It’s been quite a day! We all went to Kalembe School to start off the day. When we arrived all the children who attend the morning session were lined up outside for ‘assembly’. There are 354 children attending the school, 4 trained teachers, 2 trainee teachers and 2 volunteer teachers make up the teaching staff. We have the utmost respect for the Headmaster of Kalembe. All the children are in uniform, there is an aura of respect from teachers to children and children to teachers all coming down from this man who told us he didn’t seek to control, that was far too difficult, but rather to encourage which has a far better outcome. Who could disagree with that one. We met with 3 of our orphans who attend the school – Lamech and Peggy (brother and sister) and Mary – all of whom the Headmaster tells us are attending school regularly and thus doing well. Lovely young people.
From there we went (along DREADFUL tracks!) to Mr Kunga’s village where all the children at Mercer’s Nursery School were outside waiting to greet us. Once again we were amazed at just how much Mrs Kunga (on her own) can teach 75 very young children. Days of the week in their own language, the alphabet in English, maths, little playlets on Bible stories – truly we don’t know how she manages. (I need a huge store of medals!!) From there we went to visit the garden and most exciting for us all we witnessed the beginning of the ginger harvest. This is a valuable cash crop that takes nearly a year to grow so all of us were filled with slight apprehension. No need! The harvest is going to be AMAZING! We were so thrilled for the garden co-operative who work so very hard in this very fertile garden.
On to meet George, the Botswanian goat, and Lucy, his wife. We bought these goats in order to improve local stock, increase a pure Botswanian strain and from them get their very nutritious milk to give to the children. Not a total success, however, very much on the way. George is now THE Billy Goat Gruff of fairy stories. You wouldn’t cross over HIS bridge without consent!!
What followed we are still trying to assimilate. David and Sylivia (our friends from UK), John and myself, Mr Kunga and Stephen sat down to discuss Zoe and the way forward. It was a very stimulating conversation and we will be reporting on it in the near future.
On to lunch. Somehow Mrs Kunga and her team had fitted in a Zambian feast for our lunch. Not anything we might have had on a festive menu but very good and most appreciated. (John was in his element, licking his lips!)
Back in Chipata we needed to go to what John calls ‘Waitrose Chipata’, ie the market. David and Sylvia are not phased by much so this very tight little space in which there are hundreds of stores was just another adventure. Stiff upper lips or what!
Bed time – we’re done!!