After nearly 4.5 weeks since we arrived in Zambia, we moved to Macha! On Tuesday of last week, we moved out of Nahumba Guesthouse in Choma and we have started the process of settling in Macha. The Percy family has moved into their long-term house at MICS, while our family is living in a temporary house about 3 kms away from MICS, located on the campus of Macha Research Trust (the medical research institute founded by Dr. Phil Thuma).
While this isn’t our permanent housing solution, we are thankful that the “Rose House”has been made available to us for the next 6 weeks or so. The directors of MICS, Gil and Ronda Krause, have been having a small apartment built for them on the MICS campus. Work continues to progress, and within the next month, we hope to be moving them into the apartment, which will make the other larger house on campus available for our family.
This continues to be an ongoing journey of stages. Every step brings us a bit closer to being settled and beginning our long-term work in support of MICS. At times, we continue to feel the stress of living our lives in “temporary” housing, not being able to fully settle and establish some daily routines, but we look to God for strength and flexibility in those challenging moments.
Moving to Macha has meant that we have been able to establish some routine for the kids. Ranen (along with Micah and Caleb Percy) has begun attending school at MICS. His first day in Reception (aka Kindergarten) was last Wednesday. After some initial shyness and few tears, Ranen joined Miss Mwiinga’s class, and has enjoyed several good days of school. I can only imagine how overwhelming this must feel to a 4-year-old boy – attending school in a new country, in a new culture with different social norms, where the kids and teachers talk with an accent that is likely hard for him to understand – probably nothing feels familiar. I couldn’t be prouder of the way he is adjusting to life on this side.
Kanah and Talya are also beginning to ease into a study routine. For the next number of months, both will be using Canadian curriculum books for the core subjects of Math, English, Social Studies, etc. Their first formal school day together began at 8am, working through lessons in a number of subjects, including independent reading time (and ending with their own 20-minute yoga session!). Eventually this term, we hope to expand their studies beyond the curriculum books to include other areas of personal interest. This is a huge learning curve for all and I’m sure there will be a lot of trial and error involved.
In addition to settling into life here, we have been jumping in with some logistical details at MICS. The construction of the Krause’s apartment has required many days of picking up supplies in Choma, which we’ve been doing over the past number of weeks. We also continue to work with the Macha Mission Hospital maintenance workers who are overseeing the completion of the new well at MICS. Projects like this simply require more time and logistical management here.
I’m only being honest when I say that already we’ve faced challenges, frustrations, and feels of discouragement in the past days and weeks. It would be naïve of us to expect any less when relocating our entire family to a country and culture that’s significantly different than our home. It’s during those times that we must rely so strongly on the clear sense of “calling” to return to Macha. We cling to the hope and certainty that brought us back here in the first place.
We are thankful for the prayers and emotional support of our community back home. During these days of transition, settling in, finding routine, and eventually starting our day-to-day work in support of MICS.
We are also so very grateful for the community here that has welcomed us so warmly. The outpouring of love and enthusiasm for us by both our Zambian and North American neighbours has been very encouraging and uplifting. Thank you.