Wednesday, February 27, 2008

VirtueSquad, Clinic and Dedication







Happy Ayyam-i-Ha! The Baha'i calendar is organized into 19 months of 19 days, which leaves 4 or 5 days left over. So in those 4 (or 5 days on a leap year) we have parties and do service projects. This also means that the Fast is coming up! 19 days of eating only when the sun isn't up. I love the Fast.

Ok! Lots of things to update! The midterm was a wonderful break. It passed slowly, but we kept busy with sewing our new handbags and practicing our VirtueSquad play for the fundraiser.
The primary school's performance at the arts festival was very haphazard. First, we weren't on the program because they never received a confirmation from the school. Luckily they squeezed us in in the end. Second, we were performing in a big gym, so the acoustics were terrible, the audience was noisy and there weren't good microphones... so essentially you couldn't hear the kids sing. But anyway, I could hear them and they sang well, and I'm sure the experience was good for them.

Saturday night was our fundraiser for the construction of the National Baha'i Center. It went really well! There was a small garage sale, a bake sale and a talent show. Some of the talents were really funny! The children's play was cute, but the kids forgot most of their lines and didn't talk loud enough... which was to be expected. I think they had more fun at the rehearsals anyway, but they were excited by their costumes! I sang 2 songs with Kawawa, they were fine... we did a remix of Queen of Carmel that wasn't as amazing as I'd hoped because the beatboxing threw me off a little. Karen did the funniest skit of a makeover, but her 'hands' were actually the arms of a person sitting behind her.... you get the picture!

Opening Sunday was gruelling! It was incredibly hot, and we were working hard searching through bags all day long....... we took exhaustion to a new level!

Being back at school is nice. Being busy makes time go by faster.

Amy and I went to Lusaka for our night off. We stayed with Musonda, a Baha'i there. We had a pizza supper, saw a movie (27 Dresses) and then slept at her place. In the morning, we left at about 7:30 and she dropped us at the shopping center. We shopped around, Amy got her ear pierced and then we went to Arcades (the other shopping center) to meet Farzin Rahmani, his wife and his friend who are in Zambia to support a health clinic about 45mins out of town, in a village near Chongwe. First, we went shopping for curtain rods for the clinic. We couldn't find anything small or cheap enough, so we settled for plastic pipes. Haha - whatever does the job right? Then we drove to the clinic - about 20 minutes of that drive was spent on bumpy dirt roads - and arrived at the clinic. We were supposed to meet the Chieftainness but she never arrived. We got a tour of the clinic, a pretty rudimentary arrangement of a few offices, and some wards. Suffice it to say that I do not have a burning desire to deliver my baby or get sick out in the villages, thanks.
What was interesting was that we got to sit in on a meeting between Farzin (who has basically adopted this clinic, and visits every year or so to improve it and give funds) and the headmen of the local villages. They were discussing plans for a daycare center that will be built for orphans to attend during the day so that their parent/grandparent can go out and work to earn money. It was interesting the way the headmen would talk together, and also to notice the different levels of initiative among the men... most of them are more laid-back, but a few were more go-getters. I could picture my parents doing their old work in rural hospitals in South Africa, I'm sure the situation looked similar to what I saw today.
Amy and I were very inspired and ready to go home and become doctors, even though Amy really doesn't like medicine! It's hard to know where to start. So you help one clinic... what about the rest of the world?
I think if everyone does a bit of good in whatever way they can (and there are SO many ways!) we'll get the world back on track.

We also spent a short time with Taher Taherzadeh. My family met him on pilgrimage in Haifa last year and he's since moved to Lusaka. We're really excited because he's offered to come and run classes for the youth here on different Baha'i topics. His father, Adib Taherzadeh, is a well-known Baha'i scholar.

Only 4 more days off! Actually, Tuesday was my 6 month anniversary of arriving at Banani. I'm going to dedicate the next month to the Baie D'Urfe Baha'i Community because I miss them and pray for their advancement in the field of service. There is a bright light in my town, it illumines the dark even all the way here in Zambia! Specifically, the junior youth group service projects that have raised over $400 for the primary school here, and of course the prayers I know have brought me confirmations here.
Love to you all!

(lots of pictures! 1)Kawawa and I and Ryan and Scott singing "Can you feel the love tonight", the kids were Timone and Poumba! 2)Picking guavas from the tree 3)At the arts festival with the Primary choir 4)A braai at Karen's with the new youth, Mahnoosh 5)Agents L, O, V and E from the VirtueSquad play 6) Ryan in his Robackbite costume with Rosie as the gangster, JustIce)

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