Monday, June 27, 2011

Zambia.

I have been neglecting doing this post because I know I won't do it justice. I won't be able to share all the feeling I felt or even begin to describe what it was like. It is just too much to share and I don't think anyone really wants to read it all. So I will just share the basics and if you want more details I would LOVE to share them with you!

I don't even know where to begin. It was probably the best experience I have ever had. It was AMAZING!!!  I absolutely adore the Zambian people I met and all the wonderful people that were in my group. It was just an overall fantastic experience.

I spent most of my time working at an orphanage called the Children's Resource Center (CRC) that was started by an organization called Mothers Without Borders. The CRC is literally one of the most inspiring places I have ever been. There are children there that have been through some of the most horrifying and terrible experiences but they still find ways to be happy. They were all so willing to give their love to us and to share their lives with us. They were just brilliant.

Front of the CRC with the Mothers Without Borders logo
Mckell dancing with sweet little Alice.

The beginning of the program that the kids at the CRC
put on for us.
Festus and the picture he drew of the church.

Lovemore and his great picture.

Robert sitting in front of the main building.

Drawing pictures.

Sweet little Leseli. (I hope I spelled that right?)
 
Wall of all the volunteers hand prints.

School house that was built in the chicken coop.
Clothesline where they did all their laundry... and a random mattress.

Alternate view of the clothesline after we built the lovely path.


Mutinta and Blessing. Such sweet girls!

Bridgette and Ethel. So AMAZING!!!

Me giving one of the workers his chicken.
Soon after I gave him this chicken he broke
the chicken's neck...cool...?

Festus!
I know that I shouldn't have picked favorites but I think Festus was definitely my favorite. (Although I LOVED every single one of the kids that I met).  He was so hilarious and so nice to all the other kids. He was just such a gem. I miss him so much already.

Awesome necklace Festus made that said
"festus and anna" on it.

Me and Jackie.

The CRC was such a great place and I loved being able to spend so much time there and get to know all of those inspiring and brilliant people.

My group and all of the Zambian workers and all the kids
that live at the CRC.
Another place we went was called Bwfwano. It was a community center that was built in the middle of a compound (aka slum). All the kids there loved having their pictures taken and were constantly posing.


Hannah helping to give the kids their lunch.
 For lunch the kids at something called soy pudding (or something like that) it was like oatmeal but it had really big chunks in it and stuff...it did not look appealing at all.

This boy kept posing for me to take his picture.



After we visited Bwafwano we went farther out into the compound and visited another family and the kids from all around came to play with all the "Mezungus" (white people)

The girl in the pink shirt was named Florence and she had
the biggest personality of anyone I have ever met.




We also got to visit a traditional African village and it was so interesting. It was just what I was expecting Africa to look like.

The kids loved to do the "Hokey Pokey"
This 8 year old girl carried around her sister all day. It
broke my heart that she wasn't able to participate in all the games
because she had to be responsible.

Favorite little boy...I feel terrible but I can't remember his name.



Some more random pictures....

The house we stayed at...it looks nice enough during the day
but when you go outside during a lunar eclipse it looks
like the creepiest place ever...did I mention there are bars on all
the windows and we padlocked ourselves inside at night?

House of Moses is a transit home for babies from newborn to 18 months.
All of the babies were so darling. I wanted to take them
all home with me.

We visited the UTH (University Teaching Hospital) and it
was one of the scariest places. If you ever get injured in Zambia
DO NOT go to the UTH.

Chickens on the bus.

Ice Cream Truck.

The farm shop where we got to buy some candy. Like
a gas station...but with the gas.

I had the most wonderful time and these pictures can not even begin to explain what it was really like. I hope someday I will get to go back and experience this all over again. It is something I will never forget and I am so incredibly grateful that I got to travel to Zambia.

My wonderful group.
Don't worry about the weird look on my face...I hope
I was in the middle of laughing.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Birthdays.

So as I had previously mentioned it was my sweet little sister's birthday on the 21st and mine is the day after. Most people would think that was really fun, but I am very particular about birthdays and I feel that having our birthdays so close together takes away from the specialness. But that is besides the point. I had a wonderful birthday and I wasn't really expecting to.  Of my four closest friends, three are on missions and the other is visiting family in Kentucky so I wasn't really expecting much from my birthday. I figured I would just hang out with my family and that would be that. But my AMAZING friends from the spectacular Poulson house proved me wrong. They had a little get together for me and it was great. It was so fun and I was so happy that they thought of me. It really made me so happy and I had a great time.  Although I missed all my best friends I still had a lovely birthday and I will hopefully remember it for a long time to come.

So this birthday was pretty good but I have had some other super awesome birthdays. I spent my 12th birthday in London with my mom, aunts, and grandma. I spent my 14th birthday in Omaha, Nebraska. While it wasn't my favorite ever looking back it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. We got to go to a really nice zoo and the college world series is a good life experience. My 16th birthday was spent on a plane and in Hawaii so no complaints there. (plus my birthday was 4 hours longer due to the time change.) And my my 17th birthday my great friends threw me a surprise party (granted I did pester them for months before and I even yelled at poor Wesley two weeks after my birthday when I still hadn't gotten my surprise party but little did I know it was the next weekend and it had been totally planned. Thanks Wes!)

(Imagine a picture of me being really surprised here. My friend deleted his facebook before he went on his mission and therefore deleted all evidence that I had a surprise party. sad...)

But I have had some fabulous birthdays and I am a lucky girl. I think everyone should be treated wonderfully and amazingly on their birthday. So if you know anyone with a birthday coming up, work extra hard to make it special for them. You only get one birthday a year, so you better make it special!

"No I distinctly remember you had your birthday last year"
"That's the funny thing about birthdays, they are kind of an annual thing..."
(Name the movie please?)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Maisie.

Tomorrow is my sweet baby sister's 4th birthday. I can not even believe that she is 4.  I remember the day my mom told us she was pregnant, and the day we found out she was a girl, and especially the day she was born. I really can not comprehend that she is 4. I know I sound like some stereotypical mother when I say it seems like only yesterday that she was born...and it kind of does, but yet it also seems like she has been here forever. I truly thought our family was complete until sweet little Margret Grace joined our family.  I couldn't believe that life had ever existed without her.  Our family would be totally incomplete without her cute little voice constantly talking and pointing out things. She is so smart and darling and wonderful. I love her with all my heart and I hope she knows that. I love you Maisie and I hope you have a wonderful birthday!


Get ready for a picture overload...

Me holding Maisie the day she was born...you can't
really see her but that is beside the point.

Just being cute.

Is that not the cutest
face you have ever seen???

Maisie the chicken wrangler.

She wore this swimsuit for weeks before she was
finally able to wear it in Hawaii.

She was very excited to meet Duncan.

Just singing to a snowman...no big deal.

Meditating...all three year olds do that, right?

Classic Maisie smile.

Last and probably least. I ran out and took this picture
with my phone before she went to bed so that
I could document her last day as a three year old
before she embarks on the adventures of being 4.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Home.

Oh blog, how I have missed you. You have almost been replaced by the wonderful journal that I kept while I was in Zambia. I almost just want to copy and paste the things I wrote there onto here so that everyone can know all of the great things I did, but no one would want to read it all except for me.  I promise that soon enough I will take the time to make a marvelous post and show you all of my wonderful pictures ( maybe not all of them haha) but for right now I will just say that I loved every moment of my trip and I can't wait to go back to Zambia....hopefully some day soon.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Oh what a year.

I just went to graduation ceremony for the high school I attended.  I can not believe that it has been a year since I graduated. It really doesn't seem like it happened at all. I have changed so much since then and have become almost a totally different person. Who knew a person could change so much in one year.  

Going to graduation also made me miss all of the lovely people from my grade. Every single one of those people made the class of 2010 the most wonderful grade. Its so weird that I haven't seen most of those people in about a year and yet I still miss them all.  What a great group of peeople. 

  I am so proud of the Class of 2011. They are all great and wonderful people.  It is no small feat to graduate from Waterford, so you should be super proud of yourselves. Congratulations! I know you will all do great things with your lives.