Monday, March 19, 2012

Interweb access YES: A Q&A from across the pond

The only time I have internet access I only have a phone so it is hard to blog on that little thing. For the past three hours I have holed myself up in a cafe near our B&B we are at and have been busy catching up on everything.
I was thinking I should get ahead of the queue and answer some questions that I think will be coming my way not that you can't ask them again that is totally cool just thought I should do a bit of prepping for you and I.

Q: How was your trip?
A: Most trying time of my life but also the best time I've ever had.
Depending on your response to this answer it will tell me if you want to hear more because I could talk you into a coma if you feign interest!! I WILL DO IT!

Q: Did you see any elephants?
A: I totally did! A plethora of elephants herds flocks and fleets of em. They are just running rampant it's crazy! But not really animals are not running rampant they like to stick to the huge game parks where they are safe they like to avoid the villages and cities. I saw plenty in the game parks they are magnificent.

Q: Did you see tigers?
A: Wrong area. But I did see a Leopard it was super cute.

Q: What did you eat?
A: What I made! Zambia taught  forced me to learn how cook. My roommate gave me an ultimatum; clean or cook. I chose to chef it. We ate what we wanted except if we were eating with nationals then we might eat 'nshima' a corn based hard porridge with a relish my sister thought it had the texture of skin when she tried it and shoved it on my plate. But I enjoyed it smothered in sauce.

Q: How was the temperature?
A: Hot. I am in the pit of despair with cold but a onsie snow suit and some moon boots will solve that in a sec. I am still on the hunt so until then I am wearing eight layers of clothing. My dad took a look at me and said "You look like a closet."
Thanks man.

Q:What will you miss most about Zambia?
A: My students, having a schedule that was never the same twice, fresh fruit and veg everyday, and the Village of Hope of course and everyone in it.

Q: Do you think you will be doing full time missions now or do you think you will be going back to Africa?
A: Unknown. I didn't hear God say yes or no so ill just wait and see what he has up his sleeve. Whatever it is I know it is going to make both of us happy if I am obedient.

Q: What are you going to do with yourself now that you are back home?
A: AHHH DON"T ASK ME THAT. The only thing I want to do is hang out and catch up with my family and friends and maybe eat a whole salmon to myself and finish it off with some Tim Tam slams. If you don't know what those are you need to ask someone and partake there-of. It is a form of communion amongst the cult of cookies.
I also am throwing around the idea of starting up my clothing line maybe online but I don't trust myself to make any major decisions right now as culture shock and jet lag will be in control for awhile.

Currently my parents and I are in Scotland we are doing the tour we have hit London met some cousins which was really fantastic and we are now in Aberdeen trying to meet up with some more cousins and my dads brother. My dad is a bit sick with a cold but so far this has been great trip we took a train up to Aberdeen and got to see a lot of the scenery which was cool... just rode by  a castle no big deal.. etc.

I head back to the cold country on the 23rd and I am getting excited! But I hope I prepped you well for questioning I will be seeing you soon!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sharing Time

Whenever I look down at my little love handles or my rolls (the pouch where I keep my extra cookies) I say to myself "Dang it, I am going to exercise tomorrow morning!" But most mornings I prefer to make myself a cup of Tim Hortons coffee and dip some biscotti in it. I like to have a nice quiet morning and do my devos so why ruin it with strenuous and exerting exercises??? I see no reason. And then I look at my pouch where I keep my chocolate chip cookies and say "Dang it I need to do some sit ups." 
I have taken to laying out my yoga mat on the floor at the foot of my bed so that when I get up in the morning and have to step over it, the guilt cometh. Thus forcing myself to resurrect those muscles from their zombie-like state and commence with the pain. The initial kick off to exercising is always the hardest part. But when you do it for a while you start to feel really good, you can start to feel how fit you are becoming and may even see it (for some this may take awhile and many kick offs like myself). You get a large satisfaction in being able to tell your body what to do instead of those Toffee Shortbread squares that are on your mind and on the counter.
Often times I procrastinate or procrastibake which contributes to my added parcels of love because I think that something is too difficult or simply just unattainable. I am definitely not one to give a lecture on health and fitness but this attitude we can have towards it can relate to many other things in our lives. Mundane tasks of the day, devotions, work, self-discipline, loving others, being generous with time and possessions, and a million other things we struggle to do even if we want the benefits. 

I am saying all of this not because I think this is easy or that I am a holy fit saint but that I am climbing over the mountains in my mind to reach the place of 'Dang, if i'd of known it was that easy...'
I've been told it takes about six weeks of constantly doing something in order for it to become a habit. I used to complain that I had the memory of a fish. I had a problem remembering everything I had to do on the daily and weekly basis and a friend of mine gave me a giant note pad and told me to write things down (thank you Vickie) but the problem was I would think of things and forget to write things down. So I tried six weeks of writing things down as soon as I think of them. Now after this time I am scrambling for a pen and my note book as soon as something comes to mind I write it down. I am also checking the paper nine times a day. It feels real good when you cross something off that list, you get a sense of satisfaction in being able to control your productiveness and your organizational skills.

I am learning that the barriers to our "unattainable" goals are mostly in our minds I know many of you do not have a problem with this and are just saying "Well when something has to be done just DO it." But for those of us who struggle with this I say to you there is a hump or mountain in all of our minds, overcoming it is the hardest part but anything worth getting is worth working hard for. Disciplining yourself to work for your goals will never ever ever be disappointing. Whether you are struggling with your prayer and devotional life, with your push-ups, or your Bananagram skills. Trust me you will feel so great when you get er done and then when the next mountain comes along you will feel more confident in tackling it. 

By the way the best diet is an African diet I lost over fifteen pounds here but that doesn't even matter because when someone calls you fat it is a compliment and you feel great because your body shape is in style! YES
Tonight I am going to lay out my yoga mat at the foot of my bed and in the morning do my devos and then get my crunchies and leg lifts on like a champ. Then I will reward myself with Timmy's coffee and biscotti. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas on another continent.

This Christmas is an extra special one especially for me. Instead of moping about sad because my family is on the other side of the planet gorging themselves on crab, chocolate fondue, and lemon meringue pie (this may not be the usual Christmas foods it's just what i'm craving right now) I got the best present I could ever receive. My beloved SISTER came to visit me over Christmas and new years!!! It was definitely one of the happiest moments I have ever had picking her up at the airport I was that person you see who makes a giant madly hopping, squealing scene and yet has no shame! My wonderful parents sent her over to me as a present to the both of us. If I have never said this before I will say it again... I have the best parents a girl could ask for. No lies! 
This is us just off the long sweaty bus ride and for some reason taking a picture of ourselves in this condition seemed like a good idea...

The one in the stripes belongs to me for the holidays! She is the one sitting beneath the cunningly devised Christmas tree that has been cut out of Zambian material and sticky tacked to the wall.  Awesome? Oh yes. 
It has been so much fun having my sister here I feel like I haven't laughed this hard in years my abs elusive stomach muscles are actually hurting! 

"Move OVER!" "Haha where shall I go??" 
I thought it would be a great idea to have a pool in the back yard so Georgia and I could lay in it and get our tan on.. unfortunately I thought we were smaller than we actually are in real life. 

Liz is currently thinking, "What the deuce were they thinking?" WELL don't for a minute think that a small detail like a microscopic pool is going to phase two sweaty determined ladies!

So of course with a bit of shimmying we managed to fit quite snugly. Noooo problem. 

Yesterday we went to a Christmas party at the Village with all the house mothers and that was really fun lot's of African dancing (they were showing us how to "shake it") and singing and eating oh Lord I wasn't even hungry the next day. Georgia got to try the local dish of nshima a corn based porridge-like food, the staple diet of Zambia. She said it tasted like skin and so we subtly exchange coal slaw for nshima. And a good time was had by all! 

It is very late here right now and  we have to be up at four-thirty to jump on the bus headed to Livingstone to see the famous Victoria falls. I know what a rough life! We also have a date with the Chobi national park on Christmas day we are doing a river cruise and a game drive! Yes you are definitely supposed to be very green in the face with envy right now. 
But I am hoping your Christmas is very white filled with families in good humor and tables full of food to get your holiday girth on! 

Merry Christmas and have a very happy New Years! 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Clothing Distribution day

Thursday and Friday was clothing distribution day at the Village of Hope so alas I did not have classes. One reason being they needed my large sewing tables aaaand I don't think I would have any student show up anyways as they would all be attending the clothing craziness...

The throng.

There were over 900 students present over the course of the two days and each were allowed to take four pieces of clothing... that is over 3600 pieces I just figured out using a calculator in my head holy grail that is a lot! 

Believe it or not this place was actually organized at one point but then the girls came and all playing and pillaging broke loose. I tried to create some semblance of an order with the girls stuff sorting bottoms from tops but that lasted all of twenty minutes sooooo I just gave up and had fun suggesting stuff for the girls and rooting through it myself.

The guys were slightly more chilled than the girls it seemed. But our gender is always a little crazy when it comes to rad deals and of course free clothing.

It all felt vaguely familiar for some reason... and then it came to me, this reminded me of 50% off day at Value Village and of course of myself and my fantastic scrounging skills! Oooh VV Boutique how I miss thee and thy glorious pillaging playground!

And in other news:
It is stinkin HOT here today so I am going to have a cold shower Hooraah!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

On the rooooad again

I have a brand new pretty picture for my blog! I love it and best of all it's in Zambia and in the Village of Hope van so it's kinda going with the whole 'living in Africa' theme I got goin on. Faaaantastic.
Picture compliments of Rachel Chapman beautiful lady, avid photographer, and rad roomie!

I know what your thinking - This girl has been in Africa for seven months and she still looks like angel food cake! I AM WORKING ON IT !! It has taken me this long to look like that! Just have some patience I will try to look like black forest cake by the time I come home.
Recently in the beautiful country of Zambia it has been a wee bit chilly. Chilly being sometimes twenty-five degrees yeah I know get the parkas and ear muffs!! But that's almost what happens here so I wasn't actually lying about that. I put on a light sweater and I see people putting their coats and tuques on, I know I have acclimatized somewhat but definitely not there yet I still appreciate the cold days and do welcome them heartily! I just checked the weather forecast and it is rainy and stormy down the board and you do not know how happy that makes me :) I think that my body is thinking "Uhm where's the snow?? This is weird." So the cold is welcome. I will definitely miss snowboarding this year but I will of course live... and get my sun tan on instead HAH! Black forest cake here I come, I am jealous of your snow but thinking of you wanting my sun makes me feel better. :)