25 October 2019

It’s 5.30 am and as I sit on the verandah having my first cup of coffee the sun is just breaking cover, it’s already 80 degrees, Vincent, Steven’s son is washing the vehicle (Steven’s pride and joy) and the city is coming to life – what a place!

Happy choppies at Chambawa school.

The mission is to see as many of our orphan families as possible making use of the recently declared extra national holiday. We are not as successful as yesterday but still manage to review 7 families, some being those at the extremities of the area and two of the families being new to the charity. One new family in particular really highlights the plight of a little girl. Try and imagine living in the middle of nowhere, being blind and having to survive as a subsistence farmer. That was our first port of call, mother being led round, unable to even cook and relying on help from the community to sustain herself and her daughter. It makes all our efforts and the sponsor’s generosity immeasurable. At Mawaso village we have a grandmother who sustains five orphan children who of late have not been good at attending school etc. A final warning was given as to their continuing to receive support when Chris and the team were here in May. Success! While academic results leave a lot to be proud of, their attendance record was excellent and saved me an unpleasant task. Tomorrow I drive to the Luwangwa valley game reserve to collect a sponsor friend who is coming to visit us for two days. It means, on my 74th birthday I’ll miss England beating the All Blacks!!

26 October.
Oh my. When we met up with my friends at Tribal Textiles, the most marvellous if expensive community craft centre in the Luwangwa valley, the first thing Marc told us was the wonderful rugby result – eat your heart out you All Blacks!! It’s been a easy day other than a 200 mile round trip to collect our friends. Stephen needed a new phone so before our trip Vincent’s son, who is a bit of a techie, was our advisor as to what to purchase. Stephen is now connected to every APP you can think and this will seriously aid his task running things here. This evening was spent watching the highlights of England’s tremendous win while eating huge T bone steaks, tilapia fillets and chicken curry at Mamarulas – a place we used to stay in times past. It’s been my birthday so enormous pleasure to escape our usual bouncing about in the bush and having a few drinks and supper with friends. Tomorrow it’s church, rugby and orphans.

A village lady preparing the planting of grasidiya a tree that mysteriously imparts nitrogen into the fields.

This fresh mango purchase was just £1.20

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