7/6/10

AFRICA TRIP 2010 - DAY 8

Tuesday June 8, 2010
Again with the roosters. Four o’clock in the morning. Wide awake. Today was the day we were dedicating the new high school. Before breakfast, we had some of the now quite depleted supply of Starbucks VIA coffee, enjoyed the sunrise, and played our traditional football game in the parking lot. We were about to take off to go to the school when I asked if, instead of riding in the Land Cruisers, I could follow along on the motorcycle. I was surprised and stoked that they agreed and hopped on the bike. I very quickly learned that something might have been lost in translation because one of the biggest Zambians I had met climbed on right behind me and said, “Let’s go.” Riding a motorcycle on washed out, rutted, bumpy dirt roads by myself was enough of a test, now I had to do it with a 200 pound guy on the bike with me. While not as fun and much more stressful than my twilight ride through the countryside, I still enjoyed the ride much more than I would have in the back of the bumpy Land Cruisers.
We arrived early to the Jonathan Sim School so we had a few minutes to check out the brand new facilities. Dan, one of the leaders of our team works at Intel and showed us some of the stuff they had sent over to the school. Since this area has no electricity, the school is powered by solar energy. Outside there are several solar panels that power the few lights and computers they have. Today was the first day most of these students had ever seen a computer and some of them were surrounding the four brand new ones that had just been powered up. Just in case the brand new facility, solar panels, and computers made me forget where I was for a second, what I saw in the room next door brought me immediately back to reality. On the concrete floor of one of the classrooms there was a giant cow carcass (with the head still attached) drying out and staring at me. Today was the day we would have something slightly different for lunch.
When the Chief and other dignitaries arrived, we went on an official tour of the entire facility. The school looked amazing and what made it even more special were the dorms. Since many of the kids have to walk many kilometers to school, they wind up staying there for the entire week and then returning home on the weekends. They sleep on the floors of the classrooms and anywhere they can find space. These new dorm rooms were full of bunk beds. Most of these kids didn’t have a bed at home and had probably never slept in a bed in their life.
We went outside and took our places under the tent for the dedication ceremony. It was very similar to the previous day’s schedule with speakers lobbying the government for future support and several varieties of entertainment. Also, we helped pass out backpacks from the girls of the Revolve Tour to the kids of the school. One of the highlights of this day’s ceremony was the speech by Kelly Sim, the widow of the school’s namesake Jonathan Sim. Simple and gracious, it was amazing to see her honor her late husband’s legacy along with the hundreds of Zambians in attendance.
After the lengthy event, we had lunch in the school with the Chief and the government officials. The afternoon was relaxed as we hung out with kids and took pictures. The time with the kids seemed to fly by. Before long, it was time to head back to the World Vision office and pack to leave for Choma. When we got back, we played one last game of football in the parking lot while waiting for everyone to get packed. We said our goodbyes to the staff and headed out for a sunset drive through the desert back to Choma.
We checked in to the Kozo Lodge for the second time on the trip and had dinner. We were all pretty exhausted from the day’s events and the four-hour drive to the lodge, so we all went to bed soon after dinner. I was looking forward to a good night’s sleep with no roosters to ruin it for me.

1 Comments:

Blogger global translation said...

Hello, i'm baruc, i'm from peru. I've just translated into spanish one of your songs called 'jesus loves you' which is awesome, by the way. But i really want to sing it in a conference here in peru, i mean the translated version. I'm not a singer. I'm don't want to copy your song, but want to sing it. Could you please give the permission of singing it in public here in peru? I really love your songs that's the reason why i entered here to ask for permission because i don't know any e-mail to write, so please answer me to this email: gadychun19@hotmail.com

2:51 PM  

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