Saturday, June 4, 2016

A Wonderful Place

My theme of resting and being, has continued! In fact I must admit I enjoy the idea t he more I experience it. Taking some time out makes me realise just what a wonderful place Zambia can be. There is a lot of sunshine at this time – in fact at most times in my experience. Almost twelve hours of hot sunshine in a day is very common. By about 9 am it is fresh and I am comfortable wearing a tee-shirt in the shade (here most people will wear jerseys or coats!). The sun is already hot.

In my pondering I wondered why politicians worldwide seem to lack vision and imagination. Surely we should be making our world what the Lord has designed it to be. He provide us with all the power we need from the sun and enabled us to develop into intelligent creatures who, working co-operatively, can create amazing pieces of technology to build structures and take advantage of all the resources provided. Yet by fighting always “in our own interests” whether it be national or personal we end up with a world much diminished.

Thursday 2nd June

David should have been arriving today. Unfortunately a couple of weeks ago, just before he was due to leave the UK he was taken ill and therefore had to postpone the trip. I know he very much wanted to catch up with the people of Zambia and Monze in particular. There are lot of people here that are very sad to hear the news and very much wanted to meet up again. We all wish him a very speedy recovery. He has already started an e-mail discussion with me as a substitute, so he must be on the mend.

Mr. & Mrs. Sianga called to take me to see someone who was selling solar lights in the market. It was news to me that such a store existed so close to my house.

It is just a small outlet that has a variety of solar lights ranging from a very small lamp to a small system for a two roomed house. The system has a couple of reasonable lights and a radio run from a panel and working through an inverter.

The lamps – even the larger ones didn't seem very bright or substantial – certainly compared with those I have previously received from Lights for Learning. At a cost of about £10 each I am not sure that an investment can be justified, however it is good to see that solar products are beginning to penetrate. There was an article in the Post a day or two back looking at solar power stations and particularly looking at the Sahara! I seem to have been talking about this for many years. My fear has always been that someone outside Africa will make a lot of money from Africa's sun.

I continue to meet friends. Some I find hard to place. Many from St. Veronica's Small Christian Community say hallo. A guy introduces himself as Simon's son. Simon was the chairman of St. Veronica's for several years. His was one house I could find and, either he or his wife would take me to the meetings. He is a builder and when work became short in Monze he moved to Kafue leaving his wife in Monze, returning only occasionally. Simon's son told me that Simon's wife died last year – I am sad about this, we got on well.

I was introduced to another of Simon's sons who sells chickens not far from the entrance to Homecraft – a couple of days later he came around and presented me with some village chicken eggs. I have already sampled them for supper.

My house was quiet for a change and I enjoyed a little peace.

Friday 3rd June

I had nothing planned for the day. My life since I left formal employment, nearly twenty years ago, has never been routine. There is always plenty to do, but little by way of schedule. This means I can be working at 11 pm just as easily as 9 am and weekends are not necessarily free. Life for me in Zambia is much the same. The past few days have however encouraged me to enjoy the opportunities for a break, whenever they come.

I had some work to do to check project finances and I need to establish which sponsored children have yet to be seen. I might have met 50 or more, but there are some I still need to find. The exercise is quite a logistical challenge! Then I will write a note to each of the sponsors! If you would like to sponsor a child at PIZZ School just follow this link Hand in Hand Sponsorship.

It is quite interesting going over the short interviews, recording a few details and noting last years comments. A few of the children stand out either because they show a cheeky spark of mischief or in contrast they seem to be particularly quiet and shy.

The dam can be quite busy at the weekend so I thought that I would use the chance to sit quietly today, being a weekday. Walking in the short grass clouds of small dragonflies took to the air. I found a shaded spot and settled to contemplate and observe. It is very quiet compared with most parts of the UK. The main sounds are cows mooing and cockerels crowing. A few people bring carts with drums and fill from the lake. There were some ladies fishing with specially designed fishing baskets and a couple of guys with home made rods and lines. I felt very relaxed and refreshed after a couple of hours by the small stretch of water. There was a small flock of cattle egrets, some African jacana's and a few doves, but the bird life wasn't spectacular. A bird of prey that looked like a falcon sat in a nearby tree.
While at the lake Mrs.Sianga rang to say she had been to the bank to get a statement. This I wanted to check the account details against the paperwork I had seen in respect of the missing money. The good news is that the money has been traced, will be refunded and be resent.

Diven also rang – I passed his place but he was away fetching water. He told me that he will have to walk a longer distance to fetch water as the year progresses. He didn't think that Delia would manage to carry the buckets so far on her head and he would ideally like a bike.

On the way back I called at a stall I noticed earlier where music was playing. I was even more impressed by the stallholder's initiative when I saw he powered his devise from a solar panel. I felt obliged to at least buy a packet of biscuits. A friend of his came over and asked me to see where they play football. In my mood of taking things easy and not rushing, I decided to accompany him. He took me to the field at PIZZ School were his team was preparing for their match. He explained that they play in a local league. ( I was pleased to see the football pitch being put to good use.) This young man wanted to teach the young people about GBV – Gender Based Violence. He has had football shirts made with Stop GBV printed on them, with the Manchester City strip on one side and Zesco on the other – I am not sure whether these companies provide any sponsorship.

Eventually I reached Diven's shop where we chatted briefly. On the way to the school a guy pulled up on a bike and eventually I recognised him as Christopher. Christopher was the security guard at Nampeyo Guest House (Now renamed Moonlight) where a team of us stayed in 2003. He is one of the few people still to be in the same job. He said he would call around to see me – possibly on Saturday after church.

I called at the school to see Mrs. Sianga but it was crowded with people – mainly ladies and their babies. It turned out that the school was acting as an eye clinic where the community could receive inoculations to prevent one of the common eye diseases in Zambia.

It was almost dark when I reached home. I had some dried fish for supper. They are a little like kippers and they went down well with some garlic potatoes (Irish potatoes!) and some rape and sweet potato leaves fried with pounded groundnuts!

With love and prayers,


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