This blog started as a way of keeping friends up-to-date with Zambian life but it now also helps generate money for the poor here in Chikuni. If you like what you read please click on an ad to help the people of Chikuni.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Sights and Sounds

So you know I’ve arrived here… now what’s here like? I’m sharing a (slightly ramshackled) house with two guys, Mono the radio operator and John Pedro, an Italian volunteer who’s here until Christmas. The parish is split up into three areas, Chikuni itself (where the radio station is), Charles Luwanga (where I stay), which is a high school, and Knenisis (not the correct spelling), which is the primary school. It’s a brisk 15-minute walk between my house and the radio station. The walk starts on a ‘road’ then shortcuts through the scrub land, past a noisy pigery, along the edge of a man made lake (which provides water for much of the area, though not drinking water due to the pigs and other livestock that can often be found on the shoreline) and on through alleyways between houses, to enter through the rear of the radio station compound. It’s a nice enough walk, especially by the lake where you often get flocks of birds flying over-head and a lovely view of the sun setting in the evening. And the walk will prove to keep me in shape in the absence of all my usual exercise.

I’m currently working for the home based care centre which goes out into the remote villages to provide support and anti-virals to people who are HIV positive. HBC help people in the same village to set up support groups, which help them to help themselves, with projects like organic gardens. You remember the three friends I mentioned in the last post? Yes? Well it wasn’t the three kids in the photo but instead three others. AND it turned out that they were trainee nurses. So they, 3 of their friends and myself went out with HBC on Thursday and it was a really great day, the highlight of week one for sure. I have spent so long helping rich people get richer than it was really nice to see how HBC make a difference to people on the ground. Now my job is to help HBC sort out their data so that they can a) get better funding b) spend less time typing and more time helping.

Apart from that excursion, I have spent three days in front of a screen writing code, remembering (or trying to) SQL and hoping desperately that my laptop won’t over heat. So far it’s frozen twice at bios startup and I’m thinking that it’s not designed to work in almost 40C temperatures. Now where’s Kerryn when you need him? Along side that, I’ll be shortly installing some retail software for the centres shop to help keep track of turnover and make life easier for the people involved. Monday I helped prepare for a party Fr. Ted (yes, that really is his name) was having for the religious community to celebrate Independence Day (which was actually last Sunday).

Saturday, I was out and about as well, helping Fr. Andrew set up a PA system for our local group of Spiritans who were marking the death of their founder, Claude Poulard De Places, 300 years ago. The popes representative to Zambia showed up and helped celebrate the two and a half hour mass. The mass was really great with lots of singing and dancing. And it was even in English, so I could understand it.

Today Sunday, I again went to the 7am English mass in the parish. After breakfast, JP and I went for a long walk to the nearest hill (1 hours walk away). It was well worth it for the view and when we got to the top, we found that it was home to a large array of very beautiful butterflies, both large and small. Secretly I was hoping for an encounter with something more tropical like an elephant or similar but sadly, not today. I did however see a swallow, which I thought was really cool given that I only ever see them in Europe during the summer and here they are now, for their winter holidays. The other cool thing that happened today is that we had our first session of rain. A little earlier than expected, but still very welcome. As hopefully you can see, when it rains, it pours here. It looks like I might not be wearing sandals for a while.

‘Til next time…



  1. Kerryn is here, where the f*ck are you ;)Having landed Sunday from weather similar to the heat you're experiencing and now back to the cold and wet of London!!

    ... raise the rear of the laptop on something (like a book) ... helps the laptop dissipate heat as well as letting the fan do it's thing

  2. Well done you! Already, you are the busy bee and so much involved. Love reading all your news. So does Mell. Stay safe. Aivxxxxxxxxxx

  3. Following K's comments - also check you haven't accumulated dust in the air conduits around the fan/CPU heatsinks. When I opened V's it was full of compacted dust so very little air flow.

  4. Oh darling, you are doing such a wonderful thing down there!
    Missing you to bits and thinking of you each day.
    all the love I can send
    Ouahiba and all her little family.xxxx