Months of discussion, propelled by termite infestations, extreme power and water outages and the overall health and safety issues that were becoming more apparent and hard to maintain at many of our homes over the course of the first 6 months homes yielded a complete ZamFam move in early 2016. With GHC’s assistance, we all, over the course of a month, transitioned to new homes scattered across the city. For me, this move was pretty bittersweet because while the housing that we had been living in for our first 6 months in Zambia had a host of physical problems that had been compounded over several years that affected the collective livelihood of the group that lived there, the housing complex had been an integral place of community for the 4 years of Zambian based American fellows (as well as many of the Zambian national fellows) who were a part of Global Health Corps. The history of the complex and just the sheer convenience of living next door to other members of our cohort made the place special because it housed many memories and enabled new group memories to be born which meant that the official announcement of our move called for a grand farewell celebration. Kalin headed up a going away Braii or BBQ for friends and family of current and previous GHC fellows based in Zambia, and the turn-out was great. It was a beautiful way to move into a new phase of our Zambian GHC experience.
Fast forward a month later, we somehow managed to pack up all of our belongings (which for me was a heinous process since I tend to collect massive amounts of random things) and have since moved to various homes in Lusaka that boast improved maintenance and power as well as being a bit more convenient to most of our cohort’s work places.
For GHC, one of the main focuses for our move was to improve the commute from work to home so that less people were traveling to and from work after the sun was down. And because this was a main part of the move and new housing selection, roommates were swapped and new living arrangements were made. Effie and I are still roomies and have welcomed Doris into our day to day lives as our new third roommate in our spacious and beautiful new home (complete with accent walls and a red kitchen!).
We all had to adjust and set new expectations for one another to ensure that we live as peacefully and productively as possible in our third official living arrangement since moving to Zambia. While this experience was definitely bittersweet at the beginning and learning how to get to work or grocery shop or just live in our new contexts added a certain level of anxiety for me as I sought to find my new norm, the move has proven to be for the better for all of us and I am thankful for all of the new opportunities that this new housing arrangement has to offers us (like intentionally traveling to visit each other or hosting dinner parties with one another).
This just goes to show that the only constant in life is change, and that’s a beautiful thing.