Monday 22nd October
Saturday is already a blur – probably because too much of my time was wasted with computers. I still have a machine that will not load Windows. At least it now produces more than hieroglyphics on the screen. I suspect that opening it up after so many years was my mistake! Dust and brittle cables are best left undisturbed!!
Sunday was a busy day with church business. The choirs and young dancers at the Sacred Heart and Our Lady of the Wayside swapped for the day. I wondered why the ladies of the choir looked so elegant in their satin gowns! They put on a very good performance at Our lady of the Wayside.
I have an assignment to take photos for a calendar so I took a few before and after mass. I am far from the world's best photographer – I just hope if I take enough some will be usable.
After our 'Section' meeting a few of us visited the home of the man we saw last week – he died a couple of days ago. The room was emptied so that 20 – 30 could squeeze in to say some prayers and sing a few hymns. I was asked to say a prayer and quoted from next weeks gospel which we had just reflected upon: “They said to Bartimaus – rise up, Jesus is calling you.” It seemed appropriate for the elderly man who had died. I also recalled the poem which talks about saying goodbye to the person as the boat goes over the horizon, while those at its destination are getting ready to welcome the new arrival.
At the end of our prayers we had a sharp shower, that slightly delayed my return. Diven was keen that I went to see his current house, so despite the time pressing on, I made a quick visit and enjoyed a little sump and sour.
If anyone has a solution to Luke's problem with Skype please let me know! It works fine except that the video cannot display properly on his screen. The camera works and the video can be seen at the far end and there is no problem taking a picture for the Skype profile!
Recently I have had difficulty finding a working ATM. Today I found one but had to queue for 30 minutes under the African sun. I then had to get my money out in three sessions because the highest denomination was 20,000 kwacha (about £2.50) and the drawer holds a limited number of notes. (Nationwide also charges me for each transaction which adds to the cost! - it is my one complaint with Nationwide, that they charge me to use ATMs here, despite heading a campaign against charging in the UK. So if there are any Nationwide managers reading this blog, please use your influence to remove these charges!)
Yesterday I met Mr. Monze on the road – and to my shame I didn't recognise him. For years he has talked to me at the hospital, attempting to teach me a little Chitonga. He has been so patient and never gives up – despite my pathetic learning skills. Today I met Alick. I first got to know Alick as the MC at the hospital chapel, but haven't seen him for a couple of years, he lent me a book – learning Chitonga – he has been as successful as Mr Monze! Alick's father said hallo on Saturday – another face I didn't recognise – and he told Alick I was around. He is now studying welding in Mazabuka. He told me it was fine, except for its effect on his eyes. Though they have shields, they lift them sometimes to see what they are doing and, naturally, it affects their eyes. Health and safety practice is not good in Zambia, I hope that no permanent damage is done.
I called at PIZZ school for a quotation for books. To fully equip the grade 1 to 7 classes would cost about 40 million kwacha – about £5,000.
On the way home I popped in to see Edward. We had a chat and he offered me a very welcome drink.
I don't know how many people said that they would say hallo and goodbye tomorrow. I am also compiling a long list of tasks to fit in! Tomorrow will be hectic!!
Bye for now