22 June 2016

Finishing touches to the concrete surround at well 6.

Finishing touches to the concrete surround at well 6.

Having had something of a rest yesterday, only getting ANOTHER new tyre on the 4 x 4 (surprised we don’t need them after every trip) sourcing stuff for the house, J and Stephen doing the accounts, it was full on today!  We started at the new well near Mwasyangulu where the team were just putting the finishing touches to the concrete surround and run off channel from the pump.  It will be important that no-one goes on the concrete for the next 5 days or so to ensure it is set completely, so the team had already cut down vicious looking thorn bushes to put round it – best of luck anyone getting through that lot!!  One of the guys was wearing a t-shirt that had Evergreen written on it.  It seemed to us all that that was a great name for a garden so it was promptly christened ‘Evergreen Community Garden’ and written into the wet concrete.  Following discussion about the siting of the new pit for the compost, it was distribution of t-shirts time, prayers and on to the school to measure the timber with which to finish off the verandah roof (for two non D-I-Yers Stephen and John don’t do badly – it HAS to be God!!). More t-shirt distribution before setting off to Mr Kunga’s village on the other side of the chiefdom.  Have now perfected a sitting stance in the back seat of the 4 x 4 that prevents me toppling over as we hit all the bumps!!

Dear Mr and Mrs Kunga.  As I’ve said before, when you live by what you grow, to take on ANYTHING extra other than keeping alive is a HUGE deal.  They are both in their sixties, and have already lived hard lives but with no formal training Mrs Kunga is heading up Mercers’ School with a small team of volunteers.  Mr Kunga’s unwavering leadership drives their garden – in which they had already dug the pit for the compost when we arrived!  School was out by then so we and Mrs Kunga and all the little children ‘marched’ down to the gardens to find the team.  VERY sadly one of the goats had managed to get in and the ginger beds were looking the worse for wear.  Can you begin to imagine how energy draining such a mishap can be – all that effort and then an ‘mbusi’ (probably one of George and Lucy’s offspring who ought to know better!) runs riot.  I don’t think I would have felt like putting any energy into pit composting.  

I hope you’ll be able to see the video of Mr Kunga – who, of course, was in the Zambian Army with John – trying to get all the children in ranks of three to march back to the village!!  It was like trying to herd cats!!  What a laugh!   More t-shirt distribution.

We were able to see Lameck, Albertina and Peggy Phiri (sponsored by Ray and Yvonne Gambling) and Kesias Tembo (sponsored by Ian and Gail du Toit) on our way home as they live quite near Mr Kunga.  My how they’ve grown!  It is lovely that they’ve come out of their shells with us now, look so well and are all attending school regularly and getting good grades.  Could only ask for good guardians other than that, and those they have.  Hoorah.  MORE t-shirt distribution!!

Wonderful showers (I’m sure the drains must be silting up from all the red dust!!) before bed – just as well as the water went off in the night.  TIA.

There might have been a mishap with the goats Mr Kunga’s fields but there’s also been a mishap at Zoe House, viz:  all the curtains I made back in the UK got washed resulting in not one lining fitting any more.  Today’s been an at home admin day – am on the re-making of curtains 7 and 8!!  John and Stephen have been shopping for pick axes, shovels, a wheel barrow, a maintenance wrench, a giant pack of loo rolls and another of soap and a first aid box – you know the usual stuff!!  Needless to say they were gone for quite some time – which gave me some time to catch up with the lovely Martha who co-leads the church!!  

It just happened this afternoon that they found themselves on the same road as a parade of govt promotional stalls.  Honing in on one advertising pre-schooling they began talking to the lady in charge who was surprised they didn’t recognise her from church – she is one of the worship group!!  On Sunday we’re going to meet up before church to decide which day she can come with us to see Mercer’s School.  Mrs Kunga, your prayers and ours might just be about to be answered!!

Still no water Lord – that’s another prayer!!

IMG_2474

The compost pit being dug.

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