Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Best Loved Chameleon in Zambia

I know I told some of you this already, so I'm sorry if it's a repeat. On Sunday I went to church and was invited to join a few families for lunch afterward. I met a Swiss family. They found out I was looking for a place to stay, and even though they have guests coming soon for a month, they said I was very welcome to move into their guest room until then! By that night I had moved my things and was tucked in under a mosquito net in their house, listening to the crickets and thinking, "maybe I am too quick to trust people..." But, nah. I think not.

I've really enjoyed their kids. Six year old Timon and I were off to a good start when he spontaneously began calling me Auntie Stephanie on the way home, and we were definitely friends by the time he lassoed me and tied me to a chair and informed me I wasn't allowed to escape. Ok, I said, but if I was going to be a prisoner, could he please bring me a glass of water and something to read. He dutifully went off to get those things, and I slipped the ropes and hid in the corner to see his surprised face when he came back in. :) Now I'm obligated to admire paper airplanes and lego helicopters and sit by him at dinner.
Levy is three, and he is also a fan of legos. We browsed through a backhoe and heavy (lego) equipment catalog, and he's shown me how the bucket on this particular vehicle works.  
The boys come barreling down the hall as fast as they can, take a flying superman jump to land on my bed, and ask, "Auntie Stephanie, are you done working yet? can we play a game?"

Levy is a Lightening McQueen fan. :) I watched Cars 2 for the first time.

Levy loves this baby chameleon--so much so, i'd say it's hands down the best-loved chameleon in the country. He has to wash his hands at least twice before every meal, because after washing them the first time, he forgets he's supposed to sit down for food and picks up the chameleon again. He wanted to let it sleep in his bed tonight, but his mom said absolutely not. This afternoon, I said, "Levy, does your chameleon have a name?" "Yeah," he said. "Chameleon." "Hmm." I said. "Maybe he needs a real name. Would you like it if we just called you 'boy'? What about calling the chameleon Henry?" No, he didn't like the name Henry, he said, but he seemed to see my point about names. "how about a more Swiss name then? What about Hansruedi?"

 Chameleon is his first name; it's what his parents call him. But Hansruedi is his middle name, and it's what his friends call him.
 Tabea says she hopes this chameleon really is a boy. Otherwise, we're thoroughly insulting her! :)

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