Today Andrew and I had quite the adventure traveling across Lusaka to find the stake center where we were planning to attend church. We took two different mini buses for about an hour and then walked about 30 minutes from where they dropped us to the church building. Colin let us borrow his Zambia travel guide so we had all the maps and information that we needed to navigate the city.
As we were walking on the side of the road we noticed a large group of white girls walking a few hundred meters ahead of us in the distance. They all wore knee length skirts and were carrying backpacks. At first we thought they were a new missionary group coming into the area, as Lusaka is the mission headquarters. Come to find out they were actually women from an organization called Mothers Without Borders. Most of the women were from Utah and some even came with their families to volunteer with the organization for two weeks. Mothers Without Borders is an orphanage that takes in children who have been abandoned due to the death of parents from AIDS. AIDS is a really big problem in Zambia, causing many deaths and many homeless children. Every two weeks Mothers Without Borders sends volunteers from their organization (based in American Fork) to teach and nurture the children. Some of the women have even adopted children from the orphanage, and those children now live with them in Utah.
Seeing several dozen LDS women sitting in the church pews with AIDS children on their laps, at their feet, and on their sides was an incredible sight. All organizations have their pros and cons as to how effective they are being, but each has people who are selfless and giving. That alone is an amazing sight to see.
I love Lusaka and I love church. We learned so many incredible lessons and met so many wonderful people. Our Sunday school lesson was taught by the head lawyer for the national parliament of Zambia. Essentially, he is the guy who influences decisions that are made for the nation. As we talked about ancient Israel and the coming of the Lord, I was AMAZED at how well he knew the scriptures. Andrew and I both agree that he inspired both of us to better learn and understand the scriptures.
We met a post-missionary named Lizzie (who served with my friend Melissa in Malawi and Zambia) who has been traveling through Zambia and Malawi with her parents. We talked about her mission experience as well as her adventures traveling with her parents. She told us that Victoria Falls is amazing and that we have to go to Chobe Park in Botswana. Great, those are two things we have on our list!
One of the best contacts we made was with a Zimbabwean family (white immigrants from South Africa) who had been kicked off their farms during the uprisings in Zimbabwe in the early 2000s. Now they are in Lusaka working and enjoying the beautiful Zambian culture. They had a lot of travel advice for us, and of course spent all of their time trying to convince us to go to Zimbabwe. If we hadn’t paid so much for our SINGLE ENTRY Zambian visas at the border we would have considered it… They invited us to stay with them in their flat on our way back through Zambia, which we are definitely going to take them up on! They also gave us a contact for a sister in Maun, Botswana who we contacted and has offered to let us stay with her during our stay. We have been so blessed to meet such incredible people during our travels and come to understand the culture of a completely new part of the world.
We arrived home from church after using the Internet for many hours. We love the church for so many reasons, and in Africa one of those reasons is definitely reliable internet. Justin and Colin were just preparing to cook traditional food for dinner, so we decided to join them in the fun!
We made nshima (same as nsima in Malawi), relish (cooked rape leafs), and soya curry (fried soybean with vegetables and spices). Everything taste great and it was such an incredible experience to be able to cook with Colin. He is very knowledgable about everything when it comes to Zambian food. His recipes will definitely make it into my African Cookbook.
Tomorrow we head south to Livingstone on an early bus and we are so excited. Livingstone is the adventure capital of Zambia and home to Victoria Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in the world and the seventh natural wonder of the world. Our two days in Livingstone will be spent doing three main things: visiting the museum about David Livingstone’s adventures through Africa, seeing Victoria Falls, and walking with bus lions. We are excited.
(Below: Andrew’s post)
Kylie and I woke early with one goal in mind. Find our way to church in the morning.
We boarded an early bus to town and then routed on another bus to the upper part of Lusaka near the fairgrounds. We got there in good time and walked the last couple of kilometers to the church building. For some reason, seeing the building and knowing we would spend the next couple hours at church brought me immense feelings of relief and joy. I needed a bit of a spiritual boost and I was looking forward to church.
Our experience at church was lovely, we encountered a large group of volunteers from Utah called ‘mothers without borders’ and ran into a couple of members who had been displaced from Zimbabwe. Everyone offered both their time and love and made it a wonderful experience.
We got back home late where Colin and justin were waiting for us, and the four of us cooked a delicious meal of soya chips, nsima, and relish. It was delicious!
Honestly as I reflect on our time in Zambia, the moments we’ve shared with local, wonderful people have been the most memorable. We’ve had the chance to learn about them and their lives and see how it is they find joy in the daily things. Staying with Colin was a very rich experience, and we’re sad to go.