Some of the closest relationships that Jeremy and I have formed since we first started coming to Zambia over the years have been made in Konkwa village. We are now spreading our wings and are not able to visit Konkwa as much, but every Thursday we try to make it out to visit around. Konkwa is about a 40-minute walk and a 15-minute bike ride away. Jeremy’s great friend here, Cosmas Lilamono, (who named his son Jeremy) and now my good friend, his wife, Josephine live in Konkwa. Then you have Reagan, Rescue, Jeremy, Leaonde and Neva--five boys. I absolutely love this family. I also love riding bikes with Jeremy out to this village. Even though the bike ride is not too long, it is quite the adventure as you are forced to choose which mud puddle you will ride through or which set of rocks will do the least damage to your bike. During the dry season, this will not be a problem, but the trail to Konkwa floods up during the rainy season. Today, Jeremy and I were headed out on our bikes and the young children (all under 6) who were walking home from school waited for us to zoom by and then immediately started chasing our bikes. Well, they are fast, and our bikes are slow trying to avoid mud puddles, so we usually have 10 kids each chasing our bikes. It makes me laugh the entire time we ride out to Konkwa with all of these kids right on my tail. They think it is the most amusing game.
Once Jeremy and I make it to the Lilamono hut, without running over any children, we are greeted by our friends, and all of the boys start yelling our names as we pull in. Cosmas is fluent in English and is probably the best English speaker I have met here. He is helping Jeremy and I learn kikaonde, but his wife Josephine is just starting the process of learning English. She gets a bit sad when she cannot communicate with the three of us in English, so we try to talk in Kaonde as much as possible. Today, her and I practiced language learning together. She would say the English word, and I would say the Kaonde word. I spent most of the afternoon enjoying their company while Jeremy went with one of the other villagers to gather bamboo. We went out in her cornfield to gather the corn that was ready to eat. We took them back to her fire, and she immediately put all of the cornhusks in a plastic bag and hands it to me. I was trying to avoid getting choked up, but it was almost impossible. Here is a family, who eats the same thing (nshema and relish) everyday, every meal, so corn is a treat, and she wanted to give me all of her corn. Well, I wanted to be respectful and honor our relationship, so I took four of her cornhusks but kindly told her I did not need more than that. I love this woman; she inspires me. We are all poor in different ways around the world, but this family is not poor in spirit. I could learn a few things from them! As I told her I had to leave, she stomped her foot and said “No, I want to keep play with Whitney.” Haha, she is learning English remember. I was blessed today and reminded of the scripture that commands us not to worry because surely our Lord knows what we need when we need it. Josephine and Cosmas were obviously not worried about how much food they had, but more concerned about developing relationships and giving to others.
|Here is a small glimpse that Jeremy captured of our race with the kids through Konkwa|