Hello, friends. As soon as we returned from our trip to Africa, we gave you a brief recap of the trip with a promise that we would follow it up with more details. Since we visited four countries, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Namibia, we’re going to break it down into four small posts, and today we’ll start with Zambia.
Just to fill you in briefly on why we were there (I apologize for being redundant to those of you who already know this), our family organizes a volunteer vacation each year in a third world family. We, along with 18 to 20 friends then meet up in that country to spread some good will and do some good. This year we chose Zambia because we heard about a church there that needed some financial and physical help to build a school.
Zambia is located toward the southern part of the African continent, and our project was in the capital city of Lusaka. We spent a week in Lusaka working away.
Some of us worked on building the school. This involved digging trenches, spreading concrete, hauling and moving steel beams and concrete blocks, etc.
It was very labor intensive, and we did whatever the foreman needed us to do.
Some of us worked on two houses. The building site had a night watchman who was living in a two-room concrete block building with no window. We painted the inside and outside of the house and made a window in each room.
When we arrived, we learned the family of five (the dad is not in the photo above) had all been sleeping on a dirty mattress on the floor with no sheets, pillows, or blankets.
We bought them new bunk beds, mattresses, sheets, pillows, a cupboard for their clothes, shelves for their kitchen gear, and linoleum for the floor.
This photo shows how happy the children were when we left. The boy in the middle was a friend who was also staying there.
Then we learned there was a retired teacher who was HIV positive who had been praying for a can of paint to paint a room in her decrepit house. We visited her and saw that every room needed paint, the ceiling needed to be patched, the plumbing needed to be replaced, and 22 window panes need to be replaced. By the time we left her entire house had been painted, the ceiling was fixed, the plumbing was fixed, and the windows were fixed. She was going to do a testimonial at the church that Sunday to tell how her prayers had been answered. I have to tell you that it just blows me away to think that we were the answer to her prayers.
A nice surprise to us was being invited to the home of the former first lady of Lusaka for a dinner she held in our honor. We were so impressed that she wanted to show her appreciation.
If you have read about any of our other volunteer vacations, then you know they aren’t all work. The first day we were there we went to a small game reserve for a beautiful breakfast and a game drive.
Then we went to visit some orphaned baby elephants. They were so cute.
After being in Lusaka for a week, we took a six-hour bus ride south to Livingston, Zambia where we were based for a few days. Our mission was to see the Victoria Falls from the Zambian side. (The falls is the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe). The falls did not disappoint.
We also went to a wonderful church service, visited a museum, and ate some great food.
We also went to the local market. There are always so many exciting things and people to see at the market.