Monday, August 20, 2012

Prayer-flag laundry

Spectacular Laundry

Over 1000 colorful little 'prayer-flags' fluttered on makeshift clotheslines on the Graceland University Campus during Spectacular.  On the opening day of Spec, campers were given a stack of muddy cloths and kiddie pools of water, aka African rivers, to wash them in.  The finished products were strung on lines and served as constant visual reminders of the daily reality for women in developing countries.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Zambian Friendship Bracelets

Kafwa making Friendship Bracelets

A total of 1092 Bracelets were made

 Cherry Newcom provided an educational and fun booth throughout Spectacular where campers could hang out, make paper beads, or purchase friendship bracelets made by the teenagers and Kafwa in Zambia  [The Africans made 1092 string bracelets and the campers purchased over 1000 of them.]  A goal was set to raise $3,000 to build a Cook Shack for the volunteer school cooks and in true Spectacular fashion, nearly $5,000 was raised!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

This is hard work!

The opening team-building event at Spectacular was modeled on African tasks of daily living such as carrying water and wood, washing clothes by hand, grinding corn, and making bricks for houses. In 103 degree heat, the activity more than simulated the daily grueling reality of the tasks carried out by women of Africa.

This shelling and grinding corn is hard work!

Is that all we've got?  Hauling water one cup at a time.

Look Mom!  No hands.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Spectacular was Spectacular!!

Sherri narrating presentation at Spectacular
Spectacular was.....well, spectacular!!  HealthEd Connect was well represented at this gathering on the Graceland Lamoni Campus the last week in July.  Nearly 1000 teenagers and staff from across the United States gathered to share in a week of leadership classes and sports competition.  HealthEd Connect presented an audio-visual presentation during morning assembly that ended with a clip of our Zamtan teens doing a lively drumming selection.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Only Half Crazy!

Callie and baby son, Harper.
Here's a great challenge written by one of our biggest supporters, Callie Streich:

How often do we make the time to take a hard look at ourselves?  If that time is taken, it might involve going into our mind's cellar, grabbing a 10 year old mason jar off the shelf, begin the task of trying to pry open the rusted over lid -- and when too much discomfort is involved we put the dusty jar back on the dusty shelf next to all the other canned items.  We tell ourselves that we'll make time another day...when the jar's not so hard to open.
The summer of 2002, I went to Zambia with an international volunteer program that allows young adults and adults to take part in intercultural experiences.  Zambia...Africa...has a way of finding its way into your heart and soul and setting up camp.  I can remember the faces, the smells, the sights, the sounds...all of them a part of me.  I'm lousy with directions (my husband bought me a GPS one year and joked that if I got lost, it was now a customer service issue); but I can remember my village, the villages nearby, and how to navigate in and between them. Of all the events in my life up until then, the ones I experienced that summer are the most vivid and real. 

I continue to have a tug at my heart for Zambia but am always at a loss for how to reach out. I recently was inspired by someone who has devoted some of her time to the HealthEd Connect Mentor Program by traveling to Zambia and working with orphaned children.  In the process of bringing awareness to her work, she raised money by running a marathon. I have never been a runner, but have gotten in my head I want to run a half marathon (because I'm only half crazy - ha!) and in doing so, raise money for this amazing program.
HealthEd Connect is a phenomenal organization that has been instrumental in providing education, counseling, health education and even saving lives not only in Zambia, but in Malawi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Nepal. 
My goal for the program is to raise $1500 for the mentor program. Even if I don't reach it, every little bit helps!!  Your tax-deductible donation can be made directly to Health Ed Connect at Please specify that your donation is for "Teacher Mentor in honor of Callie Streich". (If you have issues donating, I can help!)
I will be chronicling my training for the Sept. 22nd half-marathon on my blog: Click on the “Half crazy? HECk yes!” tab.
In my right hand, in that dank dark cellar, I'm holding the jar labeled, "But what do I even have to offer?"  In my left hand is the opened lid...excuses spilled onto the floor.
I look forward to this journey and I look forward to sharing it with you!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Kafwa Center

This slab of concrete may not look impressive but it has created huge excitement in Chipulukusu, Zambia.  The long-awaited Kafwa health worker facility is now underway.  Scheduled to begin construction in September 2012, the building is already taking shape.  We're on New African Time!  When completed, the facility will house a kitchen for preparation of the school lunches, a multi-purpose room for income generating activities, a 'sick' room for the school children, a well-baby clinic for the Under Five children, and a school library among other things.  At this rate the building will be completed before it's scheduled to begin!