12th May 2017
Excitement is growing. I fly out to Zambia on Tuesday and my preparations are going rather well – at least by my standards.
Over the past week or two I have been accumulating bits and pieces for my friends in Monze. Shaving sticks, packs of soap and plenty of bottles of clove oil are a must. I have a few cameras – one of which might return with me!
I have a solar powered security light for another clinic where the expectant mothers forget to bring in candles when they arrive in labour during the night! I have a solar powered mobile phone charger to provide income for one of Jennipher's support groups. When your family income is below £10 a month, making up to £5 a day from charging mobile phones can make quite a difference!
I am still waiting for a few footballs which have been kicked into a friend's garden. These are always appreciated at PIZZ School.
The solar lighting will be flown out separately with help from Aviation Without Borders – a charity which helps other charities transport goods around the world at discounted rates. It should be in Lusaka within a week or so of our arrival.
I had thought I would need to carry some of the solar lighting and was wondering what I needed to leave behind. I don't need to worry too much now – though I won't have any empty cases!! I have a few woolly jumpers for the children among other items which will fill any gaps!!
On Wednesday I travelled to Monmouth to meet David. The forest was looking beautiful – bathed in wonderful sunlight and coming into life after the winter. I expect to find Zambia equally luscious after good rains and before the scorching sun dries the grass and the dust returns. In the Wye was a shoal of large fish which I can only imagine must have been salmon. I don't think I have seen a fish much bigger than a sardine at the lake in Monze! The sandmartins were busy flying around Monmouth Bridge, having returned from their migration. I won't see the european swallows in Zambia this year – they too will havereturned from their winter vacation! Local species such as mosque swallows are always present. Around Monze.
I can't wait to shop in the food market for Zambian produce! I have been watching Masterchef where the contestants have a wide variety of food to choose for their creations. My experience in Zambia is similar with a wonderful variety of interesting produce to choose from – and the taste is always much nicer than it is here.
So I look forward to chinese cabbage, impwa and musali – not mention the lovely local bananas!!