Running and Friendship

I’ve started jogging with my dad and brothers a few mornings this week. I’m not a runner by nature and I’m currently panting hard after an 11 minute mile (about 2km) so I’m not very strong. However, I’ve really been enjoying the time I’m spending “getting going” in the mornings. Waking up earlier in the morning before it gets hot, sticking in some earbuds, and going for a jog is the perfect time for me to spend some time talking to God.

I preferably like to spend some time in prayer and reading my Bible in the morning times, but I have a bad habit of sleeping in a little later than I like and therefore rush around when I do get up and put spending time with the Lord on a back burner. I’m wrong for doing this…I’m trying to get better about it. I still read my Bible most days and I for sure pray every day, but I feel like having that time dedicated in the morning is something I personally feel is vital for my days.

Obviously I’m not reading my Bible in the morning while on my run; though I could download an app for audio Bible (hmmm *quotes Gru* Lightbulb!) and I AM reading it when I come home; but I am spending nearly all my time while running in prayer. I have music playing through my earbuds, but I hardly even notice it outside of running to the beat. I simply have it on to prevent me from distraction. I know this isn’t probably normal, but having music on actually helps me focus. So with the music blocking out other sounds, I’m able to wholly devote my 15-30 minutes of jogging time to spending time with the Lord; only occasionally interrupted by greeting someone else walking.

As I walk back to the house after these runs, I feel much more prepared to go through my day. Yeah, the run is nice and gets my blood running, but it’s more about having spent that time with my Father in Heaven. THAT is what really gets my blood pumping and ready to go!

Aside from running, I’ve been going to Wiphan once or twice a week with my family as is usual. I’ve spent quite a bit of my time at Wiphan Mapalo lately; even more than at Wiphan Nkwazi which is where I generally am.

In being at Mapalo more often, I’ve enjoyed getting to know some of the students there along with the staff. On a recent morning, my Dad, brother, and I were driving into Mapalo (the name of the village as well as the school) and we about half-way to Wiphan when I heard “Megani! Megani” just outside the car window. I turned to see Paul, an afternoon student at Mapalo school, waving with the BIGGEST smile on his face! This just put a smile on my face as well. The “little” things like a little boy shouting my name in the middle of a village are often the things which brighten my day most.

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Paul! The sweet little boy who shouted my name on our way to Wiphan Mapalo. =)

Last week, when I arrived at Wiphan Mapalo, I was immediately summoned to join one of the classes who were playing the Bemba version of “Duck Duck Goose” with their teacher. The circle was very large with at least 30 kids participating, so the running distance around the circle was quite long. I wasn’t feeling very well that day and quickly realized I had far over-exerted myself, but I was okay and it was fun to play with them. I spent the rest of my time there relaxing in one of the offices with two staff members I’ve gotten to know well, Madam Mubanga and Mr. Kelvin. We enjoyed some laughter and playful banter as we generally do. 😉

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Some of the boys from Wiphan Mapalo. =)

Even though I’ve spent much time at Mapalo, I’ve still gone to Wiphan Nkwazi as well; which is where the hospitality and data-entry facilities are located.

As I wrote about a few posts back, my friends in the hospitality class have left until January. Since they have left, a new class has come in and I have started getting to know some of them better. I still miss my other friends dearly, but I’m trying not to dwell on their absence to the point of missing an opportunity to make new friends as well.

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Two new friends of min in hospitality: Grace and Faith (middle)

These new friends, while I’m still in the beginning stages of building friendships with them, have already provided me with some fun times, lasting memories, and good conversations which have helped our growing relationships.

This last week, I was able to spend a couple hours with different hospitality students on two separate occasions. The one day I spent in the classroom with five other girls and we had a blast taking photos, chatting, laughing, and just being girls together! The second day I was there, I had time to spend with a mixture of guys and girls and I explained that when Americans say “football” they are talking about a completely different sport than “soccer” (a word they hadn’t heard before); a sport that is a bit more like rugby. They then knew the sport I was talking about but didn’t know the name. So we enjoyed talking about the different sports, their names, and their rules.

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Two more friends: Mulichi and Belinda (middle) XD

We also talked a lot about the culture of Zambia vs. America; the pros and the cons to each. It was a really fun and interesting discussion!

And lastly, I helped a few of the girls sweep the room and then we talked about cooking and the different foods we learn to cook and enjoy eating.

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My new friend Queen! I love this picture! =D

I don’t recall if I’ve written much about Wiphan’s data-entry program beyond explaining what it is. If I did explain it previously, it’s been a while so I’ll explain again: Wiphan has three skills training programs for widows and/or orphans. One of these programs is keyboarding; where students learn basic computer skills. After completing this training, the students can apply to work in the data-entry program where they work for a company based in the U.S. via the Internet. There is a room at Wiphan where all the computers needed for these employees are set up for them to work.

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My friend Victoria in data-entry and one of the other young men who works there as well. =)

In this program, there are quite a few women in their twenties who I’ve gotten to know rather well. I spend a lot of time with them on their lunch hour and during their break time. We mostly sit and chat and laugh a LOT! I also enjoyed having a typing show-down with one my friend Victoria one day! We opened a typing lesson which measures your speed and accuracy in typing and battled to see who scored higher. No comment as to who won; I’ll just say it was a blast. =)

All in all, things have been going well lately. God has been teaching me so much and giving me so many memorable, smile-worthy days and moments to keep for life! There are always those days or moments that aren’t so smile-worthy, but God always teaches me something or brings me out of those moments, making me ready to smile again!

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I enjoyed playing a game similar to jacks with these boys at Wiphan Nkwazi the other day. =D

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Two Wiphan Nkwazi boys! Alan and Abraham.

Lesa musuma; ishita yonse…

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