Expat on a Zambian Farm // Life Update
It’s been a while since I checked in and gave a quick life update, so here is everything I’ve been up to in the last few months since my accident and all about my life as an American expat in Zambia.
Firstly, I will be taking over the Discover Zambia Instagram account from 20-24 September. Make sure to follow their page and like my posts!
we Got Married!
This actually happened back in January, but we announced it on our 6-month wedding anniversary in July. We got married at the Lusaka Civic Centre (the equivalent of city hall in the States) and it was such a weird/crazy/fun/emotional experience. We got married around 11 a.m. then went out to lunch and then grocery shopping (we needed eggs haha).
Married life feels absolutely no different to life before marriage, except saying “husband” instead of “boyfriend” (we skipped the “fiance” stage altogether). Maybe one day I’ll write an entire blog post about our “courthouse” wedding, but for now, I’ll just say that I am glad I was wearing a mask because I could not stop laughing.
Also, my ring is a vintage ring from Alex’s maternal grandmother and I absolutely love it! I was so worried that I wouldn’t like a vintage ring or that it would look too old fashioned, but I lucked out.
In the past few months, my love and appreciation for life here on the farm has grown exponentially. I really think this will be a time in my life that I look back on so fondly. It’s one of my favorite places that I’ve ever lived in terms of the house we have and the property we are on.
I don’t know if it’s because of COVID-19, or having time off from my accident, or living on a farm outside town, but I am really enjoying a slower pace of life. I used to need socialization every weekend and I thrived on a full calendar, but lately, I just enjoy going for walks and sitting outside on our revamped veranda.
I started a new job at the end of August. I am really enjoying it thus far and I’m happy to be putting my background expertise and degree to good use. Fun fact, starting this job was my first time back in an office in almost exactly 7 years! Isn’t that crazy?! I worked in a traditional 9 to 5 office job right out of college before I joined Peace Corps, and then I spent 2+ years in PCSA, another two years traveling and teaching English, then I went to grad school for a year, and then worked remotely for about a year. I have to admit, it was a bit of a shock to the system going into the office that first day. I have an alternating work-from-home schedule and I am slowly getting back into the swing of things. I love the flexibility of working from home, but the productivity of working in an office is unmatched.
Also, wearing makeup and heels instead of hole-ridden long johns and sweatshirts has been surprisingly nice.
Yesterday marked 5 months since my accident. I can’t believe how fast the time has flown and the progress that I’ve made thus far – the human body is truly incredible (I also credit breaking my pelvis at a young age for my speedy recovery)!
Running is my favorite form of cardio and I wanted to get back in my running shoes as soon as possible. I started running about three months post-accident and it was quite the challenge. I felt more like I was hobbling than running. I started by walking for 4km (after spending a month working up to 4km) and running for 2 minutes during that 4km. I then upped it to 5 minutes, 10 minutes, etc. and before I knew it, on 18 August (just over 4 months post-accident) I ran 4.37km! Granted, my pace was quite slow but I am just proud of myself for getting out there.
Another result of my accident was a complete loss of flexibility – I couldn’t even touch my toes anymore! In the immediate aftermath of my accident, I couldn’t even attempt any stretching because it felt like I was going to break/tear something, but I slowly started incorporating some light stretching into my routine. Now, I am practicing hatha yoga daily as a way to gain flexibility (and strength). I would say that I am 90% back to where I was pre-accident.
I also started upper-body weight-lifting quite soon after my accident. Once I was using crutches and able to maneuver around the gym my doctor approved me for upper-body weight lifting (nothing that involved my pelvis). Now I am completely cleared for all weight-lifting.
On 21 July, (3.5 months post-accident) I started horseback riding again! I know, I know, I sound crazy, but I really enjoy horseback riding and I missed it. I am taking things slow and I haven’t started jumping lessons again. I am just excited to be back in the saddle.
I wasn’t nervous at all before my first time back on the horse, but when we walked past the spot where I fell and my horse started getting a bit antsy since we weren’t going fast, I got a bit anxious. It’s amazing how much confidence I lost from the accident. I used to be in great control of the horse when I was riding and now I have to build back to that point.
I am working full time now so I have less time to ride but I am hoping to continue getting my confidence back and re-start jumping lessons in the coming months.
What have you been up to in the last few months? Let me know in the comments!