Greetings from Kitwe

Zambiateam Posted by zambia 2016 on Thu, 14 Jul 2016 | 11 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

Muli Shani! After 42 hours of travel we have arrived at Kitwe. It only took 2 planes, 4 airports, 5 buses and a night with cockroaches in Ethiopia, but we got here in one piece!

The team members are all very well – since setting foot on Zambian soil we’ve been welcomed and blessed with tremendous hospitality, stupendous greetings and deep thinking about the culture we find ourselves in.

We’ve been laughing together, crying together, eating and singing, praying and reading scripture together. In the programme we’ve been to the markets, touring the city of Kitwe, Seminary visiting, Mothers’ Union, Pre-school ministry, Church visiting … and so much more.

There are still a few things that will take a bit of getting used to, such as water rationing and “Dooming the Room” (spraying the room with “Doom” insecticide to kill any midnight friends).

Here are some highlights from our first few days in Kitwe…

Saturday 9th
After an abrupt wake up call by the neighbour’s cockerel at 6am, we were brought to the Cathedral of Kitwe by our driver, Jonas. We were met by the local youth group, who showed us around the Kitwe markets. There, we experienced a constant bombardment of the senses. As merchants tried to call our attention with their appealing vegetables and aromatic perfumes, our guides kept us close.

We finished off the day with the Jonas Bus Tour of Kitwe and the local mines. It soon became clear that there was a huge contrast in housing; stone walls and huge fences next to wooden shacks with no protection. There were people on the street selling raw meat and vegetables, surrounded by large amounts of refuse. Jonas said it was because the mining company no longer provides a collection service since they became privatised. This led to the miners being evicted from homes that were state owned. The houses were then put on sale, leaving many of the poorer workers on the streets and rubbish to accumulate. As the tour drew to an end, we noticed a contrast between the stereotypical African Savannah sunset and the industrialised reality.

Sunday 10th
You know the way in Blarney we are always complaining about how long-winded Robert can be or having to stand for more than two songs? Well, here, we had five hours in one day with the priest apologising to the congregation for shortening the service because we were there!

Although it was seemed almost never ending, it was the best service we have ever been to! The room was full of energy as we sung and danced together. The congregation were very friendly. As a traditional welcome they rubbed their hands together before clapping three times. Then, as we were leaving we shook everyone’s hands. Jonas our driver then brought us to the church treasurer’s house, where we had lunch with the vicar general and enjoyed getting to know the people and the Zambian culture a bit more.

Monday 11th
Today we went to Chambishi, where we visited the parish priest at the local preschool before driving to Chambishi Secondary School. There we met the Deputy Head of the school, who showed us around the school and led us to the classes. We amused the students by speaking (or attempting to speak) Bemba. Some of the classes had up to 90 students. The Deputy Head talked to us about the fact that many of the students came from vulnerable families, financially. Thankfully, the school was happy to let the parents pay the school fees in small amounts. We were really impressed by the variety of subjects and the dedication of both teachers and students.

Tuesday 12th
Today we went to the Kitwe primary and secondary school building site. This project was started up by the diocese in 2012 and the community was excited about the project. Unfortunately it has not been completed due to lack of funding. However, the workers estimate that the primary school section should be ready for the children in 2017. Afterwards, we moved on to another building site where they are constructing a conference centre. It will be rented out to businesses and the income from the conference centre will pay for the completion of the school. We quickly got to work and helped make bricks. The workers enjoyed the extra help and it provided an opportunity to get to know them.


Patsy Devoy said Thu, 14 Jul 2016 02:13PM
Love to you all...and greetings from New Wine!
Helen Ferris said Thu, 14 Jul 2016 03:14PM
Good to hear about all your experiences so far-seems that you have a full programme! Our thoughts and prayers are with you for a safe trip! Love from all in Banbridge!
Jane Moffatt said Thu, 14 Jul 2016 03:29PM
Sounds like you are having a very busy time. Enjoy.
Sylvia Bolster said Thu, 14 Jul 2016 04:37PM
Greetings from Donegal. new Wine was excellent. Hope you are all really enjoying your adventure.
Nelson Heaslip said Thu, 14 Jul 2016 05:30PM
So glad to hear the news and know that you all are well. Enjoy the rest of your time xx
Roger Thompson said Fri, 15 Jul 2016 11:02AM
Great to hear your news! Glad you're being kept busy! Say "Hi" to Jonas from me - have you been singing "Tiyende Pamodzi"??? We are praying for you!
Christina Sage said Fri, 15 Jul 2016 04:39PM
Reading the blog, I'm there with you! What interesting and eye-opening experiences. All the best. Love, Chris x (Viv's sister)
Pam said Sat, 16 Jul 2016 12:26PM
Thanks for all the news. sorry it took me two days to find it. Loads of rain here. You are missing nothing!Looked at slides of Kitwe online this morning so feel have half a ntion of where you are now! Enjoy your last few days in the Diocese.
Ruth said Sun, 17 Jul 2016 07:29AM
Hi all. Lovely to hear news of you today. Just back from New Wine which was amazing. 92 on the under 5's corridor! Sarah and Gina helped me in the toddler room and did a fantastic job and Chris thoroughly enjoyed being on the production team doing soybd and lighting. Will be thinking of you esp at evening service in Blarney this to you all.
Pam said Wed, 20 Jul 2016 11:12PM
Hi All! trust everything continues well. Was hoping there would be more blog as was away for a few days. You've missed temperatures of up to 30 degrees Mon and Tues but it's back down to normal now.Looking forward to your return!xx
Patsy Devoy said Fri, 22 Jul 2016 11:59AM
Hoping the last few days are epic! Looking forward to hearing all the news when you're home safe. Love Patsy

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