Sunday, August 15, 2010
The Kamnjoma site in the Eastern Province is about 2 hours on a dirt road from the nearest town- Petauke- which is a 4 hour drive from home in Lusaka. I took an American couple who is here to volunteer for 3 weeks to show them the site and what they will be building. It was a great surprise to see the community working hard at 6pm when we pulled in- even if it took the councilman driving out there 30 minutes before us to warn them of our arrival. Some people were making bricks and some were digging holes for the foundation. The following day we started building the walls for the foundations out of stones. The masons seemed very eager and competent when I was there, but I later learned that one was partially blind and the others weren't really correcting the poor old man. However, recent updates indicate that the foundations are built (more or less straight and level) and the tiers are on their way up and the bridge is looking good. There were lots of community members looking on as the work started. Scott and Teresa were a great addition to the Zambia B2P team, and I was really excited to have Americans to speak to! They understand my humor, and they came out and drank some beer with me! We all set up camp across from the school, and the school kids built them a bathroom with some twigs and brush. My tent- well the one I am borrowing- is pretty massive- especially in the Zambian bush setting, so there were definitely some curious wanderers. We had some nice camp dinners under the starlit African skies, and we even had a movie night on my laptop. The community was absolutely wonderful. The head mistress of the school took care of us and showed us around and helped get the workers organized. This was one of the women helping me tie my chtenge- I think she is laughing because she just had to squeeze really tight to get it tied, so I told her I was going to be skipping lunch that day. The kids were so adorable, and it never gets old to greet them with a Mulibwange and get a giggle and a big smile back. Then showing them their picture on the camera always gets a good laugh out of people both young and old. This community is really welcoming and the bridge is going to be a great addition.