Monday, June 17, 2013

Zambia Meets NASA

Isaac was able to meet all of the office staff at CACZ this morning when we met for weekday devotionals and prayer time.  Some of the staff misheard our last name and thought we’re the Zimbas (pronounced Zeemba).  This is a common last name here, so now Isaac is Zambian and is named Zimba.  Hehehe.  I think he’s starting to see why I love being here so much.  When folks start singing and praying, it’s just powerful!  

Isaac had been asked to put together a presentation about NASA for the schools we would be visiting.  He did an awesome job of pulling resources to share NASA’s goals with middle school and high school students at Helen DeVos Christian School today.  I’m so proud of how well he kept the attention of over 340 teens.  He’s spectacular!  The kids asked amazing questions that ranged from pollution in the ozone to risk factors associated with space flight and orbital debris.  AWESOME! 

After the presentation, the kids sang us two songs.  Mr. Mate, who’s the equivalent of a principal or assistant principal, gave us a tour.  Unfortunately, the day had to end at lunch.  The water pump facility in the community had lost power, and without water, the students couldn’t be fed lunch.  Lucky for them to get an impromptu half day but sad for us to not get to sit in on their classes.  Isaac was super excited to see the Grade 11 math lesson.  It was way over my head.  I didn’t have a clue what any of what was written on the board meant.  Oops.

HDCS includes a grinding mill so that local residents can bring their corn to be made into millie meal (kind of like a super fine corn meal).  We got to see this, and it’s awesome!  This is a great way for the school to earn some extra money.  

Donors have completed a library at HDCS, complete with internet, printers, several computer stations, books galore, and generator so that the kids can still research even if the community loses power.  It’s an awesome facility, run primarily on sponsors.  So many students don’t get a high school (grades 7-12) education because these grades aren’t free.  HDCS provides this for kids, and it’s a solid education.  The vast majority of these kids graduate and many go on to college.  

One of the kids I met from House of Martha 3 years ago is named Abraham.  He's now 16, and I have wondered constantly what had happened to him.  He's brilliant when it comes to figuring out things  but hadn't been given the opportunity for much of a formal education.  We ran into him at HDCS, and he was so excited to see us.  Because he's now living with his brother and no longer under Social Welfare, here he is all grown up!

Mr. Mate, Isaac, and Kevin had a very lively discussion about the dynamics of aeronautical propulsion and other topics before we left.  Any of the astronauts at NASA would have been proud!  Oh, and in Zambia, Pluto is still a planet.  The kids have absolutely no idea why that made me so excited and why I cheered, but that’s ok.  Go Pluto and go Zambia!

We stopped at Bill and Bette Bryant House on our way back to House of Moses.  This is the older house of kiddos (2ish-5ish).  It was nap time so we didn’t get to play, but we have a HUGE surprise for them on Saturday after our return from Livingstone.  Stay tuned!!!

The rest of the afternoon was spent mostly downstairs.  I finally have all of the big babies’ names learned.  It’s so important to me not to just remember the names of the babies but the staff too.  It means I took the time not to just see their faces but learn their faces and the names that match.  With probably close to 50 people, jetlag, and changing staff schedules from day to night, it’s not easy, but we’re getting there.  

The Lithuanian office of Save the Children stopped by today with volunteers making a documentary about the orphan problem in Zambia to send back to Lithuania to raise support for various orphan causes here.  Isaac spent more time with them than I did to hear about their goals, but I did get to spend time explaining to them why we choose to sponsor here and why this is such a fabulous place for children who end up in the care of social services.  Hopefully many Lithuanians decide to start helping these kiddos.  For whatever reason, all the big babies who are usually so happy and cheerful got super shy, and I had 3 in my lap hiding.  Those poor ladies didn’t have a single baby to hold!  As soon as they left, it was back to giggles and pushing cars and pushing each other to get my lap or Isaac’s.  Go figure.  

The gals around here and I are becoming fast friends, and they have no problem giving me a hard time about anything.  They loved that I wore chetenge (fabric wrapped skirt) all day and they oohed and awed over my chitenge suit and dress that Sandy let me bring.  I either want to stay here with all of them or bring them home; regardless, I don’t want to leave!  Only 2 ½ weeks left…Lord help!  Our network of friends is growing exponentially around here, and it’s so hard to think about going to back to only Facebook and email contact.  Ugh.  

Prayer Requests:
Praise: Isaac’s presentation was so well received.  My man who doesn’t like public speaking blew this out of the water!
Praise: Laura's sinus infection is definitely improving.  Pray for complete healing.

Praise: Kevin and Matlidah’s little Tyler is finally feelin better, and we were able to meet him tonight.  He’s such a cutie!  Isaac’s pediatrician friend here was able to get Tyler into the hospital to get the right meds. 
Pray for a safe trip for Isaac and me.  Tuesday was take the bus to Livingstone to see the Falls and have a little safari.
Pray for one of our babies still in the hospital with a stomach problem.

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