|Veronica and her first mornings work|
Breakfast was a little rushed, we packed our suitcase of extreme crochet gear and cutting mats, grabbed packed lunch from the girl with the forgotten name and then headed out to our waiting taxi around 745am.
Got to Linda and no-one was about. So we sat reading the crochet pattern book when one of the assistance teachers, Elida, turned up and unlocked the 3rd classroom for us. We set out our lesson resources and waited for the women to arrive. Whilst waiting, a lady called Veronica appeared in the doorway.. she was just dropping her kid off at the classroom next door and decided to have a nose at what we were doing… she immediately picked up my sample square of crocheted carrier bags and continued adding a border to it like a Pro – typical, only one person turns up and she can already crochet! I was starting to get nervous that we had chosen the wrong subject to teach. Veronica left and we waited. And we waited, then we waited some more.
Eventually we wandered over to find Songiso the manager who was in a meeting with his team looking a little harassed – apparently there were “some problems” today and so three of our five test students had needed to go into town. The electricity board (it appeared to be literally all of them) had also arrived to repair and replace a transformer board so he was pretty tied up for a while. So we waited some more.
|First group lesson|
We demonstrated how to cut an old T shirt into a ball of boodle (thick yarn) and got them to have a go themselves on a roll of decorators muslin – this pretty much took us up to lunchtime since it quickly became clear very few of them had ever used scissors before, let alone a rotary cutter.
|Nshima, rape and chicken lunch|
|Joyce's daughter cutting rape leaves for lunch|
He joined us after checking on a friend in the compound and we chatted about sign languages and life on the farm – very interesting.
The afternoon was spent back with the ladies teaching more boodling skills and it was a real blessing to see them continuing as we left – they seemed pleased and so were we.
On a massive high, we took a taxi into town for our dinner date at Edith’s house. Now that was an experience we will never forget… A traditionally cooked (and eaten) meal with a true Zambian family. First we were given a large bowl of water to wash our hands with and then sat down to mounds of Nshima, Okra cooked into a sauce, beans and chicken stew. The idea is that you pull off a lump of Nshima with your fingers and roll it in the palm of your hand into a smooth ball then scoop it into the okra and beans and shove it in your mouth… really not so easy when you are used to a knife and fork…. it goes against all instinct to put your fingers in your food and yet here we were being told this is the “polite” way to eat it! At one point Edith even picked up her plate and held it to her lips whilst scooping sauce into her mouth with the other hand! The mess Tracey and I got into was clearly hilarious to Edith and Zita as they did not stop laughing at us. A lovely and humbling night. We both felt very privileged to be invited in to experience such an evening.