Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ant Hill Dangers

Ant Hill play ground
Kids will be kids!  One of the favorite climbing spots at the Kasompe school is this ant hill.  Unfortunately, it requires a certain amount of dexterity.  This little guy found out the hard way it isn't always a soft landing.  He ended up with a compound fracture of his leg which created quite a school emergency.  Fortunately it seems to be healing nicely even though it has slowed down his climbing ability.
Bummer about my leg!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Teach me to read!

Sharpening the garden hoe
You don't need a common language to communicate!  This lady in Kasompe was sharpening her hoe on a convenient rock when she saw me walk by.  She immediately dropped her hoe, pointed to her eyes, and then held her open hands in front of her to simulate a book.  I got her message right away!  Just to be sure I understood, however, she ran to get a teacher to translate the 'conversation' which meant "I want to learn to read!"

We now have 3 classes of adult literacy going in Chipulukusu:  14 beginners, and 17 medium and advanced students.  They meet 5 days a week for 2 hours each time.  They pay a few kwacha each month to the teachers who run the classes.  There's a thirst everywhere for adult literacy!  Seeing the children learn has whetted their appetite.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Web of support

Web of common connections

Jac leading a discussion with Joyce, Grace and Elizabeth contemplating
The key leaders from all 3 schools gathered for a Round table in Zamtan in June while we were there.  They loved the web of connections activity the Graceland students introduced!  Tough questions were tackled related to characteristics of quality schools, teacher maternity leave policies, expectations for teacher attendance, etc.  They were so productive they've decided to formally organize a support group among the Head Teachers called The Three Sisters.  They're planning to meet regularly to collaborate and help each other.   This should be immensely helpful in raising the boat for all 3 schools.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Picture Please!

Some people have only to smile to melt your heart!

This little boy, who has both cognitive and physical challenges, slowly and laboriously made his way to the home where we were making visits with the Kafwa in Chipulukusu.  He wanted his picture taken.  As soon as his mission was accomplished, he rewarded us with a smile and turned and left the way he had come.

He was obviously well-known to the Kafwa and receives special attention from them.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Visiting Sewell

Sherri discussing possible treatment with the Kafwa while visiting Sewell with Graceland students
My appreciation and admiration for the Kafwa health workers went up yet another notch (how is that possible??) in June when we went home visiting with them.  Visits like these take people with grit and passion to persevere.  We visited Sewell, a 71-year-old widower the Kafwa have been visiting for months.  It's obvious looking around his little two-room home that there was once a caring woman in his life who made the house a home.   Sewell has a large, ugly, painful leg ulcer that he's battled for over 12 years.  Even though it still has not totally healed, he is extremely grateful to the Kafwa because he can walk again since they began treating him.  The treatment?  Home-made antiseptic made from guava leaves, triple antibiotic ointment, and bandages.  We're going to up the treatment by providing funds for protein in his meager diet to see if we can't get the leg ulcer completely healed.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

I belong!

Orphans who arrived the first day and were told meeting was rescheduled
The whole Isubilo group enjoying a good time on day two
The orphans that gather weekly for Isubilo (orphan support program) absolutely stole our hearts!  They came a day earlier for their usual meeting only to find we were having a meeting in the Kafwa Center where they usually meet.  I was feeling really sad to see them sent away when Joyce Ngosa quickly assured me, "They will come back tomorrow, no problem!"  And sure enough all 22 not only came the next day, they came early!  It was fun to watch them pass the ball that Kelsey Novelli sent and to see how much they obviously love their Child Support Specialist Kafwa.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mama Sherri

The entire Chipulukusu school lined up with a welcome ceremony for our arrival in June.  This 7th grade read a very formal speech which said in part..

Mama Sherri, it is my pleasure to make mention that as pupils of this school we are really happy for your support towards our school.  This has brought great change in the lives of many.  Mama, we are also happy about our nicely furnished classrooms and the library which are according us good learning environment. This may seem to be too small but the impact is greatly felt by us the pupils who are now able to read and write in Bemba and English languages.  In addition the feeding programme cannot be overlooked.  Its importance is seen in our improved performance in school.

This was a lovely tribute but obviously not meant only for "Mama Sherri."  It takes a village of incredible supporters to make this kind of impact!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Yeah veggies!

How cool is this!  Veggies for the kids every week.

Our favorite lunch!  Nshima and veggies!!

The tire gardens are surpassing all expectations!  The spinach and rape plants produce enough greens every week to feed 350  hungry kids.  It's the favorite lunch of the week served with the world famous Zambian Nshima which is always eaten with the fingers since it totally doesn't taste right with a fork!