Last week, I had the chance to visit the hut where I'll live for the next two years, starting in about a month. My host, K, who will also be our neighbor, introduced me to my new host Atate (father), who was warm and friendly but looked at me a little blankly until K explained that I wasn't just a random white visitor but would be moving in soon.
His face broke into a huge grin and he grabbed my hand again and shook it about ten more times. "Welcome, welcome," he told me. "This is your home." And, as the Zambians love to say, "Be free."
That night his wife cooked up some nshima and he fired up the generator to show the DVD of George of the Jungle II. Atate also owns a copy of Babe. With that same sense of wonder, he told me, The pig.... was talking!
The next day, he scolded me for saying "Odi" (excuse me) when I approached his house, as is the Zambian custom. "This is your home," he said.