Part 4 by Mo – 24th April
(*Sing to the theme tune of the cartoon tv show, ‘The Flinstones’!*)
“God’s Love is the Best Love
That the World has ever, ever seen!
Greater than the sun & moon & stars
Farther than the Earth from planet Mars!
God’s Love is the Best Love
That the World has ever, ever seen!!!”
Ben, Yvonne, Chloe, Dee and I sang this to the Zambian congregation of Leah and Larry’s Church – it even included dramatic movements – and moments, I dare say!!!
We then sat ourselves down and Dee gave a beautiful devotion about being fearful and anxious and that she had been worried about coming to Zambia before she arrived. She said that reading Psalm 16 had helped to remind her that we are all in God’s trusty palm.
Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
We then sang some very joyful songs led by Larry on the guitar. He also had some songs translated into the local language of ‘Bemba’. It was interesting to sing the songs in this language. Even though we did not know the words, the sounds of these new words sung by our Zambian friends seemed to take on a fuller expression; more sensual & true; than that of their English counterparts.
During Larry’s teaching, I learned of the Chinese Christian called, Brother Yun ‘Heavenly Man’, who prayed and prayed and fasted for 100 days asking for a Bible. He had a dream one night and in this vision he saw a man with a beard give him food to eat (the Word of God is the food of life). The next day, there was a knock on the door and the same bearded man in his dream gave him a Bible! Larry was demonstrating that when we pray and ask for something, how hard do we pray? And how much do we really want or need the thing we ask for? And does it bring us closer in our relationship to God?
After the church service, we headed down to Leah’s & Larry’s house where they had invited the whole congregation to come, hang out and have a meal with them on their sunny porch. People were only too keen to go and we had a lovely time eating egg sandwiches and singing songs. As people left to go home, we prepared ourselves for a walk around Ndeke Dam. We jumped in the jeep and Larry drove us there. It was stunningly beautiful and it was great to get out into the African countryside. We then went for burgers and I got a “Mountain King Steer” triple decker burger which I’m happy to say, I devoured. And here, I’ll leave you with a few pictures of the beautiful Ndeke Dam….
It was cloudy and humid on Monday. I had a drama class with Grade 3 which, given the fact I’d taught them the week before and realised how unequipped I was, was a little worried I would not be able to keep up with them! But I had Dee and Ben with me thank God! And it was a joy to do! The children here are so bright and joyful. I find myself giving them a big cuddle and high-five-ing them a lot! We played a few games with them, which they loved, and then got them into groups of three, and they acted out a verse each of the poem, “A Love Letter from the Father”.
After that, we went back to Leah and Larry’s house where we had lunch – eggs, cheese, gorgeous Zambian tomatoes and tea! Lots of tea!! Then we split up and Chloe and Dee went to put up some boards in the primary school. The workmen tried to paint over the old school sign so that we could paint a new school mural but to no avail as the rain had arrived and with it, some thunder and lightning too!
Yvonne and I fixed library books back at the house and minded Leah and Larry’s beautiful children when they arrived back from school. Ben and Larry were taking profile photographs of some of the students and they turned out really well. Leah had driven to Ndola early that morning with a sick boy from the village called, ‘Crispin’. His medicine had run out and he could only get new medicine in Ndola – miles away. When she arrived back from the long and arduous journey, she made us all tomato rice and sausage and it was delicious.
We drove home at about 9.30pm and it was lights out immediately as we were all very tired from the hard day’s work.
Part 3 by Ben – 23rd April
Today it’s my (Ben’s) turn to write about our trip and I want to share what fascinates me in Zambia and what we did over the last few days.
One of my favourite Zambia moments was when we first arrived at the school and got to the canteen. There was basically nothing except a roof and some walls. But everyday they cook food there for about 80 pupils and this Thursday they also cooked for us. We ate our first “Nshima” – a traditional Zambian dish made out of grounded mashed corn. Even though it looks quite similar to potato mash, the taste is almost neutral, which was a little bit disappointing for the German and Irish potato lovers. But after adding gravy and vegetables it is grand.
So where do you find vegetables? Let’s go to the market.
I love markets when I travel. Usually they can be very exhausting as a foreigner because everyone runs after you, shouts at you and asks for too expensive prices, which you have to bid down (which is also the cool bit). In Kapiri Mposhi the market is in a long street and every “stand” has mostly only one item. Everything is open air and on the ground. One lady sells her tomatoes; the next lady sells onions; next to that you get dried fish (we weren’t brave enough to try that one yet) and so on. The prices are fixed and often even displayed. Besides a few drunk lads most people are very friendly and just wait until you talk to them. Still, it is busy and packed and a very interesting experience.
What we’ve been doing
Thursday was an almost routine school day. We ran some drama and computer classes again. It is crazy how fast we’ve got used to this new environment.
On Friday we attended the secondary school assembly in which all classes stand in rows next to each other for about an hour. After a short summary of the week from the principal Martin and a quiz about when to use me, my, I, myself and mine (where I myself struggled a bit), it was our turn to speak. We shared our thoughts about what gives real satisfaction in life.
In the afternoon we were asked to take care of the primary school for half an hour and then load them into the school bus. Shouldn’t be too hard, we thought. How wrong can you be? It was probably the most exhausting thing the team has done so far. After 10 minutes we had kids everywhere jumping around, and without knowing their names it was nearly impossible to discipline them. Eventually with the help of Leah we managed to get everyone in the bus in the order of their bus stops and off the bus on the right place. We slept very well that night.
Saturday morning we worked on the playground: painting tyres, digging holes, hitting a water pipe, fixing the pipe, mixing concrete and fixing everything that moved too much.
In the afternoon we invited some of the older school kids for games and a little message about identity.
After a very confusing game (for the Germans – due to different rules) of rounders we started a big water fight with water bombs and a sling shot. I was supposed to be the moving target, but the kids enjoyed attacking each other more, which didn’t bother me too much.
In the evening we played the board game Settlers. Well, I was more successful in the digital version of that game.
Now we are looking forward to relaxing on Sunday and we will update you with another post again soon.
Part 2 by Yvonne – 20th April
Easter Monday started out grey and “coldish” (only 22 degrees instead of 28). On our agenda was an event for kids who we’d invited in the Easter service the day before. We served food, played loads of running games and an Easter quiz. It was a great time as there were also small children coming who were just climbing over the fence and had no word of English. Another good time for us to practice our Bemba.
In the afternoon we played games with the kids and planned the upcoming week in the school. The sun came out again, so that we all looked like lobsters at the end of the day.
The next morning started very early as the school here starts at 7.30am. Dee, Mo and Ben tried out the school bus for the primary class, whereas Chloe and myself were in the mood for a 40-minute wake-up-walk to school. It turned out that we were faster than the bus as it stops at every corner and drives through the whole city and its surroundings with all its bumpy roads.
When we arrived we had a tour around the school and were introduced to the Primary School, who welcomed us by singing some songs (so cute!!). The Primary school here consists of a Baby Class (age 2-3), Reception Class (3-4), 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade.
The whole morning we were meeting teachers, students and shadowing classes in Primary and Secondary School. Mo was thrown straight into teaching three different English classes, which were great fun (for the kids and us). Also Dee started teaching the kids in Computer class about how the Internet works. It really felt like being back in school, although I was kind of lost helping out in the Maths class when they were talking about inversions and all the stuff that you would eliminate out of your head after passing the Leaving Cert.
After a quick lunch of chicken and rice, we did PE with the reception class and were afterwards officially introduced to the Secondary School. The Principal introduced us to the students as “aliens who are wandering around the school”. After that we had the most amazing time running our own after-school clubs: Mo did a drama club; Chloe a games club; Ben built a waterpark with Lego Technic with the kids; Dee ran a computer club; and I taught some kids and teachers Cha-Cha-Cha.
On Wednesday I already felt like I’d been here for ages. We’re now completely integrated and no strangers to the kids anymore. After teaching three hours of drama classes at Primary school, none of us could listen to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star….” anymore! I had a nice experience in the Baby Class when all the children started poking and kissing me and sung me a song about the hungry caterpillar. Also Chloe had a great time when someone wanted to steal her hair to make a wig out of it as it is so soft.
In the evening, we went to the local market and bought a Chitenge (a traditional skirt which you can also use as a table cloth). We also played a German card game and, after a very competitive game, we are now confident that we can face all other challenges easily! 😊
Part 1 by Chloe – 16th April
We started our Zambian adventure by setting off from Dublin Airport at 7.30pm on 13th April. After a loonnngg time travelling we arrived safe and sound in Ndola, Zambia on Friday 14th April at 2.30pm! We were greeted by Leah and Hannah Seaman, and George. They brought us back to Kapiri Mposhi that evening, where we had a lovely meal with the two families. This is my second time visiting Kapiri, so it’s great to see everyone again! We then settled into our accommodation and made friends with the guard Simon!
On Saturday we spent the day chopping up veg and making crafts all while entertaining the kids! We had to prepare for an event in the church the following day. I may have started a horrible trend by showing the kids the “avocado/ guacamole song” and they have been singing it ever since. Woops!
The two families were woken up by an unlikely guest on Sunday morning! A bull from Martin’s family’s farm arrived, after walking from a place near Ndola.
That day we had a big church event. The Seamans had invited loads of the friends from the local area to celebrate with them on Easter Sunday! There was a great turn out and everyone seemed to have loads of fun. We brought a bit of CCC to their service as we made up a welcome team to greet everyone as they came to church! We tried our best to welcome people in Bemba, which is the local language. You say Mulishani (how are you), and you reply with bwino ee mukwai (Good thanks)! This resulted in people either assuming we were fluent, or laughing at us…
During the service we sang a few songs in Bemba, which everyone really enjoyed. Then a few of the kids and teenagers did a mime, which was so good! After that one of the teenagers gave his testimony and another read a poem. The kids went out and made crafts, and the rest of us listened to Larry speak. We then all served food and ate with everyone, and it was a great chance to get to know them.