Tuesday, September 1, 2009

01Sept from Chris in Ndola, Zambia 2 weeks left

01 Sept Hello, all!

Wanted to get a Blog out before life gets wierd...

Picture to LEFT is the serving of Nshema, the (and I mean THE) Zambian staple diet. How do you eat Nshema?? First, you wash your hands, because there are no utensils! The big white 'glob' of pasty material is the Nshema, made from corn mealimeal that has been boiled with water and salt until it becomes thicker than elmers glue. The 'relish' is served on the side... this relish is kapenta (small sardines) boiled with tomatoes, and a green that is like spinach (called reapee)... then you sit down, pull up a bit of Nshema with your fingers (and it is hot!!!), roll it around, then form it into a coin-shape, so you can scoop up your relishes, then bend over the plate and eat!!! Yes, there is water and a basin provided after for hand-washing-up..

Picture to the RIGHT is the morning devotions and worship at the Seeds of Hope office with the staff. Devotions are optional, but 95% of the staff are active church-members. There is singing (in Bemba, of course), then a reading in the Scriptures, then opened up for "contributions" (what people feel God is saying to us in the Word), prayer for the SHIP workday, then greetings... and everyone greets everyone with energetic handshakes and hugs... oh, devotions start at 0745 hours, and don't be late!!

Picture to the LEFT: I'm with some new friends from the Pentecostal Holiness church of Copperbelt... was invited to come for Sunday, did share a bit and prayed for the congregation, then Nshema and Kapenta at the elder's house.
01Sept... just returned from downtown Ndola, trying to track down a great HIV AIDS resource from the Ministry of Education, but having a bit of difficulty. The entire Hygiene-Sanitation team and I met yesterday for 6 hours and reviewed our survey findings, reviewed and studied the available HIV AIDS Ed and Prevention materials we've been able to round up, looked at designing a beginning curriculum for Seeds of Hope, and talked target areas in Ndola to begin and HIV/AIDS initiative... whew!
This week is filled with a number of appointments and communications with health leaders in Ndola and Zambia. Some have email (which makes it easy) while some don't even have a good telephone, and I have to go to their office(which makes it hard).
Also, a major donor/funding group for Seeds of Hope arrives en-masse (12 people) at the end of the week, and life around here is going to be very... well, insane? I will be finishing up the HIV work done here, but I may be presenting to this funding group for Grant proposal purposes... which means some midnight oil writing a grant-proposal outline!
Prayer points:
<>Guidance and strength to 'wrap up' the HIV AIDS Ed and Prevention work launched here... I would really like to have a couple solid 'modules' in place for the team to begin using in the field each week in their training.
<>Favor with all the health leaders I will be in communication with this week. One in particular is a 'major player' in Zambia, so GRACE for that interaction...
<>Renewed strength for myself. I've passed the one-month mark, and have a ticket to fly out 2 weeks from today. It's been a long trip, the goal-line is in sight, but...
<>Protection from the prevalent malaria and diarrhea that hits soooo many of the expatriate/non-Zambian visitors and workers. Yes, I am doing all the 'safe travel health' stuff...
NOTE: With the major donor/funders arriving, my access to the internet may become VERY limited and unpredictable. I will try to Blog when I can... it might be short and text-only... but there may be gaps until like Sept 12th or 13th...
Thanks for hanging with me in prayer and support of this trip. It looks like a solid HIV AIDS program will get launched from my being here... and I hope to continue to provide some support from a distance to this health-care team in Ndola...
your brother,

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