Sunday, December 21, 2008

whoa...I'm in Africa!

Written Saturday, December 20th: Alright, so here we go, blog number 1. Well, the traveling went pretty well, I spent about 31 hours total on airplanes and in airports (mostly in the air). It was weird sitting in the airport in Atlanta with the realization hitting me fully that I won’t see Omaha or any of you for 3 whole months. I’m excited too though. Also, while I was passing thousands of people in the airport, I kept seeing people that looked like someone I know, but obviously it wasn’t the case. I guess that was my way of being homesick already. Thanks to those of you who wrote the encouragement letters (I have like 50), they are awesome!
When I got here to Lusaka (the capital of Zambia), only 1 of my 3 luggage items arrived, no worries though. Zack picked me up from the airport, and it was weird all of the sudden being in a car in the middle of Africa, very surreal. We stayed the night in Lusaka in a nice little hotel, then the next morning we bought some supplies and phone minutes for my phone. It’s really hard to try and explain ALL the differences I’ve been seeing culturally. We sometimes think of Africa as just grass huts and wildlife, but here in Lusaka its weird to see a mixture of cell phones and cars with third world living. Also, it’s the rainy season, so everything is really really green. I wish I could describe the smells and sounds and everything else, hopefully you’ll get a sense of what it’s like as I continue to blog and start to post pictures.
My luggage came in, so we went to the airport to pick it up, so that’s relieving. After that we drove about 1 ½ hours to Kazemba, where Zack had spent 8 months a couple of years ago working. We pulled off the main highway and drove on a rather adventurous dirt road to get here. The easiest way for me to explain the road was that it was fun, and a little like a small rollercoaster. Zack said this is the true "bush" that everyone in Africa refers to, I learned that soon enough. We were then guests for dinner at a friend of Zack’s, you’ll love the menu. Inshima (indescribably thick corn based grit like stuff, I can’t explain how bland it is), a vegetable mixture (so far not too bad), kapenta, which are minnows that have been dried out then cooked (by the way, they were kept completely intact), and to top it all off, cooked caterpillar! It was just my luck to get to try this so early on, Zack said he hasn’t had anything like that in his month and a half here. But no worries, I tried all of it, luckily there were no lights on ‘cause the look on my face was pretty bad. Our evening was topped off by our host smashing a rat with a dust pan…that was pretty cool.
We’re going to church here tomorrow morning, then we plan on heading out to Serenje tomorrow afternoon (or maybe Monday morning, plans tend to be very tentative around here). Serenje is where I'll be staying to do construction and ministry with the local church and orphans. I’ll hopefully have some pictures up soon of what I've seen so far. Miss and love you all!
PRAYER REQUESTS: That I would be able to continue to fit in to the culture here…that I would be bold and not shy in circumstances that will soon come…for those in Serenje that I don’t even know yet…for the people I’ve seen so far who don’t have much…for the tasks that I will be starting soon on behalf of Brookside. Thanks.

Special note to Tribe: Hey guys, Thanks for sending me off well, it was awesome spending my last night in town with all of you. I'll really miss you all, thanks for the "Tribe Loves Jack" cards, they're amazing (I read them all already). Well, I hope you all have a great Christmas break, remember what we're celebrating! Oh, and go easy on Brad, he doesn't have anyone to get coffee for him now, lol.


  1. Wow-a cooked caterpillar! Sounds like you will be ready for some good old American home-cooked food when you get home in 3 months! Well one cool thing about that-no one else can probably say that they have eaten a meal like that! Enjoy your stay! We miss you! Don't get food posioning!


  2. A caterpillar huh? that's nothing compared to my grasshoper!! i wish i could see a rat get smashed with a dust pan... although i have seen my grandpa kill a sick kitten with a wrench before... that was weird. We're missing you a lot too! just today i found a funny santa ornament and i was sending the pic to people and it was weird not being able to send it to you. Well i'm glad you made it and you can deffinately count on us praying for you. Keep positive and when you get really home sick just think of all the good you're doing by being there. TTUL!!!!!!