has celebrated in Africa and 29 years of his life. This is a short tribute to mwamuna wanga (my husband):



Happy birthday, my love!

I love that we live in Africa together,

I love that we go on adventures together (Italy, New York, England, Costa Rica, Zambia, Botswana, Chelan…)

I love that we cook together (Chef & Sous Chef),

I love that we play games and do puzzles together (but I will still try to beat your bottom at Scrabble!),

I love that we read together and discuss theology,

You are my favorite!

Here’s to as many days as the Lord would give us together!


All my love,

Mkazi Wanga

Christmas and birthday happenings

January 2, 2012 § 3 Comments

Now, to be completely honest, I just don’t like Christmas that much. It feels full of hype, materialism, and obligations (some of which I enjoy, some of which I don’t). In the Christian community it’s considered sacrilegious to say such things. I’m supposed to enjoy the “magic of the season” and celebrate Jesus’ birthday. The Bible never mandates that we celebrate Jesus birth at Christmas or any other time. In fact, it was originally a pagan feast that the Christians took over (see THIS ARTICLE from Mark Driscoll). In addition to this my birthday is 2 days after Christmas and so it sometimes feels lost in the celebration. Growing up, my friends were often away for the holidays and so we couldn’t celebrate with them. My family, however, always tried to be conscientious of the day (thanks, fam!).

All that to say, I was glad that we could escape for Christmas and my birthday this year. All I wanted was to spend my birthday on a beach.

Beach at Siavonga, Zambia

So we borrowed Ben’s boss’ camping gear and headed 3 hours south to Siavonga town on Lake Kariba. It was a perfect locale for us and full of adventure. Each day was something like this: eat, read, play scrabble, swim, read, eat, sleep. We even swam in the water for the first 3 days until we saw a crocodile. Then we stuck to the pool at the lodge.


The first 3 days we camped on the beach and cooked over a small charcoal stove. I felt like such a big girl being the one to plan our meals and cook our food while we camped. Mama, I missed your famous spaghetti and thai lettuce wraps!

Cooking dinner

Sunset shot

On my birthday, we ventured outside the camp and went to visit a local crocodile farm. There was literally thousands of crocodiles from eggs in the incubator all the way up to 80-year-old males.


Baby crocs eating their dinner

We also traveled to the border to view the Kariba Dam at the Zimbabwean border. We got the dam tour, we read plenty of dam facts, and saw a lot of dam sites. Ok, I’ll stop now.


Welcome to Zimbabwe!

Kariba Dam

Zambezi river

There are no safety features (like, at all) on the dam except for this small sign. We took note and didn’t lean over the wall.

Warning for all

When we came back to the camp and had to move into the lodge for the night as a huge windstorm blew our tent over. Now we know why Jesus said not to build your house on the sand. Case in point. I had a dinner of chicken and chips and the lodge surprised me with a birthday cake and birthday gift! We missed our families but were thankful for some good holiday and birthday celebrations.

Surprise Birthday Cake



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