My Dam Absence


14 Feb 2012 | Magalela , (-17.2983, 26.08541)

It recently came to my attention that I have been a little unmotivated after my dam project was literally washed away last November. As a result, I have not really kept up with my photos or blog and I apologize for that. Talking about it with other volunteers has helped so I thought I would share what I know with you:

On November 10th Rasa and I took a trip to Northwest Province. At that point the rains were already two weeks late and the dam was a month behind schedule. Events like funerals, a summons from the chief, school board meetings and just made the completion date impossible to keep. Plus, it was hard to press people on the importance of beating the rains when it is THEIR project, I could only advise. The rains came the weekend of Thanksgiving and I was not in the village to oversee the big test. From what I was told, the dam height was level with the ground but was still missing 30cm of safety freeboard and the level was right at the top. The spillway was unfinished but large enough to allow the volume of to bypass the dam. All was holding until a log came swashing down the creek and hit the dam, wedging itself on top. It was enough to allow a small trickle of over the top, turning into a torrent and wiping out three months of work in 30 minutes. We will try again next season.

This is the result of not finishing before the rains hit. The village lost about three months of work but were determined to finish this dam before I finish my service in May 2013.

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The Faces of Zambia


17 Jan 2012 | Magalela Village, (-17.3014, 26.0948)

From a photographer’s point of view, the subjects are amazing and I love around the village taking pictures of each interesting person.  Personally, this is only possible because I know each of them, or at the very least have spent some time talking to them.  But these are the people of my village, in which, we are now considered family.  Having lived there a year, and I now stare with the villagers when someone new passes through.  We are no longer the ones being stared at.
All very interested in what I am doing.

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Moving-In to our new home


11 Jan 2012 | Magalela Village, (-17.3014, 26.0948)

First, let me start off by saying I am sorry for not posting a blog.  Besides admitting to being lazy, I have also been much more interested in using what precious electricity we have to catch up on the news and do research for our projects.  Second, this blog marks a new format for what I will be doing.  There will still be photos (five verses seven) but I am trying to add a bit more context to them so you will know a bit better what has been happening.  Lastly, I will be going way back to May of last year to recap our first couple of days in the village.

After 12 weeks of training, and I have finally arrived in the village.  Should I say it was anti-climactic? Well, almost because it was harvest season and there was really no one around.  I would say it was more of a relief to finally be on our own schedule and not relentless activity merry-go-round of tasks.  We were home and glad to be there during a quiet time of the year.

Not much to our humble abode now but we just ordered furniture so we should be all settled in soon.

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Swearing-In


06 May 2011 | Kabulonga, Lusaka, Zambia (-15.4194, 28.3487)

I am so sorry about the month-long delay in getting this blog post out (and answering email); both of our computers succumbed to the elements within a week of each other and I just now got one up and running.  The other is still packed in a bag waiting for a new brain.  (If anyone had an old SATA hard , I would be very appreciative if you could send us an early Christmas present!) Now on to the post…

I cannot believe I made it through another Peace Corps Pre-Service Training (PST) successfully AND I actually passed my test at the end! We were all relieved to be finished with the exams (there were two others in technical and health) so we celebrated by cooking an American for our host family and meeting the U.S. Ambassador and Chieftainess during swearing-in.

Here is Heather dishing out mashed potatoes from the mother of all pots.  thing it was so big because the locals loved them!

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Animals


24 Apr 2011 | Munda Wanga Game Reserve, Lusaka, Zambia (-15.5606, 28.2709)

For our second to last week of training, we finally had some fun; we took a field trip completely unrelated to work.  Well, I guess there were still trees there and we had to listen to a lecture but after that it was animals and waterslides.
A Waterbuck as he sticks his tongue at me.

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