Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Mother of Education

Emmanuel inspecting the new books HealthEd Connect brought
for his teacher training studies.  His comment?  This book is
the Mother of Education!
Emmanuel Mumba, one of the teachers at Chipulukusu, is an inspiration to everyone!  In addition to being a full-time teacher, he is also a full-time student working on his diploma in teacher education. He is now 25 years old but took over as the head of the family at age 13 when his parents became very ill.  At that young age he assumed responsibility for raising two younger brothers (ages 3 and 5) and a younger sister (age 13).  His parents both passed away in 2011 leaving him with the entire family responsibility.  In addition, he has taken in a cousin to raise who is also an orphan.

Emmanuel has always wanted to be a teacher and hopes to someday be a Head Teacher.  As he says, "I want to excel."  Right now he has to worry about the essentials like paying rent ($17 a month) for a small house with no electricity or running water.  He's especially grateful he has a job teaching at Young Peace Makers school and that they serve porridge everyday since all of his siblings attend and get fed.  He says "that helps a lot."

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Sherri buying beads at Kasompe
We had our usual bead-buying sessions at Kasompe, Chipulukusu and Zamtan in January.  I'm finally figuring out a routine!  I told them ahead of time how many necklaces, bracelets, and earrings I would buy.  They then had to decide how many items each bead maker could sell to me.  The quality gets better every time.  These are awesome bead makers!  If you know of anyone who would like to sell a few just let us know jheide@healthedconnect.org and we'll ship a small package off to you.  You'll be impressed!!  They make great Mother's Day gifts and come with a tag telling about the group along with the bead maker's name.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Women's Work

This child spent all morning under a shade tree in front of her house pounding greens into tiny pieces.  I've never seen people pound greens before -- they usually reserve that hard work for maiz (corn).  She seemed to make the best of the tedious job, however, and managed to sneak in a smile every now and then when we spoke to her.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Wonder No More

If you ever questioned the need for reading and writing, look no further.  We sat behind this teenager at church one morning in Zambia.  Each time the presider announced a new song the young man enthusiastically grabbed a song book and opened it .

When we looked closely, however, we realized he couldn't read. You don't need to read Bemba to figure this out if you look closely.  I hope he someday enrolls in an adult literacy class.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

New Aprons

Kafwa busy cooking in thatched roof kitchen
Jennifer & Beatrice in stylish new aprons

Our hard working cooks at the schools received a very special treat in January.  Absolutely gorgeous new aprons made by a group of seamstresses in Spokane.  This isn't the first aprons this group has made for the cooks but these are totally over the top!

Each cobbler apron has a hand pieced quilted pocket -- each pocket different from the others.  In the pocket is tucked a hand-crocheted dish rag/pot holder. The colors are beautiful!   AND to top it off, each apron is reversible with different colors and designs on the inside.  These aprons are truly works of art!  No small detail was missed by the cooks as they examined every stitch and feature.  Without question, our school cooks are the best dressed, designer-clothed, appreciated cooks anywhere!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Blue Bikes!

Ernest, Bicycle Chairman, showing new bike to Sherri
The Zamtan Bicycle Income Generating Committee is amazing!  They had two old bicycles they'd been renting that needed repairs so they decided to sell them.  They sold them for 550 Kr each (about $90).  They then took their windfall to town and bought two brand new, 5 speed, super duper, blue bicycles for 550 Kr each.  What???  It's true.  Incredible business people.

They frequently rent the bicycles for 100 Kr/month to people who need them to ride to work. They say this is a good deal because bus fare would cost 200 Kr/month.  One of the sad realities of poverty is that people never have sufficient money to purchase something of their own to save in the long run.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


New desks - thanks to Rotary!

Wow!  Not only does Zamtan have new classrooms, they  also have sturdy right-sized tables and chairs for the kindergarten and first grade and desks and benches for the third grade.  This is all thanks to the Kansas City Rotary Club 13 and the Ndola Zambia Makuba Rotary Club.  The delivery of the furniture was delayed a couple of weeks first because of the presidential election in Zambia and then to the torrential rains.  But they're there now and happily in use!!

But wouldn't you know!  Right in the middle of the celebration festivities, a pesky button demanded attention at the most inopportune time.  But first things first...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

8 foot tall and still growing!

Jeff and Sherri admiring Moringa tree at Chips
Neither chickens nor goats nor people can stop the Moringa trees!  After many false starts and abrupt endings (thanks chickens and goats!) we finally have a Moringa tree that is over 8 foot tall and it's only 7 months old!  It is now time to begin trimming the branches and adding the super nutritious leaves to the children's school lunches.   The teachers at Chipulukusu actually planted 6 trees but 5 disappeared one night leaving only this one survivor.  The day after this picture was taken with Jeff and me, a sturdy fence with an iron gate was installed to discourage intruders.  But we really can't be too sad about the Moringa trees disappearance since the idea is to eventually have Moringa trees growing throughout the community.  Thanks to Randy Heintz, we were able to take hundreds of seeds with us in January and share them with the health workers from Malawi and DR Congo.  They were super excited to get in on the Good Life Gardening project!

Newly fenced in garden in front of Kafwa Center