ZamLife Pt. 3
Hello! Carol speaking with awesome updates in ZamLife! There's quite a lot to get you caught up on - lots of exciting stuff happening on a daily basis.
The Children's Home
(We're still trying to think of a cool name besides orphanage or children's home, bleh, if you have any good ideas, let us know!)
The first home is really coming along amazingly well. The crew have been on time and on schedule every step of the way! (A miracle in and of itself!) They originally told us around 3-4 weeks, and knowing how Africa time is, we didn't really think it was possible. We're entering into the 4th week and they are truly almost finished. This week they hope to finish the roof and pour cement for the porches. They're in the home stretch, what I think is finally the fun stuff. The last step is setting the windows, which is the way they build here in Zambia. Unlike the States, here you buy a metal window frame, have it set and then you buy the glass and have it set! (A big lesson learned there). So we’re looking at the house being completely done, painted, & furnished by the first week of August, when we will be making a quick trip back to the States.
I’m really excited to share about the Chicks Empowered program. For the last 4 weeks, we havebeen meeting with the women every Monday. We've been discussing the ups and downs of owning their own business. I’m pleased to announce - I think they arefinally getting it! They have been studying spreadsheets about their costs and profits - and some of the women are actually understanding! The women, along with Headman Steven, have taken ownership to cut costs and to market their products.
One way to cut costs - the women have decided to make their own charcoal, which will save them several dollars during the course of a month, especially with the cold nights we have been having here. I never knew you could make charcoal, I mean, I knew somebody had to make it, but I had no idea what the process was. The Headman actually showed us how it was done, it’s a rather lengthy process, but not a lot of labor involved.
The women have also decided to start marketing their chickens a week or 2 before they are ready to sell. Thanks to their constant urging to the Headman, he has found them a buyer for roughly 100 chickens each batch. During our adventures in Chelstone (a "nearby" market that mostly sells construction-type items), with Headman, we ran across a feed store that we can buy chicken feed cheaper, which means moreprofits.
Yes, the women are really starting to feel Empowered!
In the Community...
Who would have ever guessed we could have a fun day with Headman Steven? Wow, what an adventure our July 4th was. We were leaving the meeting on Monday and Headman asked if we could give him a ride into Lusaka.
On the way, I had the opportunity to talk with Steven. Steven speaks and conducts himself as if received the best education, I was surprised to learn that he was not able to finish high school. I told him of my surprise and he shared with me that he always surrounds himself with smarter people than him, in order to learn from them. Before he moved back to become Headman of Kunchubwe Village, he was an electrician in the copper mines. Steven could be retired and living on a comfortable income, had he not chose to come back to help his people. I think that’s why him and Tony work so well together, they have a heart for the people.
On our fun adventure, he took us to several different places, but one that was out of the ordinary, was a mushroom farm, not what I had expected at all. In the middle of the village was a nice little retail area and I bought some of the biggest mushrooms I have ever seen!
These moments together in the community teach us so much about real ZamLife and how we can effectively share love with the people.
Every day here is an adventure, we go to bed tired but happy at the amazing things God is doing in Kunchubwe Village. Until next time,