There are many things that I’m good at. There are many things that Zambians are good at. Here are some of the things they are better at than me.
Back home, I would occasionally play checkers for fun. I also figured that I was a decent player, at least until I came to Zambia. Zambians play a game called draft here. It’s very similar to checkers, but it has slightly modified rules. I see people playing it all the time, so I figured I could teach some of them checkers. I thought I may have the upper-hand because the rules varied from what they typically play. I was wrong. I taught my first Zambian how to play checkers one month ago, and I have just recently won my first game. Hopefully I can build on this win. My goal now is to leave Zambia with a winning record in checkers. I’m not even going to try and play draft anymore.
This one is probably obvious. Most of the people in my village are sustenance farmers. They all grow up expecting to become farmers. I decided to try farming one day thinking I could do half of the work they would normally do. The first day I went to the field I had my brand new hoe and I was ready to get to work. I think I only manage to work for 30 minutes. The second time I went it was probably 10 minutes. The third time was the last time. The men, women, and children of Zambia can farm far better than I will ever be able to.
Carrying things on their heads:
This mostly applies to Zambian women. You never really see a man walking around with things on his head, but it does happen. How much can you carry on your head, and how far can you go? I can balance a book for a pretty good distance, but the women of my village carry upwards of 20 liters of water on their heads for close to 500 meters. 20 liters of water weighs around 40 pounds. They usually have to make multiple trips to and from the borehole with multiple containers. I’ve even seen children as young as 11 carrying 20 liters of water on their heads. It would likely break my neck if I tried it.
While there are only three things on the list, there are many more. A few of the additional items I have excluded are cooking, dancing, drumming, singing, navigating in the bush, and waking up before 6 AM. I’m trying to get better at everything I have mentioned here, but I doubt it’s going to happen. Until then, I’ll just stick to what I’m good at.