Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Off to Teach!

Communication and transportation are the two constant challenges we face in our work here.

Today was the day a group of just graduated George Benson College students were scheduled to head off to eastern Zambia for new teaching assignments. Shadreck Sibwaalu was in charge of getting them there, and he had reserved two of the Mission’s Land Cruisers for the journey. I took my camera and went to see them off early this morning.

Loreen was there waiting to leave. She didn’t want to be posted in strange territory alone, so she was taking along her nine-year old brother, one of her sisters, and the sister’s baby. Getrude, a single mother, had her two children plus a nephew with her.

Sam was there, Nicholas was waiting just up the road, Fikoloma would jump on in Livingstone, and Auditor was meeting the group in Zimba--with a wife and two kids. The passenger count was at 15, plus two drivers. The Land Cruisers will seat a total of 22, but that’s without any baggage. All these passengers were staying for three months, and their luggage included everything from mattresses to sacks of mealie meal to bags of charcoal--even a hobbled chicken was waiting to be loaded! There was no way it was all going to fit.

I ran home and got David to come offer his advice. We called Shadreck, who by now was headed north with another group. Shadreck suggested that they ditch one Land Cruiser and take the Coaster bus instead. One of the drivers agreed that might work, but informed us that the Coaster couldn’t get to a couple of the schools that were off the beaten path—four-wheel drive would be needed to reach those sites, and the Coaster would get stuck too easily.

David decided that the best solution would be for him to drive our vehicle which will comfortably hold five passengers in the front and lots of baggage in the back. He went home to pack his bag for the overnight trip while the drivers loaded up everyone else’s things inside and on top of the Land Cruisers. An hour or so later the group was ready to leave.

David called me later to tell me about another surprise. It seems Shadreck had agreed that another teacher could have a ride from the clinic, and of course the teacher had his wife and two kids along. As it turns out, Auditor’s wife and kids stayed at home, so there was room for the extras.

David had his group of teachers, relatives, and baggage delivered to their posts by early evening and made it back to Livingstone to spend the night.

Communication and transportation—always the challenges of living where we live and doing what we do!

1 comment:

Matt May said...

My name is Matt May and I lived at Namwianga in 1982-83 with my parents James and Barbara May. Dad taught at the secondary school there. I'm in the Air Force now and stationed at Monterey CA where I am taking a course in Sub Saharan Africa Politics. Anyway, all that to give you background how I got to here. We mentioned Zambia/Zimbabwe in class today so I started looking around for any current info and your blog showed up on Google. I also found the campus on Google earth. It has grown quite a bit since I was in 6th grade. Back then our house was brand new and the furthest one from the quad. Now there's houses all over and more campuses.

Take care and God bless. Just wanted to drop a line and reminisce a bit. Even tho I was a kid I remember how challenging even the simplest things could be, like travelling! I also chuckled at all the veggies. I remember having entire meals of just veggies grown in our garden.

Praying for you...
Matt May