Sunday, April 13, 2008


Ba Jane and I are aware that we don't quite understand each other, so we both keep brining up the same conversations, hoping to get information that will provide clarification. Luckily, every day provides chances to chat over nshima, the strangely addictive corn paste that is the base of every meal.
For me, the confusion is: who are all these kids running around the compound? She explained when we first arrived, but I didn't even bother trying to keep them straight then. All I caught was, these are two orphans. Later, she introduced a girl to me as her first-born daughter, and later the same girl as her sister's daughter.
Then we learned in training that Zambians consider the sons of their father's brother to be their brothers. Although this doesn't seem to be the situation with any of the family members here, it helps explain how Zambians identify "family."
The question Ba Jane keeps asking me: "You really never ate nshima before?"

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