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Remembering
The photo collage hanging in my living room

It’s funny how you remember all the places you have been when you find yourself someplace new. In the midst of trying to figure out life here in Zambia I find myself remembering the other transitions in my life. Today I was hanging pictures of tulips in my house that I took my first year in Belgium, which was over five years ago now!I also thought about my first weeks at seminary, not believing I was really there as I sat outside the library going though Hebrew flashcards. At each of these new beginnings I was filled with excitement, trepidation, and hope. Zambia is no exception. I find myself oscillating between moments of feeling like life here is totally normal, then tearing up as I am overwhelmed or reminded that I am thousands of miles away from anyone who has known me for more than a month. It is funny to think that a year from now I will be crying because I have to say goodbye, but I know it is true.

Despite missing the places and people I love, I am looking forward to the experiences and relationships that the next year will bring. I am getting to know my colleagues at TEEZ as we prepare for the remaining trainings this year. Also, I have already found some good friends among some of the other international folks that live nearby. I rode home from our weekly shopping trip into town last weekend in the back of a pickup along with a family of six, a large cooler, a wheelbarrow, all our shopping, and the promise that I am not alone.

If you would like to send a letter or package my mailing address is below.  I love to get mail, please remember that it could take up to 8 weeks to get here so don't send anything that could spoil in that time.

Rebecca Jones
c/o TEEZ
PO Box 23054
Kitwe
ZAMBIA

Posted September 19, 2011
Home sweet home

In front of my new house

I have moved into my house and am getting used to daily life here in Zambia. The first morning I woke up, went to the sink, turned the tap, and there was no water flowing. I had a moment of confusion before remembering that I have many buckets filled with water for this very reason. One of the other big adjustments for this American is not having a microwave, but I am learning to reheat things on the stove or in the oven. So far I have only cooked familiar foods, but I hope to become more adventurous in the weeks to come.

Living/dining room


When I was a little girl, I liked to play at doing chores. In the summer my mom would set me up outside to wash dishes. With one bucket of soapy water and one bucket of rinse water I would happily wash my dishes. I hadn’t thought of this in a long time, but that is exactly how I wash my dishes now, except I stay much more dry as an adult than I did as a kid.

Kitchen


I quite like my little house, it is half of a duplex with a living/dining room, good size kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. I have a nice spring mattress for my bed (most are made of foam here) and I even like my mosquito net that tucks in all around under the mattress to keep me safe from all the buggars.

Bedroom

I also have a good size garden behind my house, which is tended by a local man, Morgan. I will not have a lack of vegetables here between my garden, the garden near TEEZ, and the market in town. In my garden there are carrots, onions, spinach, basil, tomatoes, and a few other things. This morning I also bought a head of broccoli from the garden just behind the TEEZ office.

View of my garden from kitchen window

I have even learned to say “I am going home” in Bemba.  So when I am leaving work at the end of the day I tell my colleagues, “Naya ku ng’anda.”

Posted September 12, 2011
A bumpy landing

My arrival in Zambia was a bit chaotic as I had to do some explaining at the immigration office and my luggage did not arrive with me. I was feeling quite discouraged at the end of the first day, but fortunately my second day was much better. Molly and Ryan took me into town to show me the market and shops. It is amazing how much more at home you can feel once you see the places you will be living and shopping. My luggage also arrived that afternoon which was welcome news.

Lunch with Henry's family

This weekend has been wonderful, we have spent a lot of time at a nearby compound, Chimwemwe (which means “joy” in Bemba). Many of the TEEZ staff live there and we went to have lunch with Henry and his family on Saturday. We also explored the new grocery and market there. On Sunday we worshipped at Chimwemwe Presbyterian Church. The service lasted three hours and the church had three choirs which all sang about three songs each, they sounded beautiful!

On the way to church with Molly

This week I am looking forward to learning more about Theological Education by Extension in Zambia and what my role here will be. We still have several trainings scheduled this fall so it looks like I will be going out to teach later this month. I will be meeting with the director and training officer today to get started.

Walking home with Ryan & Molly
Posted September 5, 2011
Ready to go


The time has come, I will be flying to Zambia tomorrow morning. My bags are all packed and I am enjoying my last day in the city. I was scheduled to be commissioned last Sunday but worship was cancelled due to hurricane Irene this past Sunday, so today we had a wonderful commissioning in the Dana Chapel at MAPC. What a wonderful way to be sent out. Even over the short time I have been here I have felt the love and support of this congregation. Please continue to keep me in your prayers and I will look forward to returning to you next December.

My mom came to visit over the weekend and weathered Irene with me. We also got some time to enjoy NYC. On Friday we went out to the High Line and walked around midtown, then spent the weekend packing and tracking the weather. We also had some sweet time together in prayer on Sunday and a pastor from my home church commissioned me over the phone, so I have been double commissioned!

Stay tuned, I will write to you next from Zambia as I get settled in at TEEZ.

Posted August 30, 2011
Hello there!

Welcome to my blog, I will be keeping you updated with what is happening in my life as I work with Theological Education by Extension Zambia over the next year.

The adventure has already begun. This summer has been a whirlwind – graduating from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, moving to New York City, getting to know Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, celebrating my ordination as Minister of Word and Sacrament, and participating in a month long orientation for mission workers in Toronto and Louisville.

I have one more trip ahead of me, the move to Zambia. For the next three weeks I will be here in New York as part of the pastoral staff and preparing for the move. As I sit here in my office gazing out at the steeple of MAPC, Zambia seems both a world away and close at hand. Between rabies shots, shopping for mosquito nets, and sermon prep I am thankful for these quiet moments to reflect, pray, and hope.

The year ahead is uncertain but exciting, and I invite you to share it with me. My hope for this blog is that you will be able to catch a glimpse of my experience in Zambia through the stories and photos here. Come along with me!

Posted August 10, 2011
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