On our day of rest we ventured onto Chipata golf course at 8 as a four ball with one caddie. The course was built in 1902, has sand greens and is cross crossed with paths and local drunks sleeping it off under the mango trees that surround the course. Church was great as usual with Joffrey, the pastor, in full flow on how great God is. In the evening I had the unenviable task of dealing with the Chisanga girls, sponsored by Chris, Claire and Victoria. I’m sad to say our arrangement and sponsorship has ceased for a myriad of reasons but it is so important that compliance with our supporting criteria is not disregarded.
Monday was spent entirely in the field. Michael had agreed to work with Wilson at the Hands Around The World skills centre giving carpentry advice. Stephen and I oversaw the planting of ginger and maize at well 6. An important initiative is the use of compost made on site which has been trialled in Malawi and elsewhere in Africa. If the results are as predicted it will encourage the villagers from the obsession of buying expensive commercial fertilisers to improve their yields.
En route back to collect Michael we caught up with Mercy and Caroline, two lovely orphan girls sponsored by Bob and Faith Little. At this juncture I decided to inspect the goings on at well number 4 where we had suffered all sorts of tribal shenanigans. Lo and behold success! One large garden area was full of tomatoes, maize and vegetables and a further fenced area under cultivation. This now means we have three productive garden projects so perhaps our message is finally getting through.
Last port of call was to the Chiziwa family in the Chiefs village. Shadreck is awaiting his grade 9 results which will determine if he reaches the required standard for us to support him through to secondary boarding school – a tense wait! Edith his sister is a real live wire and doing fine but the school report suggests she could work harder. Happy, the youngest boy was away in the fields planting maize. This family is supported by Barbara and Alan Glover. Both families received food parcels, some clothes and toys. Super chef Michael produced the biggest burger I have ever had – Masterchef beckons.
Tuesday’s highlight was catching up with Jane Kaunda, one of our Zambian company directors. She is an amazing and major banana grower on a farm in a spike of land which is Zambian but surrounded by Malawi and Mozambique. How the colonial mappers came to devise this ridiculous boundary is beyond me. Colonel Panji Kaunda her husband and son of the first president of Zambia, was a huge help when we first set up Zoe and was a minister in the government. He is now out of front line politics but on a mission in China for the government and then going onto India as he requires surgery – please pray for his safe return. We also had a meeting with the Chipata mayor which is always a useful conduit to other departments of the city. The afternoon was spent in base with Michael working on our retrieved rotovator which requires some serious repairs. To bed with the wonderful sound of rain rattling on our corrugated roof.