Monday, November 21, 2011

Taken a Trip

Today the kids had some catching up to do in school and then it is no more school for the week.  Thanksgiving, Yea!  Which means our last supply trip for the year and this one is to Lusaka.

When we first came to Zambia, I made the kids do school the day before we left on a trip and the day after we came back, but not anymore.  Back then we were behind in school, now we are a little ahead.  Plus, I am not super woman.

I also learned don’t wait until the day before to do everything that you need to do before the trip.  Last time I (Rita) went to Lusaka the electric decided to stay off most of the day.  There are not McDonald’s drive thru to visit.  We have to take our food.  Now, there are restaurants, but why make a 12 hour drive any longer than necessary.

So today was a busy day.  I made two loaves of bread and the bread machine did two more for me.  Also, 24 rolls for sandwiches on the road.  Cappuccino Muffins for breakfast on the road.  Once in Lusaka we can buy food, but for our family of six it gets expensive.  Steve is already seeing dollar signs.  Plus, I just don’t like the bread here.  So I take bread along.  Some of the bread will go into the freezer once there for the trip back. 

I did manage two loads of laundry today.  I’m praying for at least one more load tomorrow.  This morning after my alarm went off, Steve came in to tell me we have absolutely no water in any tank.  We have a mystery on our hands for over a week now.  We are not sure where it is going to.  I spent most of the day in water saving mode.  At 9PM everything is full to the top and the pump is turned off.  We shall see what it looks like in the morning.

Steve was off to Kasama to pay the workers there and to have the 40,000 K (I think) check up on the car.  He can do a lot of things himself, but this was a much bigger list than he wanted to do.  Plus he had to pay road tax on the trailer and the retirement money for the workers.  He was going to go to Shop Rite (groceries), but he called at 7 to say they are just finishing the vehicle!!!   This was all to make our trip to Lusaka less hectic.


Does your curiosity ever get the best of you?  Does it get you in trouble?  When I was little it did.  Growing up helps.  Sometimes curiosity can be a good thing.

In our back yard are three cement pads with heavy meddle lids in the middle of them.  I (Rita) knew they had to do with our septic.  What women wants to look under lids that have to do with the septic?  My thoughts exactly! 

Then I got to thinking, if my Dad came to visit he would have looked under them in the first day.  He is notorious for that.  He has checked out every place we have lived.  Take for example the mission house we lived in before we left for over seas.  There are two meddle grates in that yard.  Dad put the hose down them and turn on the water and then went in search of where the water drained out, and we paid for our water there.  He never did find it!  That is my Dad!  I love him for it!

Septic 1 comp.

So, one day last week I was walking around the yard checking things out.  I decided to brave the lid and see if I could lift it.  I could and I was grossed out.  I put it back in place quickly.  The more I thought about it though the more I realized that this is why our toilet gets backed up.  There have been times in the last 2 plus years that our toilet has been off limits for going #2.  Toilet plungers do not, I say do not work on these Zambian toilets.  So it gets very frustrating.

Septic 2 comp.

A week later I was out in the yard again.  We have a gardener who takes care of the garden, but doesn’t pick any veggies.  So I try to meander around it and see what I need to take care of.  Steve came out and together we investigated our septic system.  The above two pictures are of the same cement box in our yard.  We got a bucket of water and the hose and cleaned it out before I took a picture.  You can thank me later. Smile  The week before, after my first thought, I had a second thought.  They should have built if differently, than it wouldn’t get so backed up.  There are four gutters draining into one gutter that goes into a pipe down to the next cement box.  The top gutter it our toilet.  The other gutters were clean.  The tub, sinks, and shower help keep the stuff moving.  Both toilet gutters should be at the bottom or to the left in the picture and the sinks and showers to the top or right.  That way our toilet wouldn’t get backed up in here.  OK, enough of that stinky subject.

Septic 3 Comp.

This is the next box that the pipe from the above box runs into.  This box is for the kitchen sink.  It was just about as gross as the last one.  Steve is cleaning out the first box.  The sinks and showers all drain out of a pipe (no kidding) into a cement box right outside of the house where the sink or tub it.  We have three of these, one outside each bathroom and then this one outside the kitchen.  This one was filled with mud.  It didn’t make sense at the time, but the more I thought about it, I remembered the ants.  The ants filled this box with mud, there is no other explanation. Then a drain and pipe lead from the box Steve is cleaning out in the box to the left of him.

This box drains into a very deep septic tank.  We took the broken meddle lid off of it.  Steve put a long meddle rod and and it didn’t touch the bottom.  So we thought we will just change the lids around.  Can you believe it ever lid is a different size!?!?!  The lids do cover the other holes but not properly and you can tell, it smells out back.  So tomorrow it is off to get the septic lid welded.  We were not so concerned about it as it was broken back in January.  Now, knowing of our bottomless pit and that the kids ride their bikes over that lid, we are getting the lid fix.

There is one more box in our yard that we still are not sure about.  Our guess at the moment is maybe we do have bore hole.  That is a well for you folks back in the good ol’ US of A.

Better subjects to come later!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Ministry Happenings

We had a Zambian mission team come help us out from Kasama.   On Thursday, September 30th, Steve drove to Kasama for supplies for us and brought back six leaders from the churches in Kasama.  Two more arrive by bus on Friday and one via a truck late on Friday night.  Two women stayed in Heather’s room and the men camped in tents in our yard.  We hired two Zambian women to do all the cooking.

Late Thursday they went prayer walking in Maround.  Friday and Saturday they walked around Maround, talking and witnessing to people.  Both evenings we showed the Jesus Film in the Mambwe language.  Then after that, one of the guys preached.

On Sunday morning we had a church service in the community center.  It was wonderful to come together and worship.  The team did a wonderful job.

We have been meeting every Sunday since then.  Sometimes it is disappointing at how few come.  Steve and Wigan are visiting them during the week. 

A side note: Wigan in in Lusaka for medical reasons.  So one of the guys from Kasama came up last weekend and this weekend to help us out. 

Our children came down with colds and so this is the first weekend I have missed and stayed home with three sick children.  Steve came home to say what a good worship service it was and that four new men were there.  Poor Steve, the ones that come are mostly women, even in his Saturday Bible study.  So it is quite exciting to have four new men show up.

Please pray for Wigan as he is going to have to stay in Lusaka longer than expected.  They cannot find out what is wrong.  Also, we will be traveling to Lusaka for supplies and to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Pray for safe travel.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I need to apologize for not doing a better job keeping this blog updated.  I go to other peoples blog and then fuss about the fact that they haven’t updated lately, yet I am guilty of the same thing. So here goes:  I’m sorry.

Life has been going on at a very fast pace.  I have never been a fan of fast pace.  I like to take things slowly.  We started our school year early anticipating breaks and trips.

This past week was really hectic.  Steve actually suggested we take the week off from school, but I couldn’t bring myself to do such a thing.  We will have a week off at Thanksgiving.  I just couldn’t do two weeks off in one month.

I have been very blessed to have workers.  One worker keeps our house clean the other worker keeps the yard clean and takes care of the garden.  They had finished grade 12 but never passed the tests.  So this year they have been going to school in the afternoons and evenings.  This past week was test week.  When one worker is sick or wants a day off it is no problem.  If I don’t have school to teach then it isn’t a problem for both of them to be gone.  Both of them off made for a very long week.

I did think ahead a little.  Last Saturday I made six loaves of bread, so that I wouldn’t have to do it during the week.  If I have bread to make then the school day starts too late.  I also put a chart on the board, listing all the things in the house that needed to be done.  The kids were a great help in getting the house clean.  We already have the garden divided up for watering it.  After the first day I just made a new rule: only one child is aloud to be outside watering at a time.  The rest needed to be in school.  Too much playing around was happening on the first day. 

The workers have one more test tomorrow morning.  Thinking ahead again, we cleaned on Saturday.  We usually don’t do any cleaning on the weekend.  So by doing it on Saturday, we don’t have to do it on Monday. 

Then the Lord blessed us this morning with a lot of rain.  So we don’t have to go water the garden tomorrow morning.  Now if I can just get Lane a little motivated to finish last weeks school work, we should be able to start this week off fresh and new with nothing extra to do.

Our house worker does want the month of January off.  So if you remember: pray for us.  It is going to be a long month.  At least our yard worker will still be here.  I do have him help in the house too.