Friday, February 4, 2011

Freebirds: It's Not Normal

Hanging out with kids in Adams village! This is after a flash mob dance party!


My village!
The sun is peaking through its partly cloudy sky watching me as I hitch a ride on a canter truck to move into my village for the first time. Across from me I see my past- a Zambian boy wearing a shirt from Freebirds, a burrito shop in Austin Texas. Memories run rampant of my life in Austin and how drastically different it is here. Many people over the past three months said, “Wow! You’re really doing what you have been dreaming of forever!” Then I realize, “It’s not normal.” Ironically that’s also the slogan for Freebirds.
I have always said dream big… just didn’t realize those big dreams would lead to an even bigger reality! I have been in Africa for almost 2 weeks and can’t think of any place I’d rather be.  Looking up for even just one minute I see chickens being chased by barefoot kids squealing with laughter, women socializing while pulling water up from the well, and thatch hut roofs forcing me to the realization- I’m in Africa! I am overwhelmed with excitement as we approach my new home- Luamala Village!
The view from my window in my room!
Adam spinning the brazzer to get the coals hot!
There is something raw and powerful, yet simplistic about life here. People here listen to the wind… it is the weather forecaster. I have learned how to cook over a brazzer (a metal stove heated by charcoal.) After an hour of cooking, a rewarding meal is made. Usually it is n’shima: cornmeal made into a consistency of potatoes. It is made twice a day and eaten with everything, such as mushrooms or cassava leaves. Showers are with a bucket and a cup. Nights are seen in candlelight and more stars than I thought could be seen. It’s magical being so close with just the basic necessities of life!
First night in the village! Adam teaching me how to cook meals!
The kids taking me around my village!
Going out in the town of Solwezi, Zambia for my birthday with some of the Peacecorps people!


  1. I am inspired by your ambition and breath taken by your words. Your experience will be no less then life altering. Enjoy and keep us posted! Love you! XOXO

  2. Dear Kat: I have been waiting for this post anxiously. It's wonderful to know that you are truly enjoying your stay in Africa. Although I clearly see why...
    I often have wondered why we complicate our lives trying to have material things. We have so much and still, complain about everything. Yet, in a small village living a simple life people are richer. How many people in developed countries gaze at stars? We tend to forget God's beauty for television.
    You have made me want to go and share your experience, even thought I have no special skills...I got two hands. I think somehow I could help.
    So I will dream too. Once I am settled in Spain,
    I will work to make this happen. Thank you for this post and I wish you the best.
    God bless you

  3. Kat I am so glad you're happy and having the time of your life. I have definitely been in your shoes, especially spending my summers in rural Mexico every summer. Taking showers in the river was more my things, except when too cold then the buckets would come out. The people were always more in tuned with their surroundings then the outside world. Their relationships were so unique and the ways they found happiness would make most U.S citizens cringe b/c it's probably not electronic. Continue to have fun but promise to be safe, take care girly. Your childhood friend, Sandra

  4. Thanks for the great post and the time on the phone this morning. It was great to hear your voice and that you are doing well. Be safe on your trip and keep in touch.
    Love, Dad

  5. Ohhh I love your blogs. You are an amazing written and photographer. Just some of your many talents. Austin misses you but we are so happy that you are having such an amazing adventure!

  6. I am so glad to read your post and have thought about you daily. How rich this experience will be. Miss you and I know you are impacting some amazing people (and vice versa).

  7. Beautiful post! I am praying that you will be smack in the palm of God's hand! If you stay there, you will be given provision (and get confirmation -like the t-shirt) no matter where you go or what you do. Jump out and you're on your own. Do good girl! Yeah - I hear you - "It's not normal" - but if it was it wouldn't be right. Make your own path. I love you and look forward to the next blog. Mom