I will no longer be greeted back in the states with, “Oh, what are you still doing here? I thought you’d already left for Africa!” To which I would awkwardly reply with a laugh and suppress my need to reply with a sassy remark.
After a surprisingly not-so-bad trip, complete with okay meals, a not functioning screen on the LAX to DXB leg, a sore neck, and sitting on the last two seated row of the plane, we finally arrived to Lusaka. While waiting for customs, we were asked to step aside and complete some medical forms because we came from the US, which is a Zika infested country for your information. So naturally, they wanted to make sure we weren’t brining it to Zambia with us… which would seem a bit backwards but we obliged happily.
Waiting for us was Jerry, the sweetest and merriest Zambian you’ll ever met, who greeted us with, “Brother and Sister Arnold!” A greeting that will take some getting used to but none the less, a warm greeting.
We arrived at the Lusaka Adventist Dental Services (LADS) and Eye Hospital about 40 minutes later and were escorted to the Yoo’s house on the compound where we are going to be staying until we can find a place of our own. Speaking of finding a new place, here’s a list of our TO DO List:
1.Grab SIM Cards for our phones/Figure out how their phone system works!
We waited for about an hour to simply register our SIM cards, which cost $.50, and then only to have Wes lose his after we came back home, so we had to go back again the next day TO SPEND ANOTHER HOUR! Only to find out he’s still having issues, so we went back a third time, so needless to say, we’ve made new friends at MTN.
2. Find a bank and open a local account
After much deliberation, we decided to go with Stanbic Bank, because of the convenience and number of locations around. Little did we know the amount of paper work required for this and letters from our employer stating this and a little letter from immigrations stating that…and the list continues. So we’ve made good friends with the bank people as well, on the account of our many visits in the last few days.
3. Get Wes a work permit
This is the most arduous process yet! So much so I can’t even begin to explain the whole thing without getting over heated myself and flustered from the several things required of us, so I won’t divulge just yet. Plus none of you are getting your Zambian permits anytime soon, so no need to explain!
4. Find me a job
Since I’m starting with nothing, I literally have to this the old fashion way and go door to door and hand people my resume. I’ve been going to International schools, the UN, and the US Embassy, so fingers crossed! Otherwise, there’s this super cute cafe and bistro called The Cake Bar, where I can work. We have already frequented it a bit, so I’m confident I could charm my way into being a barista!
5. Find a car
We could buy 4 cars back in the states, just for the price of one stinkin’ car here. Oh and that’s a used car, not even a new one! We went to the Toyota dealership to see what we were working with and as the lady was talking to us, I had to stop myself from bursting out laughing as she showed us the numbers. Just to give you an idea, a used 2011 Corolla was $20,000. And they don’t carry cars older than a year and half old. So that was a shocking wake up call that we were no longer in the United States. So we’re headed to the used car dealership, hoping to not find a lemon!
6. Find a casa
As I mentioned before, we are currently staying on the clinic compound, at the Yoo’s house, until we can find a place. This is dependent on when our container arrives, around Juneish, and also if my job provides housing for us. So for now, we continue to live out of our suitcases but instead of just one small carry-on suitcase, it’s now 3 giant ones! Boy, it’ll be really nice to have a place of our own where we can actually unpack! #goals #Ihatehashtags But maybe by writing a #, these days it’s like wishing on a star and what I wish will come true!
So I think that about sums it all up for now! Besides that, Wes and I have blown through a season of Friends, and 6/7 HP Movies, which is a tradition of mine when I move to another country. The spider count is at 6, one with a reoccurring role, and a deadly one. We have also gotten to know the other missionaries here, Travis & Lauren, Joy Joy, Pam and Anna, and have had them over for dinner and movies.
Although each day is filled with uncertainty, we are still very much enjoying ourselves, so stay tuned!