Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Where is China?

Teachers at Chipulukusu admiring new maps
The kids in Chipulukusu or Kasompe might ask, "Now exactly where is China?  Or the United States?  Or my own country of Zambia?"  Those of us who grew up with access to maps always knew there was a way to find out.  Just look at a map.  For the kids in our schools, however, maps have never been available.  A whole new world is opening up to them now that they can visualize the world and where we all fit in.  One of our friends, Chester Hicks, has a hobby of collecting maps.  He's now on the lookout to find good maps for the kids and always sends a few new ones with us each time we go.

By the way, China, probably would be the first country they would ask about since it is so visible in Zambia  buying land, copper mines, and property.  Most large trucks have Chinese lettering on them.  The Chinese presence is everywhere!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Show Must Go On!

Jac working by candle light.  Fortunately, the computer had a good battery!
Ever wonder what the HealthEd Connect treasurer does in Africa when the electricity goes off in the middle of balancing his books?  He lights a candle and keeps on working, of course!  Electricity and water are both very sporadic in the guest houses where we stay in Zambia.  There are constant black-outs in utilities because there aren't enough to service everyone all of the time.  So, we keep the candles handy and are always prepared to take a bath out of a bucket.  Our motto:  If there's electricity, immediately plug in every camera, ipod, computer, phone, etc. that needs to be never know how long it will be available.  Likewise, if there's running water-- especially if it's warm water---take a shower.  That may be the last running water available for a couple of days.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The wonder Tree!

Two of our teachers at Chipulukusu examining Moringa seeds.
Good friends in Florida alerted us last year to the nutritious wonders of the Moringa tree.  They not only TOLD us about it, they actually sent us seeds to take to Africa.   We don't know if the soil, climate, gardening know-how, etc. will be conducive to its growth but we certainly hope so.  Every part of the Moringa tree can be used to good advantage including the leaves which can be dried, ground into powder and added to porridge to dramatically increase nutritional value.  Some refer to it as a miracle food for malnourished babies.  We felt like the Johnny Apple Seed of Africa doling out seeds wherever we visited!  Everyone was intrigued by the seeds and eager to plant them.  Next year we hope to show pictures of thriving trees!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Dog to Love

Last year our granddaughter, Kali, went through her stuffed animal collection and selected a sack full to send to Africa.  Knowing my suitcase would not hold large animals, she chose the smallest ones in her collection.  Now each time I travel to Africa, I tuck a couple of Kali's little animals in my supplies.  This cute little dog was given to Maurine, the leader of one of the Child Support Specialist Groups, to use with the children.  She said they will LOVE having the dog to pet and hold since they have no toys of their own.  Judging by her smile, I think Maurine also enjoyed the little dog!  Thank you, Kali, for bringing smiles to so many people!

Monday, July 9, 2012

School Supplies

Head Teacher, Joseph, (left) and 4th grade teacher, Victor Chisala, admiring new calendars
Thanks to a Women’s Retreat in California, the classrooms now have colorful new teaching aids.  Sturdy vinyl calendar charts with pockets that have places to insert cards showing the correct month and day of the year.  These are not just any calendars, however, they are colorfully decorated by hand and culturally appropriate with special cards showing local holidays.  The women also braided colorful handles and attached them to alphabet cards to help the little ones learn their letters.  Now that we have four separate classrooms, age-appropriate teaching aids can be left on permanent display in the rooms.  These little touches make the classrooms look interesting and inviting – important ingredients in successful teaching.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Photo Gallery Tour

"Mom. who is that muzungu taking my picture??"
Sit back, relax, and prepare to be inspired by an armchair tour of the HealthEd Connect programs.  The many amazing pictures Jac took in June have been organized and loaded on our website.  Photos in our Blog are just teasers -- for the bigger picture (no pun intended) go to our albums at and click on "Photo Album" or "Photos of Recent Visits" picture (lower left corner of home page).  Enjoy!!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Our Hearts Ache

One of our favorite little artists, Antony, has dropped out of school.  According to his teacher, Penelope, his father died sometime ago and his mother died last month after a long illness.  After his mother’s death, someone took Antony to a relative’s home then brought him back to Kasompe to live with someone else.  Now he’s waiting for an Auntie to come pick him up and take him home to live with her several miles away.  In the meantime, he has dropped out of school and is wandering aimlessly around the neighborhood.  His teacher is very concerned about him.  Antony started in our school at its very beginning and was one of the most eager students.
We took this picture of Antony and his beautiful smile last year – before his life was turned upside down.  He’s one of our featured bicycle artists on our note cards.  He dreamed of being a pilot someday….