Sunday, March 30, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I picked up Jason and Bernard Sunday morning so they could spend the day with us. We took them on an outreach to Nazilongo, and this time they both did great—no meltdowns like the first time we tried it. They were worn out from all the excitement and took three-hour naps Sunday afternoon. While they were sleeping, we had our own excitement when I found a cobra on the back veranda. I caught a glimpse of it as I was going in the back door—the snake was hooded and flicking its tongue at me. David kept an eye on it while I went next door and got our neighbor’s son to come kill it. This one was only two feet long. (The last one we killed by the veranda steps was almost six feet in length.)
Meagan, Louisa, and newcomer Diedre Hulvey came over at 4:00 for our second annual egg dyeing event. Jason and Bernard helped us decorate the chocolate bunny cake, although as you can tell from the picture they were a bit overwhelmed. We dyed the eggs using our homemade dye, candle wax, and the ever-handy duct tape to create designs.
It was hard to take Jason and Bernard home after dinner. We are leaving to go back to the
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
You may remember that
Autumn died suddenly a month later, and Harold had an eye problem and lost sight in one eye. The good news is that Harold and Larry are both doing great now, although they are really Harriet (top) and Laurie. It’s easy to spot these two—they are always together and tend to stay a little apart from the other chickens in the pen.
I haven’t written about the henhouse lately, and I’m sure many of you are hungry for a fowl update. (“Many” may be a stretch, but my niece did mention that I hadn’t blogged any chicken news for a while.)
David decided we needed some guineas. They are unique looking birds that are reported to be good protection because they make noise when possible intruders are around. Besides that, he likes dark meat, and guineas are supposedly all dark meat.
So he bought ten guinea eggs for a whopping $1.50 and put them under one of our setting hens. Sure enough, a month later, we had little guinea chicks. At first the mother hen would have nothing to do with them, so we gathered them up and put the tiny fluff balls in our well-used “orphan box” under a lamp. I was not happy about this development, because we are headed back to the
David consulted with our next-door neighbor who advised us to put the hen into the box with the chicks for three days and let them bond. Hmmm. Great idea, but we weren’t observant enough to know which of the five red hens in our coop was the mother. And the hen certainly wasn’t rushing over to claim these little aliens. The chicks spent the night in the box.
Monday morning the gardener rescued us. He knew exactly which hen had been sitting on the eggs, and he dropped her into the box with them. For the first few minutes she stayed on her side and the babies watched her from the far corner. Remembering our bad experience with Cruella, I was ready to pounce at the first sign of any murderous intent from the hen, but she seemed content to just sit and cluck. Then David reached in to put a container of water in the box, and Mother Hen flew into action. She swooped those babies under her wings and sat on them, her beady eyes just daring David to try to touch those chicks!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
This afternoon most of the students went to the orphanage to say goodbye to the babies and caregivers. Tonight after dinner we had the Merritts and their Eric's House children come over for a devotional and S'mores. A good time was had by all.
On a sad note, baby Whitney died at the orphanage this morning. She was premature at birth and had struggled throughout her two-month life. Last week Meagan had asked the Harding students to give her extra attention, so for her last few days on earth Whitney had been held and loved tenderly. Her short life will leave a lasting impression on the students who came to know her and care for her.
Thursday morning the Harding group leaves for Livingstone. They will see Victoria Falls on Thursday and then go to Chobe Game Park on Friday. Saturday they will head back to America, leaving behind a bit of themselves and taking along memories and changed hearts.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Sunday, March 09, 2008
We had to park the vehicles about a quarter of a mile away from the church building and walk the rest of the way. The bridge over the creek consisted of about six logs fastened together. We all managed to make it across without incident, cheered on by a warm welcome from the women of the congregation as they sang and clapped for us.
We tried to squeeze into the Kasibi building, but when it became apparent we weren't all going to fit, we moved outside under the trees and enjoyed a wonderful time of worship with the Kasibi congregation.
Afterward we gathered in the yard in front of Leonard Sichimwa's house for a traditional Zambian meal of chicken, nshima, and goat. Leonard was kind enough to add non-traditional chocolate cake and Kool-Aid for us.
Then the Kasibi Village Band arrived with their homemade instruments and performed. I told one of our Canadian visitors that afternoons like these are called "National Geographic Moments" when you feel like you have stepped into the pages of National Geographic!
The rain came just as we were leaving Kasibi--a gentle shower that pretty well drenched the riders on the back of the truck. Their enthusiasm wasn't dampened, however!
Back at Namwianga, the gang headed for the Merritt's house and spent a couple of hours putting together "Baby Packs" that will be given to caregivers who receive formula from the Mission. In cases where a baby's mother has died, an aunt or grandmother will often volunteer to take care of the child. The orphanage provides formula for the first year or two of the baby's life. A Baby Pack containing a diaper, plastic pants, diaper pins, bottle, clothing item, and blanket is given to each caregiver to help her meet the baby's needs.
Some of the Harding students volunteered to take babies home for the evening. The lucky babies were held, cuddled, and cooed over during dinner and the evening church service. I heard at least one student saying sadly about her new little one, "I don't want to take her back to the orphanage." What an experience the students have had--they will never hear about orphans in Africa without a tug on their hearts from the time they spent here.
Other happenings throughout the weekend: the Harding students have made friends with Namwianga students through working together and interactions on campus. Some attended a movie together in the auditorium on Saturday night. There were some soccer games today as well, and more are sure to come.
I've already fallen asleep at my keyboard once while I was typing this blog, so please forgive any typos and errors. Everyone is still healthy, and I can't think of a time when any other group of this size managed to avoid illness this long. As we recited in church today, "God is good all the time."
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Then this afternoon we had a Vacation Bible School for children who live in or near the Mission. We had planned to have this event out on the soccer field, but the threat of rain moved us indoors to the church auditorium. The excitement of 306 children singing at the top of their lungs was incredible! The Harding students used flip charts, role plays, puppets, games, and crafts to teach the children about God’s love. We ended the afternoon with a craft project in which the kids made visors lettered with “Jesu Ulandiyanda” (“Jesus loves me” in Tonga).
Tomorrow we’re going out with a group of Canadians who are also here working at the Mission. We’ll visit the church at Kasibi, a beautiful village that is home to our beloved Zambia Medical Mission cook Leonard Sichimwa. He’s promised us chicken, goat, and nshima after the worship service. We’ll also get to hear the Kasibi Village Band.
Everyone in the Harding group is still healthy and happy as far as I can tell.
Friday, March 07, 2008
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Monday, March 03, 2008
The Helping Hands Club has a secondary group and a college group. Both groups went out on the yellow bus to encourage two different congregations in the Kalomo area. The driver of the bus is shown here--he preached for one of the services.
The newest outreach group is the prison ministry. Kenneth Siaziyu (third from left) is a teacher at the college. He recruited several of the college men to go with him to the Kalomo prison and minister to the inmates. There have already been 14 baptisms. Kenneth also challenged the entire student body to donate soap and clothing for the prisoners, and the students responded generously