Friday, July 23, 2010

More ZMM News

You can follow Zambia Medical Mission and get more details here.

Zambia Medical Mission Report

Following is a report from Ellie Hamby on this year's medical mission.

We just returned from a very successful 3 days of clinics to Simalundu and Kapaulu. The crowds were overwhelming as we saw over 9000 patients in just 3 days of clinics. Many people had walked for over 3 days just to get medical care. To get to Simalundu, it took 6 hours just to cover about 70 miles as the road is very bad and in some places it was more like a path.

We have a great team and everyone rose to the occasion and all the patients either saw a medical person or were given some type of medicine. It was warm during the day but at night everyone was happy to have a warm sleeping bag.

We had 2 babies born during the clinic. The first mother came in and was having a difficult time as it was a compound breech birth. Some of our team members (both American and Zambian) assisted with the birth. The second lady was brought in by ox cart as she was giving birth to twins. She had given birth to a child at 10:00 pm the day before and the second baby was now blocked from coming out. After sometime the baby was delivered under very difficult conditions. The mother had serious bleeding but they were able to get it stopped. Everyone there said the mother and both twins would have died if we had not been there. You never know what situations the Lord will bring across your path.

The community was extremely thankful for the care the medical team showed to the community.

It was wonderful to see the water well pumping water 24/7. I can tell you the people were overjoyed with such a plentiful supply of clean water. It is said that the child mortality rate will drop by 20% with clean water available.

Tomorrow we head to Nazibbula where we will conduct 3 more days of clinics. The team is tired, but are enjoying a day of rest before the next set of clinics.

Please continue to pray for the continued success of our mission.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Zambian Brass Band


A few times when we were in Livingstone we saw a brass band marching down the street, and we always wondered about that unusual sight. Richard Chanter of Chanters Lodge posted an article explaining the origin of the band. Joanne Noble who blogs from Sun International wrote the original piece.

"I am sure that when you think of African music, you will think of the African drum and possibly the marimba, like a xylophone. It may surprise you then to know that one of the favorite bands in Livingstone is a brass band. When Zambia was Northern Rhodesia they did not have an army; they had a police force. It was known as the Barotse Native Police. The rank and file of the police were men from the Lozi tribe and the officers were expatriates who had come to Zambia to work.

As soon as the police force was formed the officers thought that it would be a great idea to have a brass band; they decided to find out if their men could learn to play. So they brought in trumpets and tubas, drums and trombones and they gave them to their men. The constables could neither read nor write and certainly did not have a clue about crochets and quavers. This did not matter, though. Within a short time they learned to play their strange instruments and the Barotse Police Band was formed. Every Thursday evening the band played in the center of town in Barotse Gardens for the entertainment of the townsfolk. It was thought to be one of the best bands in the whole of southern Africa.

The other day as I was going through town I found the army brass band marching towards the Barotse Gardens, now known as Mukuni Park. The members of the Catholic Church were holding a fete in Mukuni Park and the army band had come to join in the fun and to make it more festive. The people in town all stood to watch as the band marched past and the children jumped up and down, they were so excited.

As I watched them go by I thought of those days now a hundred years ago. Things were so different then, so much has changed. Northern Rhodesia is now Zambia; the bandsmen wear long trousers and a cap instead of shorts and a fez. But some things have not changed. We still have a brilliant brass band in Livingstone and they continue to play for the enjoyment of us all."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dancing in the Minefields

This is a great reminder of what Christian marriage is all about. I'm thankful for my wonderful husband who has danced through the minefields with me.

Poverty in South Africa

Faces of poverty in post-apartheid South Africa--a perspective not usually seen . . .

Friday, July 09, 2010

Preparations for Zambia Medical Mission

The annual Zambia Medical Mission begins next week. Director Ellie Hamby supplied the following information about getting ready for this huge event:

For those of you who are interested here is a sample list of what it takes to take care of the ZMM team for 2 weeks (about 100 workers from the states and 135 Zambian medical, spiritual, and general workers)

8000 bottles of water
7120 plates
7920 buns
82 large cans of chicken
286 lbs. of ground beef
110 chickens-slaughtered and cut up
168 boxes of macaroni and cheese
40 #10 cans Ranch Beans (a #10 can is about 100 oz.)
30 #10 cans corn
25 #10 cans tomatoes
16 #10 cans Pickles
810 breakfast bars
1430 packages chips
264 lbs. corn meal
99 lbs. rice
75 heads of cabbage
88 lbs. tomatoes
53 lbs. carrots
88 lbs. onions
25 cases fruit
100 lbs. coffee
400 lbs. sugar
100 liters cooking oil

These ingredients will be turned into scrumptious dishes like Sloppy Joes, Chicken Stew, Fried Chicken, Nshima, Cabbage Salad, Fried Cabbage, etc.

Other items that we have to purchase are as follows:
1000 rolls toilet paper
20 x 60 lb bags charcoal
2,500 lbs of ground corn for patients coming to clinic
5000 liters of Diesel
20 bottles disinfectant
80 rolls of duct tape
1200 large trash bags

Things to rent or lease:
9 lorries (trucks) to haul all our stuff
6 buses to haul the team
4 smaller vehicles (landrover, pickup, etc)

Items we need to have each year but are kept in storage:
70 +Tents
300 sleeping bags for American and Zambian team members
200 mats for American and Zambian team members
Many cooking pots including a 75 gallon black cast iron cooking pot
12 large Canopies
15 Tarps
200 folding chairs
30 long folding tables

This all deals with just the physical side of ZMM (getting us there and back and sleeping and eating) while out. It does not include all the medicine and other supplies to actually run the clinics.

As you can see from the above we are very busy getting all this arranged. We have people shopping, meeting with lorry drivers, putting zippers in tents, etc. so there is lots of action around here right now.

Can't wait for everyone to get here.


You Won't See This in Zambia

Dogs in Zambia are common, skinny, and un-pampered. Their purpose in life is to notify their owners when strangers or snakes approach. It's safe to say that Zambian dogs are tolerated, not adored. We used to joke that all the dogs look alike--light brown, short-haired, medium-sized, usually descendants from some strain of Rhodesian Ridgeback.

So I suppress a smile when I see these Mutt Mitt stations on the jogging trails around Austin. I wouldn't know how to begin to explain these to our Zambian friends!

Wedding Photos

I've received some e-mails from readers who were not able to view Sara's wedding slide show from the link on my post. It works fine from my computer, so I don't know what is causing the problem. Try copying and pasting this web address into your browser and see what happens:

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Foreign Influence in Africa

During our five years at Namwianga, we witnessed a growing Chinese presence in the area. China Geo Company built (very slowly) the road from Zimba to Livingstone, and a Chinese company repaired the road from Kalomo to the mission. Cheap Chinese goods flooded into Zambian stores. It became very common to see Chinese engineers on rural roadsides supervising construction crews. This article presents an interesting analysis of China's new involvement in Africa.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Another Perspective on Re-entry

Kelsey Kelly was a member of the Extreme Team that blessed our lives so much while we were in Zambia. For the last few months of her time at Namwianga, Kelsey lived at Haven 3, the orphanage for babies who have health issues like HIV and TB.

We love Kelsey like our own miss her terribly, as we do all of the wonderful co-workers who shared our Namwianga experience. Like us, Kelsey returned to the US in April. She recently blogged about her re-entry experience and the differences in her life here versus life at Namwianga. I thought you might appreciate her twenty-something perspective.

1. (In the US I have) an endless supply of electricity. After living with Zambian outages every few days, the idea that I can charge my computer whenever I want, instead of making sure it’s at full capacity at all times just in case a 3 days black out hits you. So when the lights go out the usual plan of attack is that you scuffle to find your head lamp and save the babies on the other side of the room (that are usually screaming)

2. People (here in the US) keep freaking out about bugs. I'm used to living by the motto, if there isn't a bug in my food, it's just not a meal.

3. Doorknobs here are lower and much easier to open. And we locked every door in our (Zambian) house. Big time hassle.

4. Here in the US we are constantly connected with every kind of great food. I would have given my left arm to eat a Reeses this time last month. Now I could care less.

5. I’m used to going to sleep (in Zambia) smelling like Kapenta (fish), dirty, and smelly. Now I have to actually bathe.

6. It doesn’t matter what you wear in Zambia. You put on a t-shirt and skirt. Make up on Sundays (sometimes).

7. You don't throw anything away. EVER. You have a plastic sack, you give it to someone and they kiss your face because it's like handing them a 10 dollar bill.

8.You say hi to everyone. You see them on the path, you say hello. You don't know them, you still say hello.

9. (In the US) You are connected to everyone through email, text message, or phone call here. There, I would open my email every three days (sometimes more, sometimes less!) and I’d have a great emails for reading later that night. Also, looking at twitter and facebook regularly? Still not used to it. These days I’d rather not.

10. More time for the simple things. Cleaning my room, reading a book, watching a movie, holding a baby, listening to music, talking a walk. I don’t really have time for uninterrupted quiet time nowadays..

Photo of Simalundu Well

Lives are changed when a new well opens in a village.

Water for Simalundu

I wrote about Simalundu after our visit in February. Kelly Hamby once told me that Simalundu is as far back in the bush as you get get in Zambia. The following is from Ellie Hamby, director of Zambia Medical Mission. She writes about new water for Simalundu. From Ellie:

. . . (W)ater is a major problem in Simalundu. They do have a borehole, but there is very little water. I have literally seen people from that area dig a hole 8 feet deep in a dry river bed just to get a small bucket of water. Last year, ZMM team member Tony Cloud determined he was going to do something about the situation. He went back to the states and to try to raise $6000 to pay for the drilling of 1 well. The Lord blessed Tony’s efforts and he was able to raise more than double the amount. Shadrack Sibwaalu, the Director of Water Well Drilling at Namwianga, set about contacting the company that we generally contract with to drill wells. We had to wait until the rains were over and the land was dry before the wells could be drilled.

When Shadrack contacted the drilling company about drilling two wells with the over $13,000 that Tony had raised they said with the current $ to Kwacha exchange rate they could drill 3 wells. The first well was drilled at Simalundu over 2 weeks ago and they were very successful and found water. They did have to go deeper than scheduled but praise God there was water. They now have good, clean water with a hand pump. Shadrack stayed in the village during the drilling of the well and conducted Bible Studies every evening. Shadrack reported the people were so overcome with joy that they danced and sang for hours in thankfulness for the water. They did not know until a few days before the drilling company arrived that they were going to have water.

Shadrack also selected the village of Simusunge (which is in the general area of Simalundu) to get the second well and then the village of Mulamfu/Kasuku got the third well. All the wells have been drilled and they are in the process of installing the hand pumps. All three of the villages have strong churches.

Tony deserves a huge “thank you” for his dedication to get potable water for the people in the Simalundu area. It was told to me by a Zambian official with the Water Development Department that when you drill a well you lift the burden of the women and children as they are the ones who generally look for water and carry it, often several miles, on their head.

Praise God for servants like Tony and I think it should only be fitting that we have a blessing around the water well when we arrive at Simalundu.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Wedding

I received a gentle reminder from dear friends today that I have not posted anything about Sara's wedding yet. Sorry! We moved (for the fourth time in two months) right after the wedding, and then we left three days later for Blue Haven in New Mexico.

The wedding on June 19th was beautiful, touching, and joyful. We feel very blessed that Sara married a wonderful Christian man from a great family. Many friends and family came to the wedding, and we found all kinds of connections between the Gregersens and the Andersons.

To view a slide show in a Kodak gallery, click on the title above.