11 June 2020
How are we coping with coronavirus restrictions here in Zambia? In some ways it seems that we are having an easier time than those who live in the developed world. Most people here try to follow the rules, but given the way they live and move here, cheek by jowl, they do little more than pay lip service. Thankfully, the death rate remains relatively low, and we are not hearing of illness in our local communities. We have followed government directives and our Grade 7 and 9 classes returned to school on 1 June.
Grateful thanks to KSB Zambia for installing solar panels and pumps at both schools, funded by generous donations from New Zealand. KSB have also donated a 5KVA portable generator which is such a help when mains power goes off so frequently and unexpectedly. Another donation from the US has allowed us to increase our water storage capacity at both schools. So now dry tanks have become a thing of the past.
We are grateful to all our donors. To continue regular giving at this difficult and uncertain time shows loyalty and commitment, and we are deeply grateful.
A report that contains only essential information can be very dull, so this month we are including a diarised account of some typical days in our lives here in Zambia.
— Matthew Raymond, trustee
A Five-Day Slice of Life
“Monday 25 May … We gather at Kafakumba Training Centre for the funeral of US missionary Deb Vance who died suddenly on Wednesday. Deb was only 62, but had been in poor health. She will be missed by husband Ken, who gave a fine tribute, and by their family and our community here. The power is off at the Centre, so I play my piano using an inverter connected to the vehicle battery.
“Tuesday 26 May … At 8:00 I collect plumber Phillip to do some repairs here at Limapela Lodge and I pick up OVC sisters Kondwani and Lusungu at the same time. They are spending every morning here doing their online school work with Alison’s help. At 9:30 I join our monthly conference call with the NZ Limapela trustees in New Zealand — good to share with them both the weighty and the trivial, and they are such an encouragement. Off to Ndola at 10:30 for a number of errands — renewing the internet bundle, paying a power bill and buying supplies for the start of Luyando’s new school term on Monday.
“Wednesday 27 May … Off to Kitwe early to drop off my damaged mixer with Clement. I’m glad to have found a man who can repair electronics, as I seem to have had a run of failed equipment. Maybe the constant power cuts are taking their toll. At last the cafés and restaurants can serve you at tables, so good to be able to relax over a good cup of coffee in town. The most important errand is getting money from the bank, then off to Limapela Cedric’s to touch bases with our staff. I find them getting school ready for opening with Grades 7 and 9 on Monday.
“Thursday 28 May … I missed Administrator Margaret Diego yesterday, as power cuts prevented her from charging her phone, so I need to go back to school to give her the money she needs for the start of term. The list is longer than usual because of official coronavirus requirements, including a very expensive thermometer that looks like a gun. Everyone must wear face masks and observe physical distancing, and portable wash stands are all prepared at the entrances to the buildings.
“Friday 29 May … Two teachers who share a house at Luyando have been complaining about bees in their ceiling. Our neighbours the Enrights are in the bee business, so what a relief when Nathan offers to send Eugene and Harrison out to deal with the problem. But when we get there, they say, ‘Oh no, we can’t move these bees. We need to get a hive and entice them out.’ So back to Kafakumba, and I figure we might as well buy two hives and go into the honey business after all. Well, as it turns out, after hanging one hive on the veranda, the bees are not migrating, so Eugene and Harrison will have to come back and physically move the queen bee so that the others will follow. The things we are learning!”