Things I have learned so far in Zambia

1. It’s good to be a hypochondriac.

I got a small cut on my finger during dinner last night, which I thought nothing of until chatting with a PCVL (Peace Corps Volunteer Leader, one of the volunteers who is helping out with training) this morning who told me a horror story of what could happen with an untreated (or even treated but detected late) infection. Long story short, I could have had my finger amputated given enough time and the right recipe of bacterial soup. I didn’t need to be told twice. I hightailed it back to my room and applied both antiseptic gel and antibiotic cream.

2. It’s not good to get malaria.

We have to take malaria prophylaxis pills every day. Our first dose was yesterday, and not a moment too soon because I got bit by a couple of REAL ZAMBIAN MOSQUITOS last night and could possibly have contracted REAL AFRICAN MALARIA. I’ll be taking my prophylaxis faithfully for the next 27 months, you betcha.

3. There are things that will get you immediately kicked out of the Peace Corps. Some of these are:

-Riding a bike without a helmet

-Riding a motorcycle ever

-Having sex with a minor (I think this is bad wherever you are)

-Climbing a water tower

4. Yes, the bugs here are larger and more numerous than in America.

This is probably the first stereotype of Africa that I’ve seen ring true. The giant wall spiders in my room at night luckily don’t move. Except when they do, and then they move freakily fast.

On a side note, thank you for reading my blog and a special thanks to those who post comments! My internet is slow and unpredictable, so I can’t comment back on them or check other social media sites, but know that I read them and appreciate them.


12 thoughts on “Things I have learned so far in Zambia

  1. Matt, the mention of giant wall spiders stops any plans I had of visiting Zambia of my own free will. Thanks for the tip! 😉 Do take care of yourself. And keep posting! I am loving the updates.

    • I know, I was surprised when I heard this too. They explained that volunteers tend to want to climb tall things and Zambians tend to think they’re trying to poison water supplies. Apparently this almost got the PC kicked out of the country a few years back.

  2. When I read the “Dont’s” I imagine what kind of hijinks PCV’s have gotten into over the past 52 years. I would’ve gotten kicked out on 3 of the 4!

  3. I have to say that the giant wall spiders got me, too. Especially if they move at lightning speed! But enjoying your adventure vicariously.

  4. There are things that will get you immediately kicked out of the Peace Corps…. Gotta admit, your adding “I think this is bad wherever you are” made me laugh out loud. Love your sense of humor, Matt!

    Thanks for the updates and hope you had a wonderful Valentines Day!

  5. You cut yourself? Freakishly fast LARGE wall spiders? What in the &^%$ is a “wall spider”?!!!! I get chills thinking about it! (Take a picture of one will ya?!LOL!) Are you getting enough to eat?….should we send the care package yet?! Do we need to include a can of Raid!???? xoxoxoxox

  6. I have a friend who I think is responsible for the water tower rule…it was in Liberia in the late 70s….also know my fellow rpcvs that broke all those rules in my country in the 80s…..

    • Haha yeah, these rules only went into effect after PC found out just what kind of shenanigans volunteers could get themselves into given the time and resources.

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