Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Listy Blog of Demands :D

Greetings all! I have, as per overwhelming request, been giving much thought as to how you, too, can do your part to contribute to global development. Here’s what I’ve come up with: A) Join Peace Corps, or B) send your friendly neighborhood Volunteer a little something. Like a letter. Or a package. I’d LOVE to hear from anyone and everyone about what’s new in their lives and what’s new in the big wide world. Shockingly, Mwanachama (just across the dambo, down the hill, and across the stream) is a bit out of the loop on things. Can’t seem to understand why…

Anyway, I understand packages are more expensive, but if you’re really feeling ambitious or bwana (rich, as the locals say), here’s a brief and by no means exclusive rundown of the things I would be wet-my-pants excited to receive:

-granola bars (any and all kinds, shapes and sizes)
-any form of pre-packaged protein, actually, ie: beef jerky, tuna, trail mix, ect.
-you know, really just pre-packaged anything would be awesome. If it says instant and/or just add water, toss it in.
-see above for beverages as well, esp. instant coffee :)
-starbursts and skittles
-Tim’s Cascade Potato chips in Sea salt and vinegar!
-Pictures. Of anything. Except naked girls. Mostly just you and your life.
-Candles! Yummy smelling ones, cintronella ones, ones that burn. Or incense, too.
-Pens. Incidentally, Zam-pens don’t last as long as the nice American pens that are made in China. Don’t ask me know I found this out
-Magazines, about anything. Ditto to the naked girl comment above, however. I love reading fashion mags like Glamour, Marie Claire, ect, but would also love current events stuff too. Capital Press, Country Living, Martha, and what not. DO NOT under any circumstances send me a food magazine if you consider our friendship valuable…
-crossword puzzle and sudoku books. They keep me sane and I’m running out…
-anything clever or fun that could keep me entertained for a while. It wouldn’t take much, honestly. You send over a box of assorted bottle caps and I’d have a full weekend of entertainment.
-New music, if you know what kind of music I’m into. I’d welcome anything, and I love getting new stuff. Plus if you send it over on a flash drive (the best way), you guarantee yourself a real letter from Africa back w/ your drive…just sayin’. It’s a sound business proposition
-hand sanitizer and Pepto-tabs to keep the ever insidious Africa-gut at bay. I believe in stock-piling.

If you can figure out a way to send the following, I will personally appeal directly to the Pope himself for your Canonization into sainthood:

-Ben and Jerry’s Imagine Whirled Peace Ice Cream
-Mike’s Hard Lime-ade and Fat Tire beer
-Fresh sea food, esp crab
-Top Burger French fries
-my Mom, Dad and sister
-shortwave radio (probable, but I really don’t expect anyone to send one…lol)
-a Ferris Wheel
-any type of firearm to eliminate the rooster that sleeps in the tree above my roof. Please note here that I have not asked for an alarm clock. Also note that “dawn” to a Zambian rooster is 4:00 am
-BBQ, either the device or the product
-Eric Bana, sans shirt

…I leave the details up to you.

Really, I’d love hearing from all of you (even if there are strangers out there :) ), but just knowing that you’re out there reading and pulling for me is enough. I appreciate it and it makes me feel good to have such a huge team rooting for me on the homefront. Makes the hard days easier and the good days better. Special shout-out to Tanya and Jonie, thanks for keeping Mom sane so far. Love you guys…

Provincial meetings in the first week of June! Just a couple of days before my birthday so I can make a real cake and celebrate with all of my new friends in Luapula province. Then IST (in-service training) in Lusaka beginning of August and then I can come back to Mwanachama and begin real work! My village is fantastic and I fall more in love with it and the people in it every day. So much to look forward to…

Hope everyone is enjoying some fabulous Spring weather and enjoy Memorial Day!



  1. Hey Ashley,
    I'm an RPCV (Tanzania) who's coming to live in Zambia for a year, so I'm in the flurry of pre-trip packing and shopping. I have a question for you: is it true that you have to iron absolutely everything to kill putsi flies?

    Hope all's well,

  2. Ash I can't believe it has taken me this long to stumble upon your are so hilarious and I love reading about your adventures!

  3. Lauren: Negatory on the ironing, you just have to wait at least three days after your clothes are dry before you wear them. The bot flies are more common during the rainy season, because nothing ever dries out completely, but you can dry your clothes over your brazier and speed the process up a bit. I don't have an iron, but then again, I haven't been here for a whole rainy season, so I may invest before this time next year. So exciting you're headed back this way! Are you doing Crisis Corps or something else? Happy packing!

    Jane: word. Love you girl...send me a link so I can stay updated on your Alaskan adventures.

  4. Hi Ashley,
    Phew- thanks! I'm doing some research through my med school's associated school of public health. I'll be in Choma starting in early July. Not sure where you are relative to Choma, but if you or any other PCVs want to meet up, let me know!


  5. Choma is in Southern Province, so we'll be pretty far apart. Also, Southern is the smallest province as far as the number of PCV's, I know we're phasing out of there, so there won't be many of us down there. On the other hand, if you're ever Lusaka way, let me know, and we can meet up. My phone number is 0974041131, you can hit me up anytime. :D