Over four months without rain now and the days are getting hotter and hotter. Winter is over and the summer is well on its way here in Zambia!
Two more weeks of holiday have passed and they couldn’t have been more different. The first week was our second week at Maanu Mbwami and team chaos continued. We had so much fun and the kids and teachers were turning up everyday. The number didn’t drop at all, if anything it increased! The trail of children “escorting” the bus into school was growing each day, so much so that I had to get off and walk on several occasions just to stop them getting so close to the wheels! Apparently I looked like the Pied Piper of Livingstone! And if I ran, they ran, if I sang they sang it was great fun!
We did lots of different activities from making sunflowers, after reading how a seed turns into a flower to the life cycle of a chicken which led to the debate of which came first the egg or the chicken?!! Lion masks, Alien headbands, rockets and butterflies were all made coupled with books such as We’re going on a lion hunt, How to catch a star, Man on the Moon and the ever popular Hungry Caterpillar! Anyone who has been a member of team chaos can voucher for the fact that you can make ANYTHING in the world with masking tape, paper plates and streamers!!
When Friday came around the children were all saying “Tizaunana milo” meaning see you tomorrow, but we had to tell them that was the end of the holiday programme, which was really sad. There were a few damp eyes among the volunteers! However we left every child with a pencil, a handful of glitter (which found its way onto faces and into hair!!) and some great memories! We got some fantastic group photos that really capture the spirit of the fortnight!
Last week we spent a week at Lubasi Orphanage! It is exactly one year since I first visited and everytime I go there I feel like I’m going home! The welcome that we always receive is so warm and genuine, everybody gets attached to the children here. After the huge groups of the last fortnight it made a refreshing change to just have small group of 3 or 4 children. The atmosphere is usually pretty calm and the kids are eager to learn! Maps of Africa, feather covered chickens and more sunflowers were produced. And it was only the discovery of some wool that led to a mini riot! So on Friday we bought each child a ball of wool (or cotton as they call it!) Some are going to knit, others I have no idea what they will do with it, but no one wanted to be left out! Some kept trying to sneak back for another ball, claiming they didn’t have, or it was lost!! Children are just as creative and cheeky wherever you go!!
It has been really nice to see the development of the children over the last year, especially some of the shyer ones. And it is easy to see the different characters and individual traits of each once you get to know them! There is something special about working with the children here, and anyone who has been will know exactly what I mean!!
Next week is going to be the biggest challenge of the holidays. We are going to visit a small community project (not a recognised school) which has been set up by the deputy head of Nakatindi. He founded the school in the very poor area of town where he stays and it aims to give children who don’t go to school some basic education, it gives free tuition to others and runs some adult literacy programs. I think that on Monday there will be many people, keen to read, waiting for us. So let’s see what happens…I predict a return to team chaos!!