Things have been very eventful since Chapter One; will try and fit everything in one post!
First, thank you to everyone who donated. As a result, Jane combined the money with another sponsor to build a borehole in Sinsuku village, Nyawa Chiefdom. It was drilled two weeks ago and the pump and apron should have been built by now. Pictures hopefully to follow.
Speaking of Jane, she is the lady behind The Butterfly Tree who I was working for. She’s been added to the distribution list of this email so I’ll be careful and moderate with what I say- spending time with her when she visited Zambia were some exceptionally inspirational moments. I spent some days with her at meetings in other villages, seeing schools and clinics. It was an insight on how to run a charity: the good meetings, telling a nurse working in a building infested with bats and literally splitting apart that a new clinic would be built for her and the bad, explaining to a senior headman that the community must help with school building or all funding would be withdrawn.
Remember I told you of the village we were teaching in and how remote it was? I was wrong. One day, we travelled 1hr 40 through the bush on dirt roads, through 2 what-should-be-fords if it had rained, to Chunga village. There was a two classroom school with one teacher (who doubles as the local health worker) and one community teacher (a teacher paid for by the community rather than the government because the government has not sent the teachers the school needs). We were to help paint the village huts with anti-malaria paint. The village was scattered across hilltops so we set off walking from hilltop to hilltop in 40 degrees to paint: there is no access for vehicles. The people living there walk 8-9 hours to reach any form of health clinic. We scared children who had never seen white people before. That is what a remote village is.
In teaching news, I introduced another school to the wonderful game that is rounders and a Kalahari Ferrari spider fell on me in a desperate attempt to learn indices. A chicken very much wanted to learn about fractions and jumped on my back to see a student’s work.
I had some great weekends on safari: to Kafue National Park for 3 days. This park is the size of Wales and has an average of 27 people staying in it on any night in the year. My knowledge of antelope species has greatly improved and I have a new fond friend in marabou storks.
The first night, we woke to the sound of something eating our ham sandwiches and attacking a cool box: despite the creature looking like an ROUS (Princess Bride joke), it turned out to be a honey badger who came back the second night as well. The second trip was to Chobe, across the border in Botswana. This park is known for one of the highest density of elephants in Africa and my, it lives up to that! Elephants, giraffes, hippo, hyena, wild dogs (!!), crocodiles, lot of monkeys and antelope all came to say hello. In the open jeep, sometimes they were almost too friendly.
I left Zambia for Kenya on Tuesday. There is a lot still to think about from there: how honest yet not completely truthful, how open but concealed people can be… how I will miss the people and places. One thing for sure, when the conductor on the matatu (local mini bus) tried to charge me over triple the local fare today, I realised I wasn’t in Zambia anymore.
I went to Nairobi NP today and saw lion and rhinos with the sky scrapers of the city right behind. We visited Kazumi Beads: Lady Susan Wood set up the co-operative for a few single mums in 1975 and it now employs 300 women. I finished the day with excessive amounts of BC history and early hominids at the National Museum and an exciting trip to get home, including a security guard warning me not to walk anywhere and a university lecturer putting me on the right matatu.
Tomorrow, I head off for some long overdue exercise at Hell’s Gate and then west to Lake Victoria. At least, that’s the current plan!