Ipalo Team Update

Ipalot Posted by IPALO Meta 2012 on Mon, 06 Aug 2012 | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Day 4 – Monday 30th July

Today started with a relaxed atmosphere. We had all accepted the irregularity of the water and it’s amazing how you learn to adapt with something you usually take for granted. Breakfast started with some delicious boiled eggs in cleverly fashioned egg cups and cereal before Jonas arrived at about 9:30 (about being the key word in African time).

We went on a short journey to the Diocesan office and met Archbishop Chama. He is a lovely humble friendly man, as you would except from a Bishop.

Hearing about all the projects he and his office staff are undertaking are just incredible. The afternoon was planned to be a trip to the School Site but as we have learned, in Africa plans can change very quickly. The trip had to be pushed back leaving a gap in our schedule.

In exchange for a quick lunch, Jonas changed from bus driver to tour guide. He took us on an amazing tour were we saw both the richest and poorest areas of Kitwe (often only 100m apart). We drove right through a shanty town where kids chased the bus and we caused quite a stir. Thanks to Jonas’ incredible driving we managed to find our way out.

Then we came home and had a wonderful sausage casserole and everyone settled into our usual activities of washing, writing, reading and playing games – another successful day had come and gone.

Day 5 – Tuesday 31st July

By the fourth morning the majority of us seemed to be getting behind the early starts except for one or two (not naming any names!). Breakfast was ready at 7:45am and after clearing up we had a brief team meeting before the bus arrived at 9am.

We headed further north and stopped at a church with a congregation much larger than you would think possible. We collected Godfrey – an ordinand working in the parish of Chambishi who kindly offered to escort us to Chambishi High School. We met the headmistress (Who was very kind to us – but you wouldn’t want to cross her). She explained that there were over 1,000 pupils in the school which was barely big enough for 500 pupils. There were only 19 classrooms and 44 members of staff many of whom are past pupils. She also told us that roughly one tenth of the pupils were “vulnerable” (meaning double orphaned due to AIDS). Despite the difficulties they had a football team that were provincial champions and made a good show at the regionals.

The team were amazed at how happy they are with so little.

We left gifts of a large globe and sports equipment; we also offered them small gifts to which the head teacher responded “no gift is small”.

We all headed back to the house with high spirits for lunch. After lunch we met the staff of the seminary and had a guided tour. Then we came back and had a delicious curry and several games of ‘Empires’!!

Our team leader Robert told us (with a smirk) that we could have a lie in whilst announcing breakfast was to be served at 8:15am!!

Day 6 – Wednesday 1st August

Breakfast is getting much more exotic in the house because this morning we had french toast! After breakfast and frugal use of water for showers/baths we organised washing our clothes and waited for the bus that was taking us on one of our more eye opening ventures – Home Based Care (HBC).

The HBC is an incredible programme and the people involved were so friendly, we got another lovely musical welcome and met with people suffering from Aids, some members of our team were welcomed into their homes.

Even though they were so poorly there was hope in their eyes because people care about them and come to see them. It was very difficult but a rewarding experience for us to be able to help.

When we came back from our visit with HBC our hosts had provided lunch for us. Then we managed to get involved in a Zambian game of basketball which was a lot more difficult than it looked. The game ended with a plate of oranges and with team morale at an all time high.

Once again dinner was excellent despite the cooking facilities, after dinner we shared an emotional team discussion reflecting on our time the HBC and Communion.

Afterwards we had our superbly organised quiz! Unfortunately teacher Laura won but we all enjoyed ourselves and went to bed after a challenging but rewarding day.

Day 7 – Thursday 2nd August

Emotions were still heavy after the previous 24 hours but the show must go on. We all had hot showers and breakfast before Jonas picked us up at around 9am and brought us to a compound of houses made for people with very low income. We got the chance to see the brick making machine which the diocese is purchasing. It can make up to 200 bricks per day then we got the parachute and balls out and had a chance to play with the kids. Sadly we had to stop and come home for lunch.

After lunch we piled into the bus and headed to the Diocesan office to meet Kenneth, the engineer involved in the School project. He explained the vision which involves building the school one year group at a time. So only one year after the project begins – the local kids will start benefiting from the facilities. If it goes according to plan after 12 years it should be complete.
It will consist of

• a Primary School
• a Secondary School with Boarding houses
• teachers houses
• skills training centre

We also went for an off road adventure in a large bus to see the future site of the school and the Ladies training centre (by the way Zambians can really drive!). Today was a really good day and we all enjoyed it. The sense of community spirit in Kitwe is overwhelming everyone is welcoming. We had chicken sausages for dinner, after a failed trip to an internet cafe we all had some fruit salad and started getting ready for bed. Some plans were made for the next day but who knows what would happen.

Day 8 – Friday 3rd August

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a week since we first departed as a team at the airport but at the same time so much has happened. Routines are firmly in place and there seems to be an unwritten rota for the shower. After breakfast we took time to reflect on the experience so far and waited for Jonas. The first stop was at St. Agnes where we met a large group of people who worked to help fight HIV/AIDS & Malaria.

Afterwards Mark, Yvonne and Helen got the chance to help the volunteers to make sausages. I don’t think any of them should pursue careers in Butchery. We then went to another church – St. Barnabas – where we had a presentation on the vision and strategy of the Diocesan Youth Executive.

Finally we went to a third church which has plans to expand to include a nursery school. Today was a very good day which ended with an Irish stew, which was made with Blood (Ross’) Sweat and tears.

After dinner we had another attempt at the Internet Cafe (Which neither had Internet nor Coffee!!!)

We all had a Disney Sing song – before heading to bed early, as we had plans to celebrate Roberts big 30th Birthday

Day 9 – Saturday 4th August

Saturday was a day full of surprises, it started at 630am when Robert was in the shower and the team got up to give him a big ‘Birthday Surprise’. After Breakfast we set off for a busy day.

We went to a church to meet the Mother’s Union and learn about all that they do. Afterwards we were invited into the Church House and were treated to a Pasty each (surprise no. 2)

We ran over our allotted time and had to move on to the local Boys Brigade and when we arrived we found ourselves in the middle of a wedding. We were even invited up to the front (surprise no.3), soon we managed to sneak out and got to briefly see the BB before going to Kenneth the engineer’s house for lunch. The food was great, and gave us all a chance to try out some traditional Zambian food including small roasted fish, caterpillars (surprise no. 4), Nshima (cornmeal product and a staple food in Zambia) and Kasava (root vegetable) amongst other things. Thinking this was the main meal we all filled our plates and ate everything, with our bellies bulging we realised the barbeque had just been lit (surprise no.5) were Chicken, t bone steaks and Hungarian sausages ensued (Happy Birthday Robert). The hospitality was amazing with all the food and drink we could handle.

After our fond farewells we went and met Judith and Joyce from the Mother’s Union and visited an authentic African market. It was an interesting experience, but not one most of us would rush to repeat. It was fairly narrow in parts and could be quite intimidating.

After a busy, busy day we came home and had dinner followed by dessert of fresh Papaya and ice cream, then the final surprise of the day, a cake for Robert!

After dinner we had a kid’s party consisting of charades, empires, Jack change it and kid’s party music. We all enjoyed ourselves, but had an early night preparing for our 2nd last full day in Kitwe.