Archive for the ‘Zambia 2018’ Category

Friday – Home at Last

Posted: May 25, 2018 in Zambia 2018

It’s been a long trip home.

Our flight from Johannesburg to Frankfurt was delayed by four hours, causing us to miss our connections to London and Halifax. As a result, I am now sitting in the Ottawa Airport, five hours after we should all have been home! Oh well, all are doing fine and at least we are back in Canada – with only one short leg to go.

Our new arrival time into Halifax is 10:52pm this evening on AC8636 from Ottawa.

This has been a very significant trip for all of us. Once we have a chance to get a bit of sleep, please take one of the team members out for coffee (or tea) to find out more.

See you soon!!

Another early morning – but a good one. We had breakfast with the elephants before heading to the airport for our journey home.

As I write this we are in Johannesburg Airport, having successfully completed stage one. However, we are now delayed and the rest of the journey we will need to play by ear. We will keep you informed.

Please pray that we are not too long returning home.

We left our friends in Kabwe early Tuesday morning to begin our journey home. A long bus ride and a short flight brought us to Livingstone, on the border with Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia, where we will debrief and prepare for the re- entry to North American life.

As I write this, we are getting ready to fly onwards to Johannesburg, and then home. We have enjoyed our time in Zambia and all are doing well. There will be many stories to tell.

I will try to post at least once again as we make our way back to Halifax tomorrow. Until then, please continue to keep us in prayer.

Monday – A Piece of Cake

Posted: May 21, 2018 in Zambia 2018

Finally today came – the day I have been looking forward to all week. The day we meet with 70 of the main volunteers who work, and have worked, with Pastor Lawrence through Together in Action.

Once everyone had assembled at the Diakonia Center (previous teams will remember this), we proceeded to share, to reminisce, to laugh – and to eat! What a wonderful meal with friends.

We presented each volunteer with a bag of gifts, including food, an umbrella, a soccer ball, some material (for the women), a watch (for the men), and a few other small items. They, in turn, presented each of us with a carved bowl and cup.

Pastor Kingston Piri acted as MC and had everyone in the room laughing as he walked around the room getting each person, in his or her own dialect, describe the piece of cake he proudly held aloft. To sit and see the entire room of volunteers, many of whom coming from situations that we, in Canada, might call “desperate”, was something I don’t think I will ever forget.

And now, we are back in our rooms, packing, and preparing for the long journey home. We leave Lusaka tomorrow, make a short stop in Livingstone for debriefing and a bit of rest, and then continue home through Johannesburg, Frankfurt and London. Please continue to pray that we complete this mission well and return home safely.

For the fourth day in a row, we made the long journey out to Domingo Community. But this time was to join with them in celebration at the church that Pastor Lawrence established there a few years ago.

I have said this before, but if you have never heard the singing in an African church, there are no words I could use to describe it. You will just need to come and see. Let’s just say that none of us wanted it to stop.

We sang and we danced. We danced and we sang. And then it was time to talk. Alan and Amelea both did very well sharing in the service. Pastor Julia and I then “tag team” preached the sermon on being an original and not just what people say you are. I call it “The 2 Kwacha Cup”.

Before we left, the community reduced its native chicken population and provided us with a great lunch – chicken, rice, nshima, veggies and sauce. Hospitality has never tasted so good!

We had a few minutes to relax this afternoon before our preparations for the 10 year anniversary celebrations with about 70 volunteers tomorrow. This is the day I have been looking forward to since we announced this trip.

Stay tuned.

Saturday – Dedication

Posted: May 19, 2018 in Zambia 2018

A wonderful day today!

We set off once again on the long and winding road to Domingo. This time, we set off on foot once we arrived and spent time with the volunteers doing home visits. The stories for this one will have to wait – there are too many.

We then returned to Domingo for a dedication ceremony for the Domingo Community School. There was singing, dancing , speeches, drumming, shouting, more speeches, more singing, more dancing, more speeches – you get the idea. It was late afternoon before we “saddled up” for the long drive back to Kabwe.

What an honour to have served this community the way we have so far. Please pray that we will be able to continue in this commitment.

We are still here.

I didn’t post yesterday for three reasons. First – we were all exhausted. Second – a few people (myself included) were a bit “off” yesterday. But fret not, we are back firing on all cylinders today.

The third reason is that both days had a similar theme and I wanted to see how we finished before I reported.

We travelled from Kabwe to the community of Domingo, a 25km trip that takes more than an hour thanks to the roads (or lack thereof). There we spent both days with the teachers and students of Domingo Community School.

If you remember, Pastor Julia and I reported from here in 2015 when we visited Domingo for the second time. At that time, school was taking place on a rock beneath a large tree. They had built a mud brick school that, in the heavy rains of that year, collapsed. I showed you that as well. Now, I am pleased to show you Domingo Community School, built by community members with help from Pastor Lawrence Kunda’s Together in Action – and YOU!!

During our days in Domingo we taught a few classes, played lots of football (soccer) and other games, gave each of the children a photograph of themselves (as part of a craft), and had the opportunity to speak with, and encourage, Mr. Simon (the head teacher) and many of the other teachers.

Just so you understand, most of the teachers here are volunteers, and many walk for an hour or more to arrive on time to teach from 7am – 2pm, five days a week.

Tomorrow we will have the privilege of participating in the formal dedication of the school, so you will likely hear more then. For now, a few more photos …

Mr. Simon

Melody Piri

Pastor Lawrence Kunda