28 May 2019

Firstly, Chris wishes to impart great news for anyone from the UK … they have Nik Naks here!!
They also bake bread and scones in amazing pyramidal brick ovens. We had not eaten much all day when Stephen explained this, and we found ourselves fantasising about Zambian cream teas…. What would that look like? We have some marvellous mango jam from the supermarket…..
We also accidentally froze some yogurt in the fridge by turning it up to the max, and discovered…. Frozen yogurt! It was good!
We have also learned from Stephen today what to do if your mobile won’t pick up the network out ‘in the field’; stand on an anthill (higher ground) to get a better signal! (Anthills here are about 6 feet tall and not very safe…)He discovered this one day last year when the old truck broke down. We were glad we didn’t need to try it out!!
A very vivacious granny with a great sense of humour, on discovering Amy is our daughter, taught her how to curtsey to her parents in traditional Zambian manner to say thank you, apparently this is what children should do when approaching the dinner table. Amy was instructed to teach her sisters how to do this, so Chris is expecting the proper formalities to be observed when they come round for dinner…
We are learning a lot here. Every day we try to learn the name of another animal in Cinyanja, the local language. Today’s animal: the cow, ngombi. This is easy to remember because we see a lot of them crossing the road, usually unexpectedly just as the vehicle approaches…
Today’s mission was to visit Chambawa, Kalembe and Mnukwa schools. Mission accomplished!
It was great to meet each of the Head teachers who were all very welcoming and happy to be ambushed by visitors asking lots of questions. They know the Zoe project and get regular visits.
They were generous with their time to go through each sponsored child’s school report with us and discuss any concerns about each one.
At each school we were able to present them with a new football, and at Mnukwa, as it was the end of the school day, this led to an immediate impromptu football match, and what joy from one simple object!

Our ongoing mission on the visit is to see all 49 sponsored kids. This is not as simple as it sounds when it involves driving some pretty exciting off-road terrain! (Today Stephen let Claire drive and she actually drove over a small tree in the middle of the road!)
So, on day 1 we saw 3 children, then the next day was 9, and so on, by the end of today the count is 27 out of 49 so we are feeling pretty pleased with ourselves! Expect a daily count update. Of course Chris reminded us frequently how much easier this would be with a helicopter. Chris is recommending a secondhand Westland Lynx, so we have added this to our watch lists on ebay. In the meantime, Chris ordered a model of the recommended machine on Amazon, for John to consider.

Thanks team!

The highlight of the day for me was getting anti malaria pills to the lad we saw on Sunday who had a high temperature. We bought the pills yesterday in town and delivered them to his brother at school today, with instructions on their use, so hopefully he is feeling the benefit already. Very satisfying.

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