Coming up on my birthday (just 4 days and it’ll be my second birthday in Zambia!!) I’m reminded of my last few weeks stateside before I left for this magnificent journey!

Before I left the US I encouraged and pushed my mother to record and put together all of her original songs for me, so I could have them. From what I’d read in my Peace Corps Zambia Welcome Book from ’09 I was headed into the deep bush without any way to contact home, aside from dreadfully slow mail. The thought of such a disconnect was difficult but manageable…so long as my iPod had some familiar bits on it – sweet moments of surprise when, quite unexpectedly but very welcomed, one of Jo Berger’s originals would pop up. Out of 19000 songs hers always seem to work into my random playlists. Spectacular.

With Mom’s songs playing into the African night I’m carried away into dreams, moments, the life of another person, and effortlessly my mind is at ease.

I love it. That and Italian pop mixed with John Denver. Now that ones a strange mix! I’m not even gonna pretend that it’s normal… We all know it’s strange. Still, John Denvers music and lyrics juxtaposed against Adriano Celetano just does something for me. Simple, clear, meaningful lyrics, good beats, comforting imagery, and conjured memories.

I’m not sure what I might have done without my musical entertainment. I guess I’d have to put more time learning this devilish harmonica… Oh yeah! I have a harmonica – damned if I can’t get the whole playing a single pure note bit – but I do make a god-awful din. Guess that’s partially to be expected hahah. It’ll just take some practice lol.

Expression is so important and vital – I’m very lucky to have access to the arts. I have the space and resources to play, create and build here in my village. It’s a huge playground with a saw, hammer, nails, and all the fun I can have for two years. No Homeowners Association, no worries about budget – I can do carpentry from the ground up – there are some trees right over there!!! My house is mud and brick, meaning I can expand, build, paint, remodel or do whatever I want just by adding some water, making mud, setting it out in the sun and then tossing it in a kiln lol.

Ahhhhhh. Good music and freedom – oh did I mention during work hours I help people develop themselves, feed their children, and have good healthy productive lives free from disease and hunger?

😉 rock on!!