We finally arrived in Ndola Zambia at about 6:00pm on Saturday night after about 34 hours of travel from leaving LAX.
All went well on the long haul. All of our bags arrived. No extra baggage fee was charged. Our host in Zambia, Prisca, was there to meet us with a crew cab truck with enough seating for us and space for all out luggage on the back. Things were looking great and the prospect of a bed to lay down horizontally was only about a 1.5 hour road trip away. On our last 60km leg of the journey Prisca was telling us all about what had happened since we were here last year, and all about what she had planned for us for our week stay in Zambia. Just about 10Km from Kitwe, our final destination, we hear a mind numbing grinding sound that seems like it is coming from the left front wheel, as the truck grinds to a halt with billows of white smoke blowing out from under the it.
We had to call the owners of the truck with the bad news there truck was probably destroyed and we needed to be rescued from the side of the road. They were gracious enough to bring another truck out to get us to that bed that we were all longing for while they stayed behind to figure out how to get the get the truck rolling again.
We went to Prisca's church “Riverside Chapel” for 2.5 hr long service. A full traditional service with with lots of old hymns and an hour long sermon. We then went to Prisca's house for lunch and met a young student Carissa, from Wheaton Collage. She is out here for 6 months as part of her University credits. She is working with our partner PLAEP Pro Life Advocacy and Education Partners. Following lunch we went down to a church in what is known as the High Density Zone. One of the Smart Choices team members, Sydney arranged to do a Smart Choices presentation at his church.
Monday – Wednesday Smart Choices
We have presented Smart Choices three times at three separate schools. Approximately 100 students in each class. The first school was an all girls School named Helen Kunda who was the first post British rule First Lady. The other schools were both Church run school. One was St Francis Catholic School.
The other was Village of Hope school that was constructed with the help of the Episcopal Church of Winnepeg Manitoba.
Helen Kaunda School for Girls
Village of Hope Episcopal School
On Wednesday afternoon we visited a group called a Grow Group. The Grow Groups are encouraged and supervised by mission partner in Zambia, PLAEP. These are community savings programs. There are 20-25 participants in a Grow Group. Each participant pledge to save some minimum amount every week. The minimum for this group is 10 Kwatcha, about a dollar. They can deposit more if they want but they must at least deposit the minimum. If anyone wants to make a loan they pay 10% per month. If they don't pay it back in the month, The interest on the outstanding balance goes up to 20%. At the end of each year the interest earned in the year is all payed out as a dividend in proportion to their investment for the year.
Tomorrow Friday September 18 we wrap up our stay in Zambia with a visit to a feeding program at the Community School that is sponsored by PLAEP. Then we will have a debrief with our Smart Choices teams and then off to the Airport.
PLAEP Supported Community School