ZamLife Pt. 4
Carol here to update on you on all things ZamLife!
Wow! Sorry for the delay, time just seems to slip away. The last 2 weeks have been extremely busy. We are in the final stages of construction for the first children's home. We have been on the hunt for paint and the finaal materials needed to finish the house. I know, you wouldn’t think it would be such a big deal, but here in Africa, what you’d think would be simple, usually has a way of becoming quite the adventure!
We picked the paint colors for the outside and the inside of the house and thankfully Headman Steven picked the same colors as us! So that should be it, right? Nope. The paint stores (and I use that term loosely) here will have the huge paint chip displays, just like in the states, what they don’t tell you is that that don’t carry that brand and don’t have the colors, so….why put them out there? Again this is Africa.
Finally, we found a paint manufacture. That in and of itself was an adventure! The GPS refused to recognize the main road we needed to take to get there. *Public Service Announcement*: no matter how much you fuss and yell at the voice on GPS, it is not going to listen to you!
We eventually found the paint store…..and wow, you wouldn’t believe all the paint they had! There had to be at least 24 colors to choose from! This was divided between inside, outside, and floor colors, so it made it easy to choose since there weren't many options. We think to ourselves - get all the paint stuff here and be on our way - wrong again, why would a paint store sell any of the other supplies (brushes,turpentine)? That would make way too much sense! We spent a whole day, I mean a WHOLE DAY, rounding up all the supplies we needed. We finally get it and deliver it to the village.
We plan on have all the construction completely finished by the time we head back to the states, August 8, and I believe it will.
Every Monday, we have a meeting with the ladies at Chicks Empowered. They asked us if we could bring sausage on Mondays, so they could all have breakfast together and discuss the business. I’m so proud of these ladies. It’s amazing what a little encouragement and support can do. They have also started “toying” with the idea of making their own feed for the chicks, to cut costs even more. The are talking to others who raise broiler chicks and are learning different ways to cut costs. Usually they do not start selling any chickens before all 200+ hit their weight of 5lbs, which means the fat are getting fatter and costing more money. Monday they informed us over the weekend they sold the ones that were ready, instead of keeping them around just to feed them!! WOW! again I'm so happy, these ladies are really starting to run their business and make decisions on their own.
Mondays seem to be our day out and about with Headman. He took us to several different farms in his village. It’s quite amazing to see the way some of these farmers have rigged different contraptions to get water to their crops. Remember, there is no electric or running water in the village. Everything they do for irrigation must be done by hand. They move water by buckets or a very intense method of moving pumps and pipes from the river from farm to farm. Unfortunately, this time of the year the river is drying fast, which means all their crops will soon dry up. Headman also showed us the charcoal that is being made for the Chicks Empowered ladies, they produced approximately 200 bags! More cost cutting for Chicks.
One of the more interesting things he showed us (this day anyway) was the new and improved toilet system that he is putting in. He's also insisting the kids' home bathrooms be done the same way. In the village, a toilet usually consists of a hole and and a straw wall put around it for privacy. As Steven has told us, the new improved way is dug deeper with blocks built around it. It must have a raised seat and lid. They hope it will be more sustainable. Headman told me the new village-wide systems must be able to accomodate everybody. His example was that even a one-legged man would be able to sit on it, great example😊. He informed us this week, that he would like to be in charge of the building of the toilets and showers for the kids home. We said go for it, how do you say no to the Headman!
Well that’s enough for now, until next time…..