So, here is the latest of the good...the bad...and the sad.
Thanks to the generosity of many of our friends and family who bought CDs and made donations to the Ndola Lions School for the Visually Impaired, the kitchen larder is stocked, and the children returned to a school that could provide food for them. I can't thank you all enough and it really touched the school's headmaster, Mr. Chisala.
Another project that has been a long time in the making is providing the students with new bunk beds and mattresses. Up until a donor from the UK stepped up to help, many of the students slept on the floor on foam mattresses that well....most of you would shudder at the thought of using.
|The boys told us how happy they were to return from Christmas vacation and be assigned a bunk bed.|
|One of the boys' dorms|
|Children with albinism are common at the school.|
|Here, Yvonne (left) and her sister Ros, (visiting from the U.K.) and I check out a playground at a nearby church to use as a prototype.|
I'll update the school's blog with more pictures when the playground is finished.
We've been warmly welcomed into a great group of friends. On Sunday, we were guests at Kevin and Glenys Shone's home for brunch.
|My dear friend, Yvonne. She took me under her wing, introduced me to the school, and has been company for me over many cappuccinos|
|Kevin keeping an eye on an uninvited guest|
|The last time I was at their home, thousands of fruit bats had set up homes in their trees for a few months before moving on in their migratory journey.|
|Left to right: Barb, Viv, Glenys, Yvonne and Roger|
|Yvonne took me to the local watch repair man who is set up on a sidewalk in town|
|On a recent Sunday, Roger and I went to Nsobe Game Camp for lunch and saw this monkey checking us out|
Zambia was thrust into a period of shock and mourning this week when a horrific bus crash claimed the lives of 53 people; 39 of them from Ndola. If reports are true, the driver survived the crash, and may only face a fine for causing the deaths of so many.
We've always said that driving is the biggest risk we face (terrorist attacks are not even on our top 10 list of worries) and Zambia is no exception. The roads are narrow, in poor condition, drivers speed, and overtaking vehicles is commonplace because there are no passing lanes and no dual carriageways heading to the capital of Lusaka.
Everyone I've talked to knew of someone that died on Friday. A young woman who lived two doors from us perished, leaving her children to be raised by her parents. The financial and emotional toll of this accident is beyond comprehension. Sounds of wailing have echoed through Ndola as grief takes a hold.
While death is more common in Zambia than in other countries we have lived, I have no doubt in my mind it is felt as deeply as anywhere else.
"Grief is the price we pay for love."
Queen Elizabeth II