We are finally here in Chipata, Zambia after embarking on our journey through several airports! We were all very surprised at how quickly we made it through various securities and check ins, in fact we made it through Malawi immigration in just 45 minutes whilst being sent to many different desks and all paperwork being written by hand! After a long, but very smooth journey we were so happy to be greeted by Steven’s smiling face yesterday!
As we had been able to make a food shop, we filled up with brekkie and then went into town to carry out some banking jobs which took us to two banks and a wonderful emporium filled with goodies from footballs to chicken feed! And a super friendly and enchanting man called Youssef directed us to where we needed to go, and we managed to get our jobs done.
After lunch, we made the journey to M’nukwa school to visit the Head Teacher, Mr Nejovu who was a very well dressed and welcoming man. It was an extremely exciting visit as he had just received a large delivery of schoolbooks from the government. We had a look at the books and they were incredibly detailed, covering many subjects from Home Economics to Maths and Computer Technology.
Whilst we were at the school, the ladies were treated to a game of rocks with the children….. we still have no idea how the game was played but it was nice to interact with the children! The little ones were holding mugs of oaty porridge which had been provided by Mary’s Meals, and we found the various types of utensils for eating it to be amusing – a ruler was the favourite.
Next stop…. Makhaza to visit Mercers Preschool. We were met by Mr Kunga (Head Man) and a lovely little group of children. Chris and Mr Kunga sat down to go through the plans for the proposed new school and there was a great hive of excitement whilst they pored over the plans. Mr Kunga found the new name of the Snake House very amusing as he remembered the story of Nick and John’s previous night’s stay with their new snake friends. So, lots of discussions and nodding of heads over the plans before half the team walked the grounds to assess the suitability for each item drawn on the plans. It appears that the ground is large and flat enough for the proposal and also appears technically viable, so the next step is to be gaining pricing for all the building materials. Which is VERY exciting!!
We met Mrs Kunga and Laxon are the preschool teachers and they gave us all a great tour around the preschool, playground and veggie garden. Caroline took a tour with Laxon and was very impressed with the content the children are learning at preschool level. The two teachers are volunteers and teach around 150 children… no easy task and their dedication is incredible and inspiring. There were some very happy children swinging and showing off their skills in the playground, but we found the boy sliding down the scorching hot almost vertical slide very amusing.
Mr Kunga gave us a very thorough tour around the market garden next to the well and it was very encouraging to see the different plots of veggies growing. The young adults have been allocated a plot each and it is their responsibility to cultivate their crops and sell any successful products at market. The proceeds are then shared out between all the youth team, which is a fantastic idea to create team support between them. What was really encouraging was hearing from Mr Kunga that the there is so much demand for more plots that they are opening another market garden for others to claim plots!! The positivity in the place was tangible.
A while back, Zoe Zambia provided beehives to the village and we were very lucky to see the fruits of this venture. A very happy lady carried in a large and heavy tub of honeycomb, which was very skilfully carried on her head! Everyone was really proud to show off the thick and rich honeycomb inside. Chris and Amy got to taste the honeycomb and the rich, runny honey and their wide eyes and murmurs of “mmmmm” gave us the idea that it was pretty special. The honey will be taken and sold on, with the proceeds going back to the village which is wonderful news. We also saw the Moringa trees that Max planted on the last trip are still thriving, which was great!
Tomorrow, we will be visiting as many children as possible at their homes seeing as it is a weekend. We’re excited and expectant to what tomorrow will bring!