Saturday, April 2, 2011

I’m Addicted. At a Lost for Words.

While my co-leader was translating during the 2nd meeting, I looked down in front of me and saw this beautiful symbolic image.  It may look barren and you may not have much there are still cracks to flourish through. 


“In our culture there is something very important for you to know. In farming we all help each other. If your neighbor does not have seeds and comes to you we don’t say no. We may not have much, but we give what we have.”
-       -Chimwanga Mox Kambita raised his hand during my second meeting to tell me this. 

Chimwanga Mox Kambita in his beautiful field. This very happy man is very persistent about his plans to raise chickens and grow very healthy veggies, but then always adds, "I trust in God, if it is His will then He will provide." He wants to work the land behind him, but needs an irrigation system that cost $200.

I’m at a lost for words, and to be honest I have tried to write this for a long time. Nothing I am satisfied with. Words cannot capture what life is like here. But just like explaining the sounds of the ocean to a deaf person, my best will be done.

The girl beside me is Rachel, the nurse I live and work with.
 I threw her an awesome party! I even baked a cake over charcoal! 
Kokoliko! (Translation: Cock-a-doodle-do) My natural alarm clock is usually one of the only routine parts of my day. My eyes open, I breathe in the fresh brisk air, get a couple stretches in, and I’m up and at um!

Eating n'shima (the dish eaten at every meal), eggplant,
 and chicken at Rachel's bday party with Nacious. Since I was the
 host I got the honor of eating the heart! I am proud to say I am over
my chicken on the bone phobia. Free range chickens are soo tasty! 
Nausious, a 17-year-old boy still in school, fills the room next to me. He is very happy, constantly preaching, and eager to learn. The other room of the house is occupied Rachel and Everine. Everine is an 11-year-old girl Rachel found to come live with us. She does house work and we feed her. Her smile is beautiful and I feel like an aunt to her. Then there is Rachel, a 24-year-old Zambian nurse who has been a nurse for a grand total of drum roll… 3 months. Here in our village clinic she is the nurse, pharmacist, doctor, counselor… basically you name it and she has no choice but to be it. That’s just how Zambian nurses are trained. She is very smart and we learn a lot from each other. She will consult with me asking, “What do you do for malaria in your country?” I tell her I have never seen it and she will reply, “What do you mean you haven’t seen it?!” The same conversation occurs when she inquires about measles, leprosy, schistosomiasis and the list goes on. These are the main cases we see everyday. With 40-50 people flowing through for Rachel and I to see it’s never a dull moment. Not to mention the 2 AM knocks on the door with a women giving birth or a child critically sick (critically sick is usually most of what we see).

My 2nd meeting!! Very big turn out! People are excited
 about learning and possibly given the chance to expand
their garden though micro loans!
Half the week I work at the clinic and the other half I work with the community. I have decided my overall goal is to better the nutrition of the community. Under that monstrosity of an umbrella lays empowering people with fundamental knowledge. I have started weekly meetings with people who are gung-ho (who ever invented that saying anyhow?) and crave to learn. I believe education is the sole key to getting out of poverty. I’m using poverty loosely because these people will probably stay in it, but at least they can be healthy and educated.

Any who, along side education I want to give them a chance to use tools learned. Thanks to the donations made by Sandra Herrera, my Grandma Frances, and Rachael Duckworth the first microloans have been placed! The group members informed me they wanted to plant vegetables this month, but did not have money for seeds. A variety of vitamin-loaded veggies have been purchaced and loaned out to the farmers! They will pay them back when harvest comes! Very exciting!
Mrs. Dorcus is one of the first 8 people to receive loans.
You can see how happy she is! 

In the works: plans for rabbit and fish farming (protein!), beekeeping, morenga tree planting (basically a tree where every part is a mega vitamin), women sewing groups, and many more! I’m trying to find people willing to give a loan to these hardworking people! If interested please let me know! $1 is about how much a person may make in a day. So even if you donate $20, it will go a really long way here!

So yes, I’m addicted. To this African life where a surprise is at every corner and an adventure awaits just walking to the borehole to fetch water. One minute I am stuffed in a bus where a gospel drum circle has broken out to the next where I am stitching up a wound on the clinic porch while the rain is pounding down next to us. This is a life where rainbows and smile are a nightly occurrence.

My name is Kat Roberts and I am addicted to a life better than I could have dreamed of!

Some of the other farmers who received seed loans!
I bought as many seeds I had money for, but there are so many people
 who could use a seed loan! 

This group of women have asked me about a million times about getting a sewing machine to share as well as  knitting needles! If you are interested in supporting them please let me know! A hand sewing machine cost about $100 and would provide good income to many families! By making an investment in their lives you will get to see first hand and receive updates on how the progress!

At our small market in my village hangin out one afternoon!


  1. O Katherine I am so very happy for you! You brought tears to my eyes this morning. Don't worry, they were tears of happiness. I am so very glad that my small donation was able to help. Take care of yourself and glad you are finding joy in your everyday life with these people. :)

  2. Katherine,
    I am so very proud of you! Your photos are beautiful! What beautiful people! I am praying that God will multiply your efforts like the loaves and fishes! You are a community developer like your daddy. Who would have thought it?

  3. How beautiful God has made your heart and I know He is blessing you by your obedience. I remember us talking about your heart for doing this vs. the traditional American path. What a beautiful life you are living and keep us updated further about things you need.

    Love you! Claire

  4. Kat! You are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. How proud we are of you and your journey to follow your dream. Be safe and know we are sending love your way. Ms. Dolly & Mr. Bill

  5. There is nothing like receiving a gift of seeds. It's like literally giving life and an assurance/insurance for the next season. I myself have kindly received seeds from our landlord, an ole timer appalachian. It was such a wonderful gift during hardtimes.
    With those few seeds, his leftover bag of lime, and a few runs of an old tiller, we have had the opportunity to build something beautiful that speaks to the soul as well as the eyes-there is not much better therapy than diggin' in the dirt! ;) And even a small garden can feed a family or more all season long!!!!
    What a wonderful gift! What a wonderful idea!
    I am going to tell all my farmin' hippy asheville people and let the seed loan campaign thrive!!! Love Love!

  6. Katherine, Your mom sent me the link to your blog post. I'm completely overwhelmed with the love you have for this community of people. I know they must treasure the knowledge you are sharing and the love you are pouring out into their families. What a wonderful life you do have! I always knew you would do something unique with your life!
    I will continue to read your posts with wonder and amazement! Much love, "Mrs. Cody"

  7. Katherine...I found out about you and the community of people you help while looking at my Facebook page. The pictures of the people...the men so thrilled with reading glasses to be able to read their Bibles. I contacted your Mom to find out how I could join your team. I will be a prayer warrior and a contributor. I so enjoy knowing about what we can do to help these people who want to their smiles and their culture of helping others. The Holy Spirit just spoke to my heart...and I acted on it. Makes me feel so blessed to be able to help. Love and prayers...Peggy Harvey