Week one in Zambia

 

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Taking up the old asphalt at Fountain of Hope.

We’ve had a productive first few days in Lusaka! Alexa, Jamie and Tom spent the weekend settling in and took a trip to Tiffany’s Canyon before Nick arrived on Tuesday afternoon. Alex Copping from the University of Bath joined us for a couple of days to meet the contractors and students at the University of Zambia, who will be assisting us with the projects.

We’re staying in a rented house with 14 other students from Loughborough, Durham, Stirling, Edinburgh and St Andrews universities. They’re working across Lusaka with children and young leaders to coach sport and facilitate social development. It’s great to feel part of a wider program of volunteering work!

After touring all of Sport in Action’s sites on Tuesday, we met the two contractors on Wednesday who will be building new netball and basketball courts at Fountain of Hope and Kaunda, an orphanage and school respectively.

 

Things have progressed quickly since then – we agreed the area to be excavated at Fountain of Hope on Wednesday and the excavation began there yesterday. The old asphalt has been removed and a layer of sandy gravel placed to level the site. A long time was spent in discussions with the contractor to decide whether to excavate further and remove a layer of old good quality sub base, but we chose to retain it and lay a thinner layer of aggregate directly on top. The resulting court will be slightly more raised than originally planned, but a ramped concrete apron will ensure easy access.

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Dumping fine gravel to level the site.

We are getting used to the Zambian way of doing things… the buses are tiny and cramped, you can’t drink the tap water and people are rarely on time! But Zambians are very friendly and we’ve been made welcome by everyone we’ve met. We’re also starting to learn our way around Lusaka, the language and food! This week work will start at Kaunda and we hope things will progress smoothly at Fountain of Hope!

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Chicken and nshima for lunch at Kabwata market.

 

 


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