I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Life In Chipata

I have been keeping a kind of journal in a Word document, 
and this is the first entry. It's outdated now, but I thought it 
would be an easy way to post what happened in our first 
week here. There is another entry I will post possibly 
tomorrow, as it has pics. Eventually I will get caught up 
enough with blogging to be able to share maybe at least once 
or twice a week about what's been going on around here....
so please enjoy this first installment...

We arrived in Malawi on a Friday afternoon. We had 
a wonderful second flight from Washington DC to Ethiopia, 
with very minimal complaining from the girls- mostly that they 
were hungry. Which is a normal complaint, even at home. 
The two youngest seem to be trying to see who can eat the 
most food of everyone in the house. Though the flight was 
long, I really felt like I rested well, and slept a lot. We were 
seated with a young woman who was on her way to both 
Ethiopia and Uganda, with a mission organization called 
Visiting Orphans. She was very nice. There were three other 
mission groups on the plane with us as well. Some were 
staying in Malawi and others were staying in Ethiopia. Lots 
of people!

The last flight from Ethiopia to Malawi seemed to take forever, 
even though it was only about three hours long. There was a 
very tall man behind me, and I couldn't recline my seat, so 
there was no way to sleep. And I desperately wanted to! But 
we arrived safely, praise the Lord! Getting our bags was very 
easy, and getting through customs was even easier, as we 
were not staying in Malawi, but heading to Zambia.

As we drove from the airport toward Zambia, I kept waiting 
for the landscape to change, and look more like South Africa. 
But it didn't. Lots of red dirt, lots of people around, and lots of 
dirty and small buildings. I thought maybe things would look a 
little better than the pictures Jimmy had taken back in February, 
but they didn't. When we arrived in Chipata, I must admit I 
was a little disappointed. I knew it was a small town, but I 
didn't realize it was so much like the Africa everyone pictures 
in National Geographic.

When we arrived at our house, I was again a little 
disappointed. There is not grout between any of the tiles, and 
you can tell they chose the basest equipment with which to 
build. There are paint splotches on the floors, and the windows 
are a mess. But we plan to get that all sorted, once we are a bit 
more settled. These are all small things to complain about. It 
was just my American brain seeing "home" here for the first 
time. I'm over it now.

We have driven all around town several times, and I think I 
know my way pretty well. There are basically two main 
roads: one is Malawi Rd that goes straight through Chipata. 
The other is the road that leads to the downshops. This is a 
heavily congested area that many of the Africans shop in. 
They have all sorts of things for sale down there, but mostly 
it is household items, material, chitengas, things from the 
chemist, and hardware supplies. Not a huge selection, nothing 
REALLY nice, but suitable. Some cheap stuff from China. 

Tina has been sleeping better at night since we started 
watching home movies before bed. Thankfully we've been 
able to charge our computers and things so we can use them 
even on days when there is no power. I am very thankful for 
this, because she was only sleeping after heaving sobs for a 
long time. Even during the day she was saying how much she 
missed her Grandpa and Aunt Joni. I am surprised she is 
having the hardest time of all the girls. I really expected Kat 
to be the troublesome one.

Power outages have been every other day so far- 6AM to 
6PM with no power at all. For some people it means no 
water too, if they don't have a tank. That hasn't been too 
annoying yet, since I have been out of the house every day 
shopping, or going to Bible study, etc. I still feel like I have 
nothing in my pantry, and I've been to the grocery store 
like five times! There are such limited choices here. I miss 
PnP Hypermarket with the MANY choices on every shelf 
in SA. Here, things are sometimes not even in stock at all, 
and the produce is not great. But we are learning! I will do 
some shopping from the open air market sometime next 
week, I think. Their produce looks better than the stores'.

We have a bird delegation that comes to our house every 
morning, and chirps me awake. They fight, and clack on 
the metal roof. I think some of them may be trying to get 
into the small attic space we have. I don't understand it...
why they chose our house...very annoying. I am plotting 
ways to get rid of them. 

We also have a tray rooster and chicken that visit our 
property daily. They get in under the gate, where the water 
drains out during rainy season. We have a small guard house 
near the gate, and yesterday there was an egg inside! Weird 
that it was a white egg, since all the eggs here are brown...
Jimmy thinks it might be a reptile egg. I sincerely hope not!

There is some work to do outside as well. Lots of sweeping 
up of broken glass, random stones, etc. Soon we will have 
to hire a gardener. We don't have a lot of work for someone 
to do, but the trees and grass needs tending. Maybe we can 
speak to the landlord and get some of the weird trees planted 
in the yard moved to another side. The girls have very little 
room to play with all of them. We also need to hire someone 
to clean a few times a week. It is so dusty here that I could 
never keep up with homeschooling, cleaning and cooking 
and shopping and even think of doing ministry things. 

So Jimmy thinks a few times a week cleaner would be good. 
I am completely uncomfortable with the idea of having a 
stranger in my house, but all the missionary families are using 
someone, and it helps a support a local family as well. I am 
thinking of hiring the Pestke's worker, Caroline. the girls met 
her the other day and said she was nice. That is encouraging. 
I am just afraid. I need to trust the Lord that it will be alright, 
but that is something very foreign to me, and I need to get over 

Tomorrow we are having a couch delivered. It will be an 'L' 
shaped couch. I have always wanted one of those ever since 
I was a little girl! I am pretty excited about it. It is very 
comfortable, and I think we will be very happy with our 
choice. Our living room is pretty large, and it will fit great in 
there. I don't know what the next stop for furniture is. Jimmy 
wants a couple chairs. I want lamps and side tables. Savannah 
said we could get them built at the Kapata market, but I don't 
know where that is. Kevin can help us out with that once he 
gets back from picking up the Beamans in Lusaka. They will 
be home late tonight.

We won't have internet for at least a week, and that is tough. 
The girls like to check their email, and we would like to check 
out this group on Facebook called Zambia Braai. They list 
things people who are leaving the country are selling. It will be 
a good resource for us to hopefully find reasonable and good 
quality things. Most are Americans, either government 
employees, or missionaries. We'll keep praying! I am ok with 
what we have in our house right now, and think we can function 
alright with what we have.

But God is certainly good to us. Kat has a friend exactly her 
own age here, named Sarah, who is very nice. Tina will have 
a girl here her age (close enough) who I assume is also very 
nice. And when the Jalowiecs come, Sia will have their 
Savannah who is her age. The Matacchieras are also very 
sweet, and we have enjoyed our fellowship with them a lot. 
Lisa and I went shopping together yesterday, and it was a lot 
of fun. Today there is a homeschool group meeting, and I 
think I'll take the girls to it. I am not sure what the subject is 
today- if it's french, or soccer, or science...but it will be a great 
way to meet more friends! I really need to get Marion's (a 
Zimbabwean friend married to an Afrikaaner!) number and 
have her daughter Sarah over sometime.

Things are coming together!!


  • karly

    I just *love* reading your updates, and I appreciate that you shared your heart for us, Julie. As one not intimately familiar with missions work, I really enjoyed hearing all the details. So, please keep sharing. :) And, thank you for your willingness and obedience to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to those in far off places who need to know it for those of us who are unable to go. :)

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