We had the privilege of going out to Kafue National Park to visit our Ozzie friends, Jodi & Jason Moodie, who live in Itumbi Palace, where they help run an orphanage called Kidz 4 Him. You might remember that in a previous blog I mentioned we met a wonderful young couple out at Riverside who lived way out in the Bush (or the Bushes as my mother likes to say). We clicked with them and every time they came into Lusaka for supplies, we would spend every evening with them. Plus, they have two of the cutest kids, Joella and Jackson. After several visits, they invited us out to their place anytime we liked. I was very keen to go and said they would definitely be seeing us. One thing I have learned in the many years of living far away, is mean what you say when you say, “Yea, I’ll come visit you!” The worst thing you can do is get a girls hopes up by saying you’ll come, just to shut me up, and because it ‘sounds good in theory’. No thank you! So, when I told Jodi we were coming, I meant it and upon our return to Lusaka, we immediately planned a trip.
Originally, Wes and I were going to go just us and maybe the Sandefur’s. However, we had two missionaries, Mark, who is interning at the Eye Hospital for a month, and Robert, who is in his Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residency. Wes thought it might be neat to do an outreach clinic when we go down. Early Friday morning, seven of us piled in to a mobile dental clinic, sponsored by International Caring Hands and Riverside Farms Institute (our favorite weekend getaway), and started driving to Kafue. Fortunately, the truck is huge and can squeeze all of us in but unfortunately there is really only seats for six, so I was placed in the front, on a short stool, in between Wes (who is driving left-sided wheel) and a very sprawled out Robert. So, for three hours I got to work on my core muscles as I balanced on the stool and moved my cheeks from side to side to relieve my sore butt bones and no, not to pass gas. I’m a lady, I don’t do that.
With shooting pains soaring up and down my back, I thought I was turning into the Hulk with how much contortion and grunting I was doing to relieve myself. We finally got to Kafue only to be greeted by dirt roads that had seen care once in their life…when they were made. I heard the voice of an angel when Mark asked if I wanted to switch seats. My Hulkiness subsided and no one became victim to its wrath as I moved to the back bench. We endured this rough terrain for another couple of hours, having had only a few minor slips as Wes caused a rubber guard to fly off, which they retrieved and also causing Robert to bounce so high he hit his head on the roof. Other than that, we we came out scotch free, though our eggs came out scrambled in the back.
Jason and Jodi greeted us to their amazing property that over looks the Kafue River. After about four years of living in an old RV, they finally built their house which is a darling little place I deemed the Moodie Manor. Jason showed us around the property where we saw their huge garden, chicken coop, outdoor shower and toilet, and we walked down to his parents property where the orphanage was with a garden and a small house for the Senior Moodie’s, Rob and Sheree.
On Sabbath, we walked to the local church where the service was good, the singing in Tonga, and the people were lovely. We enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by Jodi and Sheree. While a migraine thrust its self upon me, the rest of the crew went on a beautiful hike along the Kafue River. And before we knew it Sunday arrived and out the door the dental crew went at 6:30am. Having started preparing the breakfast at around 5 for all the hungry guys, Jodi and I were exhausted by 7am and enjoyed a Cuppa (as they call it) and chatted away for a couple of hours. We then decided we should probably prepare a simple lunch for the crew, so with Joella’s help, we made PB&J’s and walked them down. All the while, my poor friend Jodi felt weak and achy. When we finally reached the church grounds where the truck was parked, Jodi was panting and sitting down by a tree. We decided to test her for malaria and sure enough she came out positive. So we quickly grabbed some anti-malarial meds and took her home to rest. I then assumed farm wife life. This entailed taking care of the chickens; feeding, putting them in, etc. Also grabbing veggies from the garden, hanging out the laundry, sweeping the house, oh yea, and taking care of a three and 8 month old.
If I thought I was ready to have kids, well that short four day trip told me, “Nope!” (Sorry Bill…) I was exhausted! However, I can’t complain because I wasn’t the one in bed with a temp of 39 C and achy with Malaria. So, I sucked it up and went on learning new tricks of the Bush trade. I learned how to make fresh almond milk, avocado leaf tea, a bubbles & squeak (breakfast scramble), raw peanut butter & cocoa bars, how to use beet root in sandwiches, a sago fruit salad, how to raise chickens, and a whole lot more I can’t even remember! And then after all that learning, the hungry boys would come home and I would have to feed them and feed them and feed them.
While Jodi was lying sick in bed, and while I was rummaging about doing farm duties, the dental crew was working hard. Altogether, the pulled about 150 teeth and accomplished several fillings and localized cleanings as well. The days seemed to have an inconsistent flow, so to fill the time, Wes taught everyone the glorious game that is Kan Jam (thank you Speyer’s)! When the sun came down, they would pack up and head back to the Moodie Manor where I would try to have supper ready. The evenings were filled with my feet up, begging for a foot rub while the boys gobbled up every last bit of food and then do some honey harvesting or croc wrestling. Haha, I only kid about the later, but it could have happened…
All in all, a terrific trip was had, even though life threw some curves balls, we were able to manage and enjoy our time out in the Bushes.