It’s a new year!

Happy New Year!

Since childhood, my family’s New Year’s Day dinner has included black-eyed peas and greens. Many of you probably know the history behind this tradition, so I won’t go into that. Today, I’m thinking about how my experiences from the past few years are shaping this tradition for 2011. I will still be preparing black-eyed peas, greens and cornbread. However, this year, I will also prepare a small serving of nshima.

Nshima (pronounced “shee-ma”) is usually made from maize and is a staple dish in Zambia. It is similar to West African fufu and Kenyan ugali. I was introduced to nshima during a short-term missions trip to Ndola, Zambia in May of 2009. This life-changing trip was made possible through a partnership between North Park University’s Global Partnerships Program, Spark Ventures and Hope Ministries. (You will hear much more about these organizations and the work that they do in future posts.)

During this trip to Zambia, I began to develop relationships with the people I met through Hope Ministries. I was able to continue building those relationships via email, Facebook and a second trip to Zambia in 2010. Zambia and her people hold a special place in my heart, so I will adjust a lifelong tradition in honor of them.

How about you? What traditions do you have for the new year? What changes are you planning to make in your life? Do you have a plan? One of my goals is to be consistent with this blog – so far, I’ve written a post every day this year! *wink!* I encourage you to set realistic goals, and don’t be afraid to miss the mark sometimes. That’s just my two cents worth…