3 10 2009

We don’t blend in well here.

Today, we walked around Kalingalinga (a small compoud nestled in an otherwise massive city) and visited active clubs. We started programs here four years ago and some of the clubs are doing really well. Some of the newer ones obviously need more help.

It was crazy walking the streets. It’s hot here, and as we passed through a small market (a portion of the street lined with makeshift stalls loaded with fruit, vegetables, and other goods) the flies started to get to me; the ones swarming by the food much less so than those swarming around the children.

Up and down the streets women were washing clothes, dishes, and children in small basins of dirty water. Kids run in front of us or weave in and out of doorways as we pass. Everywhere we go people stare. Like I said, even though we dress like them, we can’t help but stand out.

It’s also hard to ignore the garbage. Life – the simple act of being alive – is an all-consuming task for a lot of these people. They don’t have a concept of the future, because, for them, life has no guarantees. One of the effects of this reality is trash-lined streets. When you don’t know where your next meal is coming from, using a garbage can is far from your mind. The garbage, coupled with the constant smell of burning, created an interesting backdrop for our walk.

We made our way up streets, down alleys, and between houses as we visited each new site. Catherine, one of the main leaders in Lusaka, was acting as our guide. She is amazing. She knows and greets everyone as we walk. Her love, encouragement, and wisdom are inspiring.

The girls in clubs were all so gracious when we interrupted their lessons. They were excited to see us, and stopped what they were doing to sing and recite their verses for us. Their joy is contagious.

It was a good day. Even though I’m still tired and dragging a bit, I feel full. Good full. Content full.

A view of one of the streets

A view of one of the streets

Carrying water

Carrying water

I can't get enough of these girls

I can't get enough of these girls

A look says it all

A look says it all




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