Friday, 29 January 2016

96 hours and counting...

The rainy season is now in full swing here. This is great news for people living in the rural community who rely on the rains in order to grow maize, the staple food. Over the last few weeks I’ve experienced some of the loudest storms that I have ever heard! The thunder and lightning were very dramatic.

You never know how deep the puddles are until you drive through them!

On Saturday night, a storm raged and took down part of the wall around the compound where we live, as well as the transformer. This means that we’ve had no power for four whole days. That's 96 hours so far…

The wall which was damaged by the storm

I normally love weekends, but a whole Sunday of pouring rain and no power increased our sense of isolation here. At home, it would be pretty easy to pop round to a friend's or carry on with 'normal' life. But here when your laptop battery dies, it's dark and you don't have much food that can be cooked on a gas ring, there really isn't much to do. Feeling ill that morning with a sore throat and headache probably made me feel a bit more sorry for myself than usual!

In truth, these things don't often bother me very much. In fact, power cuts, water shortages and other frustrations have become part of the daily life that I'm now used to and have even come to (mostly) enjoy! Nevertheless, there are some occasions when it does just feel incredibly annoying.

I then remind myself that I live near many people who have no access to electricity at all, and yet I’m getting frustrated when my phone runs out of battery. Some people in Kaniki and the surrounding areas don’t have enough to eat, and here I am wondering how long my freezer food will last. I remind myself that we can’t always choose what life throws at us, but we can choose how we respond. As the saying goes, ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!’.

Hot chocolate and ice cream makes everything better!

I am so grateful for friends here who have invited us for dinner, to use their shower or do our laundry at their houses this week! I’m very grateful that we do often have access to electricity and we always have enough water to survive. I’m glad I have a warm place to stay and food to eat. I’m thankful for family and for friends here in Zambia and in the UK. I thank God that I’m healthy and have the opportunity to live life to the full. I’m thankful that I am able to live abroad and do a ‘job’ that I love. I find that being grateful always helps to lift my mood.

Friends who have helped us during the power cut

Some of the Arise guardians have really inspired me in this way. When we've taken them gifts of food, they immediately thank God and then thank us. They are quick to kneel, which is a Zambian sign of respect, and show gratitude. Many of them give us big smiles despite desperate circumstances. 

Many of the people I've met here have inspired me
with their respect and gratitude

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