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!”

2013 – A new year and recap of the last few months

February 6, 2013 § 6 Comments

Happy New Year!
If anybody is still confused where we are, we are still living in Zambia and will be here for a bit longer. Here is a longer update to catch you up to speed on the Menenberg happenings!

October

Adoption Day at Court

The end of 2012 was a whirlwind for us. We celebrated Nathaniel coming home forever on 16 October, 2012 and we christened him with the name above. Now, he refuses to be called “Angelo” and always corrects people (including Daddy and Mama) to say “Eh-faniel.”

Throughout the whole adoption process, all of the major moments (Nathaniel coming home, our “Gotcha’ Day,” and getting our US visa) were completely last-minute, stressful, and taught us that God was in control the entire time.

On Tuesday 23 October, we received our travel visa for Nathaniel at 5pm – 4 hours before we were supposed to travel! We were so thankful to the US Embassy for making allowance for Nathaniel to travel back for his MRI and other medical appointments for his hydrocephalus. « Read the rest of this entry »

Four

July 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Here’s to 4 wonderful years being married to the love of my life, my best friend, and the father of my son!! I love you, Ben! Happy 4th anniversary, my darling husband.

Wedding Day! – Seattle, WA

1 year! – Whidbey Island, WA

2 years! – Orcas Island, WA

3 Years! – San Diego, California

4 Years! – Lusaka, Zambia

{The last photo was from our last childless night together and an early anniversary celebration at (the only) fancy restaurant in Lusaka. We’re still adjusting to being new parents. Whew! Parenting a child isn’t as easy as it looks! My parents just spent a week with us cooking and cleaning for us, which was a huge help – thanks Daddy and Mama!! Also, thank you to everyone for your love, support, and understanding as we adjust to being a family of 3.}

This is Zambia: Kitchen Party

June 12, 2012 § 12 Comments

This white girl can’t dance.

Exhibit A

And I had a paparazzi of Zambians with their cameras and smartphones trying to document the mzungu making a spectacle of herself.

The Bride

Happy

My Zambian neighbors invited to me to join them for a kitchen party for one of their relatives. Usually, a kitchen party is given in honor of a bride to prepare her for married life. Gifts are given for her household and especially the kitchen (think pots and pans, casserole dishes, utensils, dishes, etc.). Dancing is done as a way to show the bride how to behave in the bedroom to please her husband.

Learning to move my hips properly

To plan the party, a committee of close friends and relatives is started months ahead of time and is usually quite formal (I’m currently the secretary of another kitchen party planning committee. I take official minutes and read them back at meetings. Not. even. joking.). The committee forms a “mother’s parcel” gift that usually includes the larger items that are needed for a household such as refrigerator, stove, etc.

Having a good time!

At the party itself, it is often a large joyous event held for all the women in the bride’s community. The food will include Zambian cuisine such as chicken, rice, tomato and onion sauce, beans, and of course nshima.

Once all of the guests have arrived (a few hours after the starting time in concordance with Zambian time), the Matron will begin the introduction to the guests about the kitchen party. Historically, the matron was often an older relative or auntie of the bride. In modern times, this is often a woman hired for the position.

Finally, the bride emerges and the dancing begins, in order to entertain, honor, and teach her. All of the gifts are placed in the center and the matron calls on each gift giver to come and present their present to the bride. This is done with a big ceremony of laying down both ways on your side and doing a clapping motion to show respect. A dance is then performed. Of course, you have to have a chitenge (piece of African fabric) wrapped around you when dancing. Duh. When you have concluded, you then explain to the bride how to use the gift you have given to her.

Explaining the gift

After all of the gifts have been given, the groom is brought and the wife honors the husband by laying down in front of him in the same way. They then dance together. A chitenge may be tied around them to show how their lives are being tied together forever.

Showing respect

Together forever

Brett’s Visit to Zambia

April 10, 2012 § 2 Comments

We enjoyed having all of our female visitors but it was great having Brett inaugurate our guest room as the first male visitor in March. We had so much fun together! It was a quick visit but very valuable time to spend time with my “little” brother. Here are some of the highlights of the adventures we had together:

Jumping in the swimming hole

Taking the plunge!

The whole gang

On the Zambezi River

Here is a hipster in his natural habitat (he denies this, but he is wrong)

Elephant!

Giraffe!

Brother and sister in front of Victoria Falls

What a great visit! Bro, you are welcome back any time. Although you missed your girl so much I know you probably won’t want to leave again. (Thanks for letting us borrow him, Katie!). We love you!

6 Month Zambian Anniversary

March 15, 2012 § 5 Comments

Monday marked our 6 month anniversary of living in Zambia. It’s hard to believe it’s been 6 months. In fact, I missed posting this on the day itself because we were busy celebrating a national holiday (youth day? Yeah, we hadn’t heard of it either). The time has gone by slow at times and fast at others. We’ve learned so much, have great friends (both mzungus and Zambians), are official members of a wonderful church family, and enjoy adventures every day.

Then... headed to Uganda (June 2006)

Believe it or not, this picture was from before I had a digital camera. It was also one month before I would lay eyes on my handsome hunk of a husband. We met my first Wednesday back at youth group after I got back from this trip to Uganda. Little did I know, we would be moving to Africa a mere five years later!

Now... leaving for Zambia (September 2011)

The life we live here is not always easy, glamorous, or fun. Most of the time, it just feels like life. We have the same ups and downs, we both go to work, cook dinner, grocery shop. We are far from family and friends at home but we both know it’s where we’re supposed to be. We love the people and place of Africa and wouldn’t trade this time here for anything. Here’s to another 6 months in Zambia!

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