Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Goodbye Rosie

The person I’ve spent the most time with during the last two years in Zambia has been the lovely Rosie Loescher. We first met when I got off the plane in Ndola, having spent most of the flight vomiting. I’m sure I wasn’t very good company en route back to Kaniki but thankfully Rosie didn’t hold it against me. It turns out that she’s actually pretty good in a crisis situation.

Rosie and I in our first month in Zambia

Having spent the past two years volunteering with Arise and Kapumpe, Rosie is leaving Zambia and moving home to the UK today. I will definitely miss her, so I thought I’d share a few memories and anecdotes about her. Rosie talks a lot, so we make quite a pair of chatterboxes. She’s a drama queen and she knows it! She loves to tell stories and share information and the most bizarre, random facts. Sometimes if she’s not getting the reaction she desires, she’ll exaggerate. Some of the things she says can have me in stitches.

Rosie with her 2016 Grade 1 class

Rosie always has a pill, cream or some sort of treatment available for every possible problem. Her family joke that she goes to the doctor every time she travels abroad. In fact she’s certainly had value for money from her travel insurance whilst living here in Zambia. Last year she spent a week in hospital suffering with typhoid, e-coli and dysentery. I don't think there are many people who could manage to keep their humour in such a situation, but Rosie did. Even when she was in pain, she still laughed and cried.

Happy to be home after recovering in hospital

Some of the moments we've spent together that neither of us will forget involve a variety of insects. The ‘shower incident ‘involved the biggest, most disgusting spider I’ve ever seen in my life. Rosie stood in a towel looking like she was about to faint, whilst I summoned up the courage (which took some time) to eventually kill it with a frying pan. The ‘laundry incident’ involved Rosie going to put her washing on, only to find a snake blocking her exit. Unfortunately my attempt to kill the snake with a brick was not successful, so we had to be rescued by a man. To this day Rosie hates going into the laundry room! Another bug/rodent related incident involved Rosie finding a mouse running around our bathroom which then escaped into our lounge. This time we both stood on the sofa and screamed!

One of the snakes at Kaniki

I will literally be a little lost without Rosie. She has a good memory for directions once she’s been somewhere, whereas I can rarely remember how to get from A to B without a map. I’ve been happy for her to chauffeur me around during our time here in Zambia and I think I will struggle without her sense of direction. Another great thing about Rosie is that she loves spending time with people. She’s happy to hang out with friends and will gladly keep people company, even if they’re bored, ill or grumpy. She has made many friends in Kaniki and Ndola who will miss her.

Kaniki friends

We have loved celebrating some very important parts of British culture together during our time here in Zambia. In January we had a ‘Second Christmas’ dinner with all the trimmings. We’ve also painted our faces with the Union Jack and had tea parties with friends. When she first moved to Zambia, Rosie even brought a statue of the Queen with her. She’s proud to be a Royalist and at one point even considered applying for a job as a pot washer just because it was based at Buckingham Palace.

Naomi and Rosie enjoying Christmas dinner in January

Goodbye Rosie! Thank you for sharing the highs and lows with me and for being a great friend. You have been a integral part of our Arise and Kapumpe team and we really appreciate everything you have contributed. I hope you settle quickly back into life in the UK and enjoy wherever your next adventure takes you. I have no doubt you will enjoy access to power and water at any time of day, decent WiFi, proper chocolate, parsnips, fresh lettuce, and the fresh British air. We will miss you!

The Arise Team in 2015

1 comment: