We have been here just short of a week but feel we have seen and done a lot already. It is good that people here are happy to speak to us; some with their stories and others with their problems. Yesterday, Wednesday, I had a problem of my own. When we were at Muumba school I noticed a lateral purple line across my right wrist and two of my fingers had turned yellow. The same yellow colour was spread all over my forearm. “Was it yellow fever?” “Should I see a doctor?” “Will I be alright?” - the answers in order, no, no, yes. I discovered later, after washing my hands and arm, that it was nothing sinister. It turned out to be the ink from a plastic shopping bag from the UK that melts in the sun. A bit like me really!
So, here we are, Thursday. The plan for the day was to set off by 8.30 and to my complete surprise Jonah popped his head round the door 10 minutes early, was it the new TIA? You will have to wait and see. After putting fuel in the tank at the petrol station that “doesn’t leak”, I kid you not, we set off for Nanga school. The drive would take us about 2 hours, about half on decent roads and the other time on potholes with bits of road attaching them together.
Some of our readers and supporters will know about Nanga but just in case you don’t here is a summary. Nanga is a special school for disabled children and on a visit 3 years ago we discovered that this school was in need of help, a lot of help. New flushing toilets, borehole and vegetable growing, nicely decorated dormitories and new mattresses for the boarders is the result of our intervention. On this visit we saw how happy the children and the staff are as a result of all the work we were able to do with funds from the UK, funds from our supporters. To add to their joy we also delivered two wheelchairs funded by Women’s World Day of Prayer, lots of knitted grey sweaters from groups in Wirral, and loads of school stationery gathered from many people. As always, there is always more to do, just like Muumba school. The kitchen is basically under a tin roof in the area between the two dormitories and one can only imagine how difficult that would be in the rainy season. So, look out for news soon. When we receive a project cost for a kitchen and dining room we will let you know and see whether we can get grant funding. If any reader knows a suitable grant funder please get in touch.
We returned back to base by 3pm and wrapped up the day discussing various things with the women who do the knitting and sewing training. They are making me some items to bring back to the UK to sell. So what is the plan for tomorrow, Friday?
After our early morning call, in the form of one of security guards talking loudly to someone else around dawn (about 6.15) - I must find his volume control - we will shower, if there is water; have a cuppa, if there is power and send this report, yes you guessed it. After our morning worship we will meet with Lazarus. He is blind and was helped through his education by a supporter. As an accomplished musician he has now set up a recording and music production business. We will discover how successful he is and what are his challenges ahead. There is a Beneficiaries Meeting, when we see and listen to people who need help, followed by a visit to Monze Mission Hospital. After lunch Edmund and I will catch a bus down to Livingstone to have a couple of days rest and play being a tourist. After all there will be no one around to talk to.
Well, as I write we have made it - water, power and internet access at the same time. Seems a shame to go to bed. Good night.