29/10/2019 - Our first day in Luangwa, Zambia
First day, yesterday, was a head spinner of a day. Here is the sunrise over the Zambezi river nearby Luangwa, Zambia. It's quite early in the morning, but everyone is awake and already busy working in the village below.
Danford (ChildFund Zambia staff member) wanted us to tick off as many of the projects as he could. We met the district commissioner at 7.30 in the morning then headed back to the lodge for breakfast.
A visit to the Kavalamanja Health Centre
We went to Kavalamanja health centre and met nine mums who have delivered there. 13 born since Feb. No infections!
Saw the garden in the fenced area. Due to the turbine being tampered with most had died but after repairs 2 weeks later with water from the river they are seeing some plants revive and little shoots starting again. Everyone has to take a turn on a roster.
My camera got too hot and couldn't take many photos. It was a whopping 43 degrees! So much happened I don't have enough room to put it all in this blog.
This photo is of a mother I met at the Kavalamanja health centre, with her 5-month-old baby.
Taking a look at ongoing construction of Midwives' Houses
Here are the foundations for the midwives' house near the clinic. It's important to provide housing so the clinic will be staffed by qualified professionals.
The man photographed is the health commissioner.
30/10/2019 - New classrooms and teacher's houses in Luangwa
Today, we had two hand over ceremonies for three new classrooms and three teachers houses. There were many dignitaries including both the chiefs who we met on our first day and again yesterday, Heads of Government departments and local officials. There were hundreds of people there and nearly every speech included many thank you's to the ChildFund New Zealand donors and sponsors for supporting the Luangwa community. They were so grateful.
There were special songs with dancing, of course, which thanked ChildFund New Zealand. It was very moving and humbling. I don't know how I was so calm giving my speech, I'm more nervous speaking in front the team at ChildFund New Zealand. But the bible does say 'love casts out all fear' and I couldn't help but feel loved by the people of Luangwa today. There were a lot of prayers thanking God and blessings to the ChildFund New Zealand donors and sponsors. I don't think I will ever forget this special day. Oh and I now have my name on two classroom blocks. I will always feel connected to the people and children of Luangwa.
PS: No elephant sightings yet.
01/11/2019 - Giving thanks for teachers' housing in Chimetango, Zambia
Today, we we continue on our journey in this beautiful place. I met a group of joyously happy ladies who came down to the road to welcome us (in extremely hot and windy weather). This memory will stay with me for a long time. They expressed their heartfelt gratitude to our ChildFund donors for funding the teachers' houses. It's their hope that the houses will attract good quality teachers to the school, so that current (and all future) children will get an education of the highest standard.
Before this school was built the children would encounter elephants on their long walk to and from the nearest school.
The principal told us they would often turn around, run home and stay away from school.
But not anymore.
It's obvious that this whole community is passionate about children's education (we saw this poster on the wall of the Chimetango principal's office).
Senior Chief Mburuma, Chief Mphuka me & the DC (District Commissioner) at Mandombe Primary School.