Days 21-24

Before I delve into what we’ve been up to the past couple of days I want to say a massive thank you on behalf of the whole team to Mel Marshall. Mel kindly donated £1500 towards our multi-functional sports pitch, the money came from Mel’s fundraising event; 50/50 challenge, a 50 hour sports marathon. This much appreciated additional donation will help ensure a high quality pitch with both netball and volleyball posts.

Thursday:

Rob and Eilish made the journey to Chipata to inspect the work occurring on site. With the majority of the hardcore compaction done, positioning of the kerbstones around the courts perimeter was underway.

Myself and Amy went to Fountain of Hope to partake in a Girls in Action session. The weekly discussion based program run by an IDEALS student touches on topics such as; health based issues, human rights and equality. It gives the girls a safe environment to ask questions and be educated on topics that aren’t often covered at school or home. On the walk home a bus passed us as the whole side door fell off, with little reaction out popped the conductor who began to try to re-affix the door to the vehicle with all passengers still on board, Zambia never ceases to surprise me.

 

Friday:

Friday morning started in an unusual manner; half asleep I went to put my bowl of porridge in the microwave only to be greeted by a bowl of caterpillars sitting inside said machine. These caterpillars were however supposed to be here (unlike the resident cockroach that lives inside the microwaves timer screen) I was assured by Caesar who encouraged us to try the popular Zambian delicacy “Ifinkubala”. Although not horrendous and surprisingly crunchy they definitely won’t be taking the place of my porridge. 

Myself, Jack and Simon travelled to Chipata to see how much progress had been made with the kerbstones, the workers efficiency has a lot to be questioned however we put this down to typical Zambia21. A few minor issues regarding the height of the hardcore were noticed and talked through with the workers to resolve the problem. It was reassuring to see that there was a slight slope along the kerbstones to enable drainage as we had designed.

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Rob and Eilish travelled to 5 different schools to determine the possibility of installing netball posts. All of these schools are part of the “hub” initiative, where multiple schools without sport facilities meet at a school with sport pitches to train. By installing netball posts at these schools will allow the students to practise not only at the hub site once a week but also at their own school.

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Meanwhile Amy started on the assessments of the Sports in Action assets. We have been given the job of evaluating the condition of all the sport facilities associated with SIA (17 sport pitches), as well as getting quotes from a number of contractors to get an idea of cost of repairs. This information will enable repairs to be prioritised and give future A2Z teams a more accurate fundraising target.

Saturday:

After a busy week on site we travelled to Tiffany’s Canyon with a couple of the sports students, we spent the day working on our tans and swimming in the old quarry. In the evening we went out for dinner at a mall with all the sports students

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Sunday:

Eilish and Amy travelled to Chipata to inspect the progress on site; the kerbstones around the perimeter of the pitch had been finished and the final gravel layers were being laid with additional compacting around the kerbstones taking place. While back in the house we frantically tried to conjure up some cakes to bring for “British” (more international) night where the sports students cook food from where they’re from for their peer leaders, this included dishes from Romania, India, the Philippines and of course the UK. . Even though we managed to burn the chocolate for the Rice Krispie cakes and someone cough cough Rob booked a taxi for 15 mins after the apple cake went into the oven (for once Zamtime was on our side giving the cake extra time in the oven), both cakes turned out pretty good. However I think its fair to say we won’t be making the final round of bakeoff any time soon. Finishing the night with marshmallows on the fire pit outside marked my final evening in Zambia.

As 6 becomes 5 it’ll be strange not to be with the zamfam 24/7, the chickens however will most certainly not be missed.

I’ve learnt so much while here in Zambia from the processes that go into a construction project, to organising kids for a netball tournament, as well as how its possible to fit 20+ people into a bus made for 10. However one thing I havn’t quite got the knack of is the bathroom door lock, managing for not the first time to be locked in for a good 20 minutes.

Over and Out 

Georgie 


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