Ash Wednesday 13th February 2013
On Sunday Moses sent me a text to say that a second bull calf has been born. Although he would have preferred heifers, at Kaliyangile the cows will soon be producing milk for the students and for sale and eventually there will be a couple of oxen to help with the work on the farm.
Sadly about a month ago the man Jennipher had been looking after (Mike's son) died from his injuries. Again this makes me realise just how different life is in Zambia. In the UK these injuries would not be considered as life threatening. His relatives wanted the body to be returned to their village not far from Pemba rather than for him to be buried in Lusaka, as was the case with Mike. So this was arranged.
Jennipher has had a difficult time over the past years, she told me that she needed a break – perhaps a trip to Livingstone to stay with her relatives. A few days later she rang me from Livingstone!! However, it appears that the relative she had gone to see was in South Africa so the initial objective of her mission was unsuccessful. She rang from immigration where she was trying to get a passport and organise a visa for the UK!! She now has a passport, but I persuaded her that applying for a visa needed a bit more thought. She told me that she was staying at the lodge where we stayed with Dilys andAmy in 2011. They had provided a 'side room' for which she was not being charged – further evidence of the resourcefulness of my friend.
Diven rang a few days ago. He says that his little business is working well. He now has a house full of Boom! This he buys in boxes of 12 or 20 packets and sells individually. His aim is to make 30,000 kwacha a day (about £3.75) – in practice I suspect he averages less than half of this, but he is happy.
The students at PIZZ school did well in their exams. Twelve students passed their grade 9 exams which means they will be accepted at Secondary School – unfortunately due to the costs few will be able to take up this opportunity, unless additional funds can be found.
The rains have been very heavy this year causing flooding. This is true for some of the parishioners of Our Lady of the Wayside church, since Manugu is an area particularly affected. There was a week or so of dry weather but the rain has again started falling. It appears that in Zambia, like many other places around the world, the weather is becoming more extreme. This is something that needs to be addressed urgently and I am about to start a new blog http://www.christmasspirit2013.blogspot.com/ where I want to try to explore how we can address the issue.
As we start the Christian season of Lent as Catholics we are required to fast. The rules allow one full meal and two smaller ones. I reflect that even for some of my Zambian friends this would be quite a feast. It reminds me of the many people for whom to feel hungry is a common experience. I hope that one day the scandal of hunger will be removed.