“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Day 7 - The roller coaster of emotions

Cosi's wishlist for the school
Woke early to a reply email from Simon Berry at Colalife.... super excited... he had contacted the manufacturer in Lusaka, a company called Pharmanova. They have now been instructed to make the kits for us and ship them directly to us at the project in Livingstone!!! all they needed to know was how many and where to send them. OMG.... we were beside ourselves; 500 life-saving kit yamoyos would be on their way at last! We dashed out to tell Rabeccah and Kennedy before setting off on our walk to work.
Today's walk was fantastic - a fresh breeze and bursting with excitement, we lugged the 4 footballs, and bag of goodies down to school with Tasha and Megan. I will never forget the kids faces as we approached and they clocked the balls we were carrying; we could barely get through the gate as kids surrounded us, clambering for the balls, squealing, laughing and jumping up and down.
Vera and Memory looking through
donated pencil cases
There were only 11 children in school today, so we rigged up a volleyball line across the yard and opened the bag of balls, as well as the gates for some of the street kids to join us. We knew the balls were only cheap plastic ones and not destined to last long, but the first one was punctured within about 3 minutes... the second, maybe half an hour later... this didn't bode well. They have a lethal, spiny cactus in the front yard which is about 3 feet wide and seriously sharp - it would never be allowed to remain at a UK school, but here, no-one seemed to think it needed removing at all. The third ball lasted a fair amount longer, and despite being retrieved from the roof of the bamboo classroom multiple times, and even having to throw little Maxwell up onto the main roof to fetch it more than once, it lasted until after morning break.  Seeing how much the children adored playing ball, Tracey and I agreed to go into town and purchase them a proper leather football in the afternoon. There is a last-day-of-term school outing tomorrow to the local crocodile park, so we wouldn't be back at school again, but we knew they would all appreciate a new ball when they returned in September.
We swapped phone numbers with Cosi and Vera so we could arrange meeting up at the park tomorrow and said our goodbyes before heading home for lunch.
volleyball in the school yard
After lunch we were just checking our email for news of the Kit Yamoyos, when Zeta, our local drinking buddy, called. They missed us and wanted to meet up again - brilliant news. Then we read the email from Simon Berry... even better news; the first hundred kits had been made and would be driven by courier from Lusaka in the morning - should arrive Friday night!!!!!! We might actually get to see them before we leave on Saturday morning. We ran to tell Rabeccah and Kennedy again and they said they would find a suitable project for us to take them to on Saturday morning. Cannot wait.
walking back from school
We took a taxi into town again to get the new ball, but found Shoprite closed as the staff had gone on strike! not good. So we headed back up the hill to Bhukans again and found exactly what we were looking for... an official FIFA South Africa 2010 leather football and good quality pump. Perfect. Grinning from ear to ear we grabbed a couple of packs of coloured building blocks and a thank you gift for Cosi and jumped in another cab back to Sunbird. Zeta and Edith would be waiting.
We got cleaned up and put on our only remaining clean clothes, packed our old T shirts into a bag to take with us and headed down to the Zambezi Sports Club for well-deserved Mosi's. Zeta and Edith came ambling across the sandy football pitch half hour or so later and an easy, entertaining, but emotional, afternoon followed.
A couple of Mosi's at the club, followed by a couple more at the Falls Garden Lodge (where Tracey managed to offload her aging mobile phone on the barmaid who was chuffed as nuts with it!).
Zeta lives with her Uncle, who is away with work and badly missed, and her Uncle's wife, who stays in her room and does not talk. It doesn't sound like she enjoys it there much and is saving to get her own place, so it was with tears and sadness that she and Edith walked us home and we said our goodbyes. Such lovely, kind, generous people. We wish them both all the luck in the world in their struggle to better themselves here.
After a somewhat sombre dinner at the Sunbird, we retired to our pump house porch to contemplate our experience. We were mulling over our roller-coaster day when a young Dutch girl wandered over and asked if she could join us. We got out a chair from our room and sat listening to her story. At only 16, she was here alone. She had come through homesickness and was loving her time here, despite already feinting and taking out part of her front tooth when she fell face-first to the ground! A very brave girl. So many people, each doing their bit, and each with a different reason for it. There are some seriously inspiring people on this planet. I wish we had gotten her name.

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