Wow, my intake is approaching 1 full year of service in Zambia. I was warned about this; they said the time will fly and I will find myself wondering just how in the heck I’ve been here that long without noticing. Turns out, the ubiquitous “they” seems to always be right. Anyway, with just 16 months left in my service, I feel like I have a lot left to do and a sudden squeeze for time. It’s the perpetual problem of Peace Corps service, and I would wax philosophical about it all day.
But first, let’s do the numbers.
(almost) 11 – Number of months my intake has thus far served in Zambia. February 5th will mark our 1 year anniversary in country.
45 – Number of books I’ve read thus far in my service, averaging almost one per week. Rainy season has happily stepped up the amount of down time I have to myself, and I now look forward to the rainy afternoons where I can blaze through whatever books I’ve managed to haul out to site.
1 – Number of fields of rice I planted with my farmers this month. Rice is an excellent cash crop and grows well in areas too wet for maize, beans, or other vegetables. With a potential yield of 70kg for every 1kg planted, rice can really boost a family’s income and nutrition (the rice is fortified with a variety of vitamins).
32 – Number of Softcups sent to us by the good folks at Evofem to distribute to our GLOW camp. Evofem has also committed to providing Softcups for ALL PCZambia GLOW camps next year! Awesome!
1 – Number of weeks I am excited to be spending along the shores of Lake Malawi over Christmas and New Years. I’ll be traveling with this guy:
I assure you we actually do clean up really nicely. We’ll be staying in Nkhata Bay at Mayoka Lodge, a favorite haul-out for vacationing PCVs.
17 – Number of garden beds I’ve planted as little demo plots. So far I’ve tried zucchini, butternut squash, sweet corn, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, peas, beans, basil, chives, eggplant, nasturtiums, and a few other herbs. It’s interesting to see what does well in the African climate/soils and what doesn’t. Fun fact: I have no idea what to do with basil. Tips are appreciated.
4 – Number of podcasts I currently subscribe to for weekend listening in the village. It’s ALMOST like NPR at home. I love: This American Life, “Wait, wait, Don’t Tell Me!”, The Moth, and Stuff You Should Know. I would love suggestions for more podcasts worth subscribing to.
5 – Number of reader emails I’ve received through this blog within the last month from future PCVs, all of which were incredibly kind and complimentary. I also received 1 postcard that blew my socks off.
This postcard arrived without notice from a one Chelsi B. She wrote it simply to tell me that she loves this blog and will be joining the ZamFam in February as part of the newest RAP intake! Welcome, Chelsi! Thank you so much for writing. Your postcard now adorns my hut walls and gives me reason to smile every day.
Have I mentioned how awesome my readers are? All 721 of you fine folks who follow this blog should take a moment now and high-five yourself (back pats are also encouraged) for being some of the finest, most excellent, intelligent, and dangerously good looking blog readers on the internet. My hat (and sunglasses) are off to you!
*This blog is in no way associated with NPR (but seriously, how ecstatic would I be if it ever were?!), Market Place, or any other slogan or publication that I shamelessly parody on this blog.*