Ben and I have just completed our first three months at our site, a period coined ‘Community Entry’ in which Peace Corps requires volunteers stay within their district, and fully integrate into to the community before beginning to work on their projects. During this time, we met with village elders, headmen, NGOs, villagers, and in general just got our bearings. Throughout this period we also were able to start new hobbies and rekindle old ones.
Ben started a garden (which he will help teach villagers about) that Lizzy now helps with. The garden started with just a few green bean plants, but now has over 250 stalks of corn, 60 head of cabbage, 60 green bean plants, 75 rape (Zambian leafy green), 100 ground nuts, 75 heads of endive, a dozen potato plants, 30 tomato plants, plus lots of carrots, onions, basil, garlic, baby marrows, cucumbers, watermelons and lemon peppers.
Lizzy has been taking to crafting, mostly using the local chitenge fabric found here in Zambia. Some of the projects undertaken have included upholstering chairs, making clothing and pillows and other decorations around the house (15x9 mud hut). She has also been making frames from materials around the compound and painting the interior of our hut.
On the work front, we will begin volunteering at the school each week teaching health classes, as well as helping with other classes and after school programs. Lizzy will begin working at the clinic a few times each week, and Ben will be working with a sustainable agriculture NGO which aims to reduce illegal poaching and increase food security.