21 October 2019

Hi All,

Here we are again in paradise (well sort of). An uneventful trip, all luggage arrived, met up with Edmund Cudlipp who had flown in with Ethiopian airlines via Addis Ababa to join me in Lilongwe. Only seven roadblocks, no trucks on the road due to a strike and an easy passage through 2 borders US $400 lighter for visas!! Shopping done and what joy, Edmund is an excellent BBQ cook so well fed and after 27 hours of travelling it was to our beds with a full day planned for our first day in the villages tomorrow.

TUESDAY 22/10.
On rising Edmund enthusiastically set to for breakfast and bingo the oven and plugs electrical breaker burnt out so no hot water for coffee and cooked breakfast TIA (this is Africa). The chief had requested we met the Deputy Provincial Secretary on my arrival so at 8 o’clock we lived in hope it would happen and not waste valuable time in the bush. Incredibly we were done and on the road by 9 after an interesting and possibly useful exchange of pleasantries.

Our first port of call was Makhasa village and the school project. I’m delighted with the progress and will report further as my visit proceeds.

Meeting the headmaster at Chambawa school.

Before meeting any of the orphans I wanted to see the headmasters of the schools our children attend and visited Chambawa and Kalembe primary schools. I’m constantly amazed at their wonderful resolve under the most trying of conditions. A full review of 19 orphans attending these two schools has now armed me with the latest information before tracking them down.

At Chambawa I found the school empty and on investigation learned that the couple of days before celebrating Zambia Independence Day (24/10) all the children with their teachers go into the communities to do jobs for the aged. We witnessed this happening at one of the grannies houses where she actually is guardian to 3 of our orphans. Water for her home is 2 kilometres away so all the girls, with water containers, were off to fetch water and the boys sent into the bush collecting firewood – we could learn a lesson from this. Two other orphan families visited and with sun’s heat at its highest it was back to base pretty wrung out. Into town to barter for 4 wheelbarrows, shovels and picks for the project and home for a cold beer. Oh no! The electricity had been off since 9 o’clock and the generator switched off.

A full day ahead tomorrow and Edmund should get his cooked breakfast – the electrician has been yippee and cold beer in the fridge. Goodnight.

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