22 November 2018

Day two was an eight hour day, temperature in the high nineties, a hundred miles of bumpy roads covered and two new orphan families registered 💪.

Our day started at Chambawa school which is the most poorly supported primary school in our operational area – now all the poorer because the excellent teacher now at Myzangulu moved from there. I wanted to not only see the headmaster but apologise for Mrs Phiri’s move. No wonder she was keen to move as you will see her previous home and where she is now living thanks to one of our dear sponsors and that’s having been criticised by the authorities for the quality of our school house!

While at Chambawa we were introduced to two new orphan boys and after a comprehensive due diligence check and a follow up visit to the boys family home I’m thrilled to report we have agreed adoption. We then caught up with orphans Emmanuel and Lingston as they were approaching Chambawa for the afternoon school shift – two of a family of three orphans. Third of the three, Anodi, we found helping make bricks further down the road. He has now finished his grade 7 exams and is awaiting his results as to which school will take him for further education, it’s like the 11 plus exam.

Anodi’s guardian with Max.

The grandmother who is guardian to these three is the most wonderful generous person, and fell head over heals with Max as the photo shows. This whole process took us to mid day and with the sun beating down we arrived at Makhasa village to our customary children’s welcome at Mercers Kindergarten. After an inspection of the gardens, verbal reports from the PTA chairperson and gardens chairman we retired to our new village house for a discussion with our leading headman Mr Khunga. He introduced us to our next candidate to receive orphan support and again after lengthy interrogation I’m happy to say we have a further three children we will support with immediate effect.

Our final call was to see how an initiative to restart the garden project at well 2 was progressing. I’m delighted to say new land has been cleared, fencing about to start and I hope to see the progress in next years visit. The reason we are seeing a re-invigoration of activity at wells 2 and 4 is because Chief Manukwa has at last seen the value from our other successful well projects but he has also given our best and dynamic tribal headman the responsibility for youth development at all our well projects in the kingdom – poor man! Our evening was a first for Nick and Max – Rachael cooked a traditional Zambian dinner for us of nshima, chicken stew and pumpkin leaf relish, all eaten by hand! I’m pleased to report it was well received as it was a rehearsal for a major lunch event in the chiefdom next week.

FRIDAY 23 NOVEMBER.
Steven had arranged for me to meet the Senior Provincial Education Officer at 8.30 along with the District Education chief. We duly arrived on time and surprise surprise he was tied up with provincial government business but thankfully, not after too long a delay, were marched in to see his lady deputy. After the normal niceties had been exchanged I was able to brief her on our work and express my thanks, after having waited nearly two years, for the teacher posted to Myzangulu school – I think she was rather shocked. At least I think we hit a nerve. We then, accompanied by Mrs Felicitas Nkholoma, the District Education Chief went on our way to visit Kalembe and Manukwa schools. The government have reorganised education provision in the Eastern Province which “should” streamline teacher allocation and support in the future. It was interesting to see Felicitas is clearly highly respected and important in the scheme of things. We will be going back to both schools to give out football strips and boots/trainers so will report back later.

The highlight of the day was Nick meeting both the orphans he has been supporting for the past few years. Emmanuel, who was so desperately poorly with HIV aids when we first enrolled him looks spectacularly healthy and Rosemary is still head girl and blooming at Manukwa School. To cap my day was Emmanuel’s guardian uncle got him to present a live chicken to Nick. I’ve seen nothing like the difficulty both Nick and Max had in handling the poor thing. It’s now happily ensconced in Stephens chicken coop with some mates having spent several hours trussed up in the back of the vehicle with us.

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