Spirit Car

Good news! I've got a vehicle! You would think it wasn't that hard, but indeed it was a bit of a challenge. Zambia drives on the wrong side of the road (thanks Brits!). There are limited quantities of right-hand vehicles. And because Zambia is landlocked, everything is pretty expensive--honestly I don't know how most people manage. In fact, the cost of living versus the daily wage is something that keeps petty theft and poverty high.

But I was really blessed to get this little 4X4 for $5500 US. That's actually a REALLY REALLY good deal on this side for a 1994 truck with 200+kms on it. It's a diesel and really rugged. When the rains hit, I should be able to manage the back roads--although I will need to invest in new tires soon. My friend Aymie would definitely say this "is a Natasha car". My favourite is that it's 1/2 blue, has tons of gadgets (like fog lights and wipers for the headlights) and it called "Spirit". Yes, all you Jesus-freaks can make the necessary jokes..."carried by the Spirit", "moved by the Spirit", "transported by the Spirit". haha.

Here are some considerations when driving in Zam:
~ You have to drive on the wrong side of the road: I was really worried about this transition. Luckily I've only driven on the WRONG wrong side once--and survived!
~ Most traffic rules are suggestions rather than rules (just like Quebec! lol): This suits me just fine. I can now come to a rolling stop without guilt. And should the need arise, simply use the shoulder as an extra lane, pass anyone--even in a construction zone but ALWAYS stay alert!
~ Speed bumps and roundabouts: there are lots! You're driving along, all happy and bang! Speed bump.
~ Parking: see note on "suggestions". Any spot is a potential parking spot. I saw one guy parked in the middle of the roundabout today.
~Bribes and police checks: there are lots! One construction guy asked me for 1000 kwatcha to let me pass through the construction zone (see comment on cost of living vs. theft). Kinda sad as that is less than 25cents. The police have been nice though and I pray when I go through their checks for invisibility--Activate cloaking device!
~ You get to live out all your 4X4 fantasies! Mud, bush, rough terrain, sideways slants--bring it on!

By the way. Today was the first time it really occurred to me--I live in Africa now! Wow!

Click on the pictures to zoom in! 


The pastor of the church is also a teacher at a local school in town. This week, 5 boys, all under the age of 9, admitted to having been initiated into witchcraft. One of the boys, admitted to having killed 5 people as part of this rite.

While we are often open to all religions and beliefs in Canada, it is important for us to start to take a look at what is good and what is not and not be so politically correct that everything is acceptable. Children like these come into bondage for life because of these acts. They will always be under control of those with power. They will be encouraged to kill friends and family as a way to increase their status. They will drink the blood of their victims. They do this because they are lost, poor and seeking a way out of circumstances. We must give them a better way, better options and a true Saviour who loves them.

Happy Thanksgiving

Ahhhh...scratching mozzie bites feels sooo good but is sooo bad. I have indulged!

Things are starting to rev up here. I've been down to the village a couple of times now including Sunday morning. It was great to see everyone again, lots of little ones who've gotten bigger. The kids recognize me too--even this one little girl who must only be two, just started laughing when she saw me. She was too shy to come up but she just giggled and giggled. It was so cute.

I've been blessed with a vehicle. This very kind couple from NZ were selling their old one. It's a little diesel tank. Will probably crawl over any type of bush I drive though--perfect! Now we can get a move on. They also work with people in an area north of here, teaching them farming. Lots of good tips to share with me.

I got the vehicle through a connection called Mechanics for Africa. They also have an expat church on Sunday. I am certainly going to pay it a visit.

New TIA moments:
Volume can be cultural. Seems like everything is louder here. I think my ears are adjusting :)
Banking can take hours--and then you get sent outside to use the machine, to withdraw a max of $400 a time, to fill your purse with cash ($400 = $2Millon Kwatcha), to a max daily limit of $2000, to pay for a car valued at $5500--this will take a few days!
Hugs--I miss Canadian bear hugs. They really are unique

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Eat some turkey for me!