Friday 25th April
Despite my lack of faith I have now moved into Fairview Road.
The house actually turns out to be even bigger than I had imagined. I have a room with en-suite facilities, lounge and kitchen. I am told that there is not likely to be anyone else staying here while I am here.
It seems that there is a major refurbishment programme going on. There is what looks like a two storey extension which seem to be designed as futher en-suite rooms to a reasonably high spec. These appear to be in addition to the four rooms in the main house. There are also builidings in the grounds which I believe are also en-suite rooms. The main building has also a couple of veranda / conservatories and there are good sized gardens all around.
I think that I will be able to relax here. I expect a fair amount of building work and last night a craftsman from Lusaka stayed overnight with his wife in one of the spare rooms. My main concern at the moment is that there is doubt whether the hotplates on the cooker are hot enough to cook properly. I would rather not have to use a brazier, but I will manage somehow!!
I was hoping that I would be able to secure this place for the volunteers. At the moment I have agreed to rent it for two months in the hope that when I leave there will be a chance to extend the tenure for those following me.
I keep getting accosted by old friends – some I recognise, others I don't, and some I have difficulty in recalling at all even when they tell me who they are!! I am sure that I have had meaningful interactions with all of them, but this is true of many. A few people who will always find me and will always tell me they are struggling, get their small annual bonus!!
On Wednesday I met Mrs Sianga and Killian again. I caught up in a slightly more structured way. It is amazing what PIZZ School is achieving – despite paying a very small fraction of the current government teachers salaries, their exam success rate in the final year is far superior and compares very well with the top private schools. Not surprisingly however retaining teachers is very difficult.
I was delighted to be called over by Irene yesterday. She has not moved despite the guy at MTN (next door) apparently having no knowledge of where she was working. As usual I received a big hug and was shown off to her friends as her best friend. I will seek out some chitenge material for another shirt.
Now that I am settled I have plenty of work to get on with. I also hope that I will also make full use of the opportunity to enjoy the environment and relax.