Have family, will travel
a blog about our family as we continue to follow our hearts and God's will as we work to help the children of Zambia.
Accusations of Being American
Our son has been told all of his life that he is Zambian... His father, although he has been living in the States for the last 20 years, is still a Zambian citizen. Because our children are growing up in Texas, we want them both to have a firm grasp on who they are and where their Daddy is from. So as far as our son knows, he's Zambian and proud of it. We took him (and our daughter of course) to Zambia this summer to meet his family and to do mission work at the Zambian Vocal Group Academy. We were gone for 5 weeks so a month into our trip, we had to go and renew our visas. Our DS as usual, wanted to stay behind with his cousins to play soccer and was not at all interested in spending the day waiting in line and doing paperwork. He said there was no real reason he had to go with us since HE was Zambian and HE didn't need a visa... uh... well... let me tell you that he wasn't so pleased to hear that he wasn't technically Zambian according to his US passport. We were accused of lying to him and he continued to protest while showing us his "brown skin" (he's kind of fair skinned like his red headed momma so this was a bit amusing to me) He eventually agreed (cause he's 4 and I'm in charge) and went along with us. His cousin Christopher later told me a story of a few days before. The two of them were walking through the neighborhood on their way to buy snacks when a group of Zambian boys started to shout at Kalonga in Nyajna. He asked his cousin what they had said and Christopher translated that the boys had called him American. Kalonga protested and told Christopher to tell the boys that he was Zambian and was pretty upset at being called an American. You can tell this boy is proud to be Zambian. By the end of our trip he was calling people, including me, "Muzungu".
"Muzungu" (white person) which was shouted at me nearly every time I walked outside. It's not an insult, just an observation... or maybe an announcement for others to come and take a look. The word itself didn't really bother me, but I'm not that used to having all of everyones attention on me. I'm not usually looking to be the center of attention, but in Zambia... I just am. I guess my red hair didn't help me blend in very well either. Adults and children alike would remind me of my skin color at every possible moment of my day. My sunburn was also a good reminder on several occasions. I often had a crowd of children following me yelling "Muzungu Muzungu!" until I would turn around and smile, wave, or go and speak to them. A lot of the time they would go running off to tell their mother that I had just waved at them. On one walk through Kalingalinga (the town where our family lives and where we spent most of our time) we had a crowd of children following us for nearly a mile jumping up and trying to touch our daughters hair. Our DD was riding in a backpack carrier on my back and was most pleased to be the recipient of that much attention. Our son is more shy and had a harder time adjusting to it. The first day we went to the school, he was surrounded by a group of about 50 curious children. They all wanted to hold his hands and talk to him. One little girl reached out and "boinged" one of his long red curls... in a matter of seconds he had nearly 100 hands on his head playing with his hair. They all pushed towards him and he got trapped in the middle and started to panic. I had to lift him out and send him outside of the school grounds with his uncle before he would calm down. This was one of the many reasons that DS got his haircut :)
Have family, will travel...
I'm a wife of a missionary and a mother of two beautiful Zambian-American children.