31 October 2019

We are over halfway on this trip and just starting to feel the pain particularly as even Stephen is finding it too warm for his liking. The plan was to meet Chief Manukwa sometime after 9 and before he set of for the capital Lusaka. Well well well the meeting never took place and he’s scarpered. To be fair I was hoping for a relative rest day, do some catching up with our records and send orphan updates to all our sponsors. Edmund my travelling companion is a little off colour today so the “ the old colonel” has allowed him some well earned rest- simply by chance! Mid morning I had the chance for a 30 minute interview on Radio Maria, a province wide radio station, selling Zoe, which is always fun. Checking delivery build times and cost for classroom desks and other miscellaneous admin tasks completed a very restful day. The mains power has just gone off and scheduled to be off until sometime tomorrow so thank the Lord for our generator. A split half chicken has just gone on the BBQ, it’s about a nice cool 80 degrees and the gin and tonic slipping down nicely. Good night as I contemplate a very long day tomorrow which will follow.

1 NOVEMBER ( one day before we beat the Springboks).
At last, the sun is shrouded in cloud as sunrise beckons a new day and it’s discernibly cooler – could it be the rains are about to break?

The provincial officer talking about our project for national TV.

Now I’m not one for getting excited but we have had a rather special day. The Provincial Education Officer had asked if we could take him to see the new school build and so set forth in convoy with our vehicle filled with a national TV reporter, camera man and build project officer. In his vehicle his important sidekicks. A full tour of the site including the kindergarten and market garden interrupted by numerous interviews and culminating with a round table discussion in snake house. I really do feel we now have the attention of the authorities and this was reaffirmed when he asked me to lead onto Manukwa school, the biggest in the kingdom, as he was aware of my concerns for the headmasters there (this was not on the agenda). When I was in the army we all dreaded “snap inspections” from our superiors but in reality non choreographed visits generally got the real message across much more honestly. You need no more boring details other than to know it is an historic milestone in Zoe Zambia and what little we are doing for children who would have absolutely no chance without our intervention. Thank you all who are so generous.

The classroom concrete base curing. We need to keep it wet for three days because of the heat.

Buying stone for the project.

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