27 October 2019

Being Sunday it’s always a semi rest day, as it’s a leisurely rise before attending church. The downside of where church is held is that the hall is like an oven by 11 o’clock at this time of year and we weren’t disappointed. The upside is it’s lovely to catch up with pastor Geoffrey and his wife Martha and many of the regular congregation. Geoffrey was in full flow this morning about the value of worship and after 50 minutes we had nearly all expired!! He’s not normally so cruel but what the heck, his message was as usual on the button. En route to the villages we had to call in at Mamarulas to see how South Africa had fared and we caught the last six minutes of the game against Wales in the rugby World Cup. Well, the South Africans were all hopping from leg to leg with the score equal and then of course huge celebration as the Springboks closed out the game by a 3 point penalty. Bad luck Wales.

In the afternoon we called on three orphan families which allowed our visitors to witness our work. It never surprises me to see their reaction, firstly to the uncomfortable drive into the villages and then the abject poverty our families endure. Equally the smiling faces, cheerfulness and enthusiastic hand shaking on arrival at a family home never fails to strike a chord. We also had the opportunity to show them two of our well projects and Myzangulu school. I think our guests were specially shocked how basic the school is and I had to explain I could show them far worse! I was very heartened by what passed as positive observations from our guests over a magnificent BBQ supper cooked by Edmund my young partner on this trip. Tomorrow will be a very busy day and our guests will meet up with the three boys they are sponsoring.

28 OCTOBER.

Our guests with their chicken present.

The Hilux loaded it was an early start to see our guests’ three children they sponsor. It’s an interesting experience especially if you have never been to an African village hut in the middle of nowhere, to watch the interaction between sophisticated Europeans and a very poor African family. That said it was a great success, presents given and in return a sack of peanuts and a live chicken. 🐓. We were all then given the most wonderful session with the children of Mercers Kindergarten which concluded with turning teachers immaculately behaved children into whirling dervishes as we all blew up balloons for children to fight over. A review of the new school build and borehole garden really reinforces the great value I place on both Mr Khunga the headman and his amazing wife. Then the reality of life on the edge. A very old grandmother who is guardian to one of our young orphans had her entire grass roof torn off during the night and Mr Khunga had organised a team to re roof the house which was ongoing. So we high tailed it to her house to find her very distressed. Only those who have been to Zambia will appreciate this dire family situation. As had happened I had bought some dried fish, beans and maize meal which we had with us for her so some succour. This was the same house that was flooded when on my last visit which we repaired. It was then back to the site to enjoy a Zambian meal prepared by the ladies of the village, all part of a visitors experience (didn’t all go strong on goat intestines!!). We are experiencing a heat wave at present which is due to pass through on Friday so it’s especially hot just now – we drank over 16 litres of water between us today while out and about. Our guests leave in the morning and I will run them the 100 miles to the nearest airport. God bless and goodnight.

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