Tag Archives: fundraising

Woohoo!

I am VERY pleased to announce that this afternoon I reached my fund-raising goal of $5,400! I’m really overwhelmed by how generous everyone has been in helping me to make this trip feasible.

This past week I read Sarah A. Lanier’s Foreign to Familiar, which I liked much better than Ministering Cross-Culturally. Halfway through this book, I decided that everyone should read it, even if they aren’t going anywhere, just to help understand other people. I felt like the approach was much less, “This is everything you need to do and I will interpret it for you with my particular Biblical context,” and more, “These are ways that different cultures look at the world, and these are problems that people frequently encounter when moving between two very different worldviews.” The book is written for people moving in both directions, not just for westerners going to third-world countries, which is what I felt the other one was. One of the things that I really loved is that she’s been all over the world and talked to all kinds of people, so the examples were drawn from a really broad range of experiences. She talked about all sorts of things, like spontaneity vs. planned schedules, conceptions of when an event starts (if the wedding starts at two, does that mean that the ceremony starts at two, or does the bride start putting on her dress at two? It depends on how you define “the wedding”), privacy vs. inclusion, etc. She spoke briefly about the struggle of being a woman going to cultures where women generally take a more subordinate role, and things that she has worked out to respect both herself and the culture she is visiting.

I could talk about this book for a long time, but I will just say that the narrative style really clicked, and the things she said made sense to me — broader ideas that fit into things I have observed, and helped provide a framework in which to understand them — and that I both enjoyed it and learned a great deal from it. If you have a chance, I highly recommend that you read it. It’s only 120 pages. And the print is big. I read it in an hour and a half — and I was pausing about every three pages to read bits out loud.

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Beginning again

 

So here I am, in a new blog, preparing for a new adventure.  In two months I will go to orientation, and a week after that, barring huge unforseen problems, I will go to Macha, Zambia.  (If you haven’t seen it on a map, here is a link to Google Maps. It’s not as small as it looks; the community is spread out over about 6,000 sq. kilometers, but it is quite rural.)

As far as fund-raising, I currently have $4,063 of the $5,400 I need — there is a $4,600 required contribution for the MCC SALT program, and the rest will cover student loans beyond what they will assist me with. I’m feeling incredibly grateful for the support I have received so far, and very loved by my community.

To answer a question that I have received from any number of people, no, I have not yet started packing. At this point I do have a box for cool-weather clothing and other things that I expect to want in Zambia but don’t think I’ll need before then.

To answer another question I’ve gotten a lot, there’s been a lot of paperwork (I needed notarized copies of my entire life, including my college diploma, to apply for my work permit), and I had to get shots for yellow fever, polio, typhoid, and hepatitis a, not to mention a tetanus/pertussis/diptheria booster, in addition to a number of innoculations that I’d already gotten, including meningitis, hepatitis b, and some other things that I’ve forgotten. Yes, it is a malarial region; there’s a malaria research center attached to the hospital in Macha. I do not intend to get malaria if I can possibly avoid it.

For a final frequently asked question, the official language in Zambia is English. The local language in Southern Province, where I’ll be, is Tonga (there are 73 distinct regional languages spoken in Zambia, not to mention any number of dialects). No, I have not started studying Tonga — I think I’ll get six weeks of language lessons after I arrive — because I have been unable to find any resources or native speakers to help me do so. But Culture and Customs of Zambia reassures me that 80% of people over the age of fifteen speak English, and people who have been there tell me that people will speak English in Macha, and I’d have to go into very remote areas to find people who don’t speak English at all.

Hopefully this is crossposting to livejournal. Feel free to read it here or there; I’ll try to answer comments in both places.

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