Days 1 - 3

Ipalot Posted by IPALO Meta 2012 on Sun, 29 Jul 2012 | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

Day 1

The day started at 10.30am at the Belfast City Airport when the team all successfully met up and checked in. Goodbyes were said (some more emotional than others…) and the famous 10 departed.

At roughly 12.30pm we boarded the plane for the first leg of our journey. After a short, yet bumpy, flight we arrived in London. We eventually got through the Terminal 5 security (the purple t-shirts seemed to set off the alarms) so we split up and got lunch. The afternoon passed surprisingly quickly and before we knew it we were boarding the plane for the dreaded 10 hour flight. When we got on we discovered that Laura had been sent to the back of the plane on her own (not sure why!) “What did I do wrong?” she mused. Everyone settled in for the evening and we got our dinner (my chicken stew tasted oddly like chicken tikka..) We all watched films or tried to grab 40 winks.

Day 2

Saturday started VERY early (still on the plane) with a continental breakfast consisting of a cheese and mushroom sandwich washed down with a mango, pineapple and passion fruit yoghurt. The fun really started when we arrived in Lusaka… We realised things were going to be different when the large clock greeting us at the airport confidently read 9.30 at 6.30 am. We met our driver Jonas and his “bus” (a 14 seater people carrier for 1 driver, ten people and over 20 bags), meanwhile Robert’s credit card had been swallowed by a cash machine. He was assured that the bank would open at 8 am and he would be able to retrieve it, but this being Africa, it was 9 o’clock by the time anyone arrived. Despite the minor setbacks, we all stayed in good spirits and used the time wisely (changing money, using the facilities etc…) and we set off in our “bus”. It’s amazing what prayer can do!

After a brief interval for lunch at the Hungry Lion, we arrived safely in Kitwe (despite Jonas’ void tax due to the overcrowded bus) where we got the most incredible welcome. The Mother’s Union were singing and dancing, and made us feel so welcome and the 30 hour journey seemed worthwhile. We got an invite to the following morning’s service (where Helen inadvertently got asked to carry the cross after mentioning she did it at St Columba’s).

After the meeting with the priest, the Hunter/Gatherers went to the supermarket while the rest went back to prepare the house. Dinner was made while others unpacked and contacted the loved ones left behind. After dinner and some showers (with the water either hot or scalding… not that we had a choice which) Jayne tucked everybody under their mosquito nets and got some much needed, and much deserved, sleep.

Day 3

Sunday started early for some, but earlier for others who hadn’t showered the previous evening. We learned two things about the water that morning… It’s cold compared to the scalding evening, and during the day it gets cut off at regular intervals. “We just need a shower!” cried Aaron and Jayne

Anyway, we all managed to get washed, dressed and onto the bus at 8.30 am to go to the most interesting church service I have ever experienced. The layout and order of events was the same as an ordinary communion service, but with an African twist. The singing and dancing was something else! After the service, we met with the priest again for a beautiful cake and came home to a REAL surprise…

As I said before, the water had been turned off before we left, but we discovered that a tap had been left running as we were all up to our ankles in water! “Hmm… right” were the words of wisdom from Robert.

Everyone chipped in for some real team work, and morale stayed high. Once again we overcame our daily mishap (it seemed to becoming regular) and we were all able to look back and laugh… sort of.

Never Fear … at Time of writing Aaron & Jayne are now clean

Please do continue to pray for us all on the team … all is well with us