Saturday, July 30, 2016

Back in the Saddle

Sherri teaching and Joyce Ngosa translating Road-to-Health lesson
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Another successful trip to Zambia!  The tangible evidence of lives being lifted and communities being changed is energizing and exciting!

Some of you may have seen our Facebook post indicating I (Sherri) was slowed down a bit after returning home.  Sleeping 23 out of 24 hours is definitely not my normal mo!  A trip to the Dr., a diagnosis of pneumonia, and a bottle of antibiotics, however, has me well on the way to recovery.

This episode, however, reminded me forcefully of how dependent we all are on a health care system.  As a result, we have renewed our efforts with double urgency to share as many preventive and first-line health care practices in the villages as possible.  We've already received messages from the newly trained health workers about the classes they've conducted since returning to their villages.  They even know about the Zika virus and what to look for!  Innumerable people are already benefitting from their tireless efforts.

We're on an expansion mode as rapidly as funds allow.  We provided training in the remote village of Mwense, Zambia and are now looking for people who want to share in the satisfaction of keeping it going.  A $50 donation will provide basic supplies needed to support the 18 new Zambian Kafwa for a month.  Support these amazing women by making a donation of any size today.  Just click on  Donate Now

Sherri and Joyce with Andrew Murphy in the cheering section

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

On the road again

Up at 4:00 am to stand beside the road waiting to catch our bus from Mwense to Ndola.  It didn't arrive until 6:00 but we had no way of knowing just when it would arrive.  Our hostess, Mary, was so afraid the bus would not stop for us that she drove her car to the station, "kidnapped" the conductor and brought him to where we were waiting so the bus would stop.  The trip took about  12 hours which is considerably less than our trip going the other direction when we had car trouble!!

This bus ride is definitely a trip to take during the daytime.  Picturesque scenes--- of grass- thatched, mud-brick homes decorated in various colors of mud plaster, women sweeping dirt yards, cooking over charcoal fires,  selling small piles of tomatoes, potatoes, or charcoal  ---constantly stream past the window.

The bus stops (attached picture) are even more colorful as mutiple vendors try to sell their wares.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

19 hour trek

Pinkey on one of her earlier trips to villages

Pinkey reports:

Now it is very very hard to reach village. From Kathmandu to Dhading its takes 5 hours and from that place to Gorkha town it takes 5 hours and it is off road, if rain comes then bus will not go then we may have to walk for 8 to 9 hours and  from Gorkha town to village on hill where our volunteer live ,it will take 8 hours by walking, there is not transportation. 

I sent some medicine there. Ramprasad reporting me that now all village is suffering from allergy. May be it is very near to epic center of Earthquake.In summer and rainy season, dust came from where many people died. Children also suffered from it badly, allergy in skin. I hope our antibiotic tube and other cream will help them. I also taught him about  our survey because since I couldn't go there. He did what I taught and by his field survey  he sent report in hand of Binod [all of the Nepali healthworkers are surveying their communities to determine the highest needs.  We're very eager to learn the results of Ram's survey since this is a target area for a major project such as latrines or vented cook stoves].

Monday, July 11, 2016


By the time the women had dinner cooked over small charcoal fires for 30 people at the end of training each evening, it was already getting dark.  We gained a whole new appreciation for eating by candlelight!  Not quite the romantic ambiance often envisioned! There were no candle  holders so wax was dripped on the table and the candle plopped in the middle of the wax blob.  They even managed to provide wall sconces in the same way by dripping wax down the wall and sticking the candle vertically.  And the menu for dinner?  Nshima, greens, and small river fish.

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Dr. Daddy

Since we were unable to obtain visas to visit the DR Congo due to political turmoil, 6 of the "old" Wasaidizi
crossed the Luapula River in little boats to visit us in Zambia.  It was fun to see them again and to talk about the needs in their little birthing centers.  A few hours after they arrived Dr. Daddy, the medical officer in charge of the nearest outpost hospital, joined us (far right in blue shirt).  When we asked him the biggest needs in his area, he pulled out a small notebook and read a list of supplies that were almost identical to those the Wasaidizi had named.  Mattresses were front and center on both lists! 

The Wasaidizi suoervisor, Josephine, will now begin locating and pricing items in Lubumbashi to see how far we can stretch the $9,000+ donated for beds, mattresses, and other supplies needed in these very minimalistic birthing centers.  The Wasaidizi are excited!!  We gave them a simple little digital camera so Josephine can keep us updated on progress.  Got to get those ittle mom's off the floor and onto beds!

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Red Tape!

Pinkey has been diligently going through the hoops to get our programs officially registered in Nepal.  Meeting after meeting after meeting.  At least she has the required new name, Helping Heart Nepal, and a delightful logo!  In order to open a bank account, however, she still has more work to do.  Here's her latest report:

I did all the process from municipality to district development office.And now District administrative office will take some time. We made police report for all BOD, now I am going at Metropolitan police office to verify it.  I am still not sure how long it will take to complete all process for registration. After registration only, we have to show and submit registration certificate then only we can open our NGO account at Bank.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


Five new Wazadi have traveled across the river from the Congo, 18 new Kafwa have traveled from around the Mwense area, one experienced Wazadi, Josephine, has come with her new recruits to help with the training, two experienced Kafwa have come to share their testimony and knowledge of what it takes to be a health worker (and to help translate!), and four have come from the U.S. via a long, long journey from Ndola. This group has gathered in anticipation. In anticipation of what is to be learned and taught. In anticipation of leaving with skills and knowledge to transform their communities through better health. In anticipation of building relationships with strangers from other countries. In anticipation of becoming a community health worker. But, before the training can begin... We must sing!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

No Bees!

 The smiles prove that the bees are gone and lunches are being served on schedule.  Let's hope the bees found a new happy home where they (and we) can be undisturbed.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Never too old!

Emmanuel, our 7th grade teacher at Chipulukusu, wears many hats!  He is also co-teaching an adult literacy class for 1 1/2 hours twice a week with a friend from another community school (far left).  They are shown here with five of their eager pupils who are finding it is never too late to learn.

We call this our FLIP program...Foundational Literacy Improvement Program.  Go Team!

Andrew reporting another success for HealthEd Connect schools..

These two boys, Maybin and Kennedy, come back to Kasompe Community School of Peace often to share their gratitude with Loveness, the head teacher. They attended our school until 7th grade and now are successful 8th graders. When I asked them if they felt prepared when they went to 8th grade joining with other children from around the whole city, there was a resounding "YES," accompanied by a grin. They come back often to show their appreciation because they got an excellent education at our school. What great role models for our younger students in Kasompe.... There is possibility after 7th grade! 

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Oh what a night!  Our planned  9 hour trip to Luapula turned out to be a 23 hour odyssey.  We were almost half way into the trip when we had a tire problem that required a knowledgeable mechanic.  A truck with a couple of savvy men soon stopped to assist and called "General" to come repair our car parked on the shoulder.  Five hours later General finally arrived.  He had gotten half way  when he remembered  his torch (flashlight) and went back to get it.  While we waited Lauren and Andrew gathered wood and kept a  crackling fire going under a brilliant  star-studded night sky.  We sang camp songs with our hostess, Mary, and her nephew Alan, who had driven her now disabled van to Ndola to pick us up.  Finally back on the road, we arrived at our destination with two hours to bathe, change clothes, plan a sermon (Sherri was asked to preach upon arrival).  We pulled up to the church to find choirs singing in six-part harmony accompanied by tall hand-honed drums.  What a welcome!  We had the afternoon to regroup, take a nap and get ready for the training to start tomorrow.  Onward with vigor!

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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Hair cut anyone?

Jackson Chisala, a long-time faithful school board member at Chipulukusu, the primary contractor for most of our construction projects, and an active community member is up to something new.  If you look closely in the far upper right hand corner of the school yard, you'll see Jackson stooped over working.  He's building a small barber shop!  This has been a long time dream of Jackson's that he's mentioned several times during our Round Table discussions.  He wants all of the children to be able to have haircuts whether they have money to pay or not.  In addition, he hopes there will be opportunities for children to learn the trade and develop their own little businesses.  In the meantime, Davis, our 5th grade teacher is planning to hang out a shingle and start trimming hair.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Kasompe Kafwa took us home visiting yesterday to meet their new clients.  It's pretty sobering to meet a young man suffering from elephantiasis and an elderly person alone and barely able to shuffle around much less make a living to feed himself.  Fortunately there are caring people like the Kafwa who provide a bright spot in their lives.

On the way back Jac lingered for one more picture and by the time he caught up he had an entourage calling him akulu (grandpa) and escorting him back to us.

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