Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Zambia: The Setting

I was trying to figure out the best way to start blogging about our recent trip to The Esther School in Zambia. There are so many stories to share, and it occurred to me that most stories start with the setting, so why not this one, too? Hopefully this way of sharing our story will be meaningful and understandable for you. Please feel free to ask questions as that could trigger a memory or a story or a fact or an experience that I might not otherwise share.

Beautiful sunsets in Zambia bring forth the darkest of nights.

Beautiful sunrises in Zambia bring forth a large glowing sky.

As you walk through the campus and up the hill towards the teacher housing, you can watch the sun rise behind the water towers. Water towers that represent running, life-sustaining water.   

A fog fills the valley surrounding TES during the early morning hours of winter.

And the moon is visible throughout the day.

Bars across the doors of the teacher housing are reminders that even in the villages of Africa, one must protect themselves from the evil in the world.

And yet there is a peace. A beautiful calm, reminding you that the one true God is ever-present.

God is present even in the simple huts.

A new well was being drilled. Water was found on the second day. This well will be mostly used for irrigation and will enhance the ability of TES to grow food.

The market of Nyangwena. Intimidating at first. Until you realize the people are just people trying to sustain their livelihood. They're mamas and papas and children and aunts and uncles and cousins and they love to talk to you and tell you about their produce or their "fritas" (kind of like ollie bollen, but without sugar and raisins).

Inside the teacher homes. Rustic at first, and fearsome at the prospect of the lack of light and promise of spiders. But then, it becomes ok, normal even. When the sun goes down and the only light is the solitary bulb above you, it's easy to relax, break down barriers, and then go to sleep.

The shared porch in the back of the duplex teacher homes. A place for sharing meals, games, tasks, laughter, memories, lives.

White patches in the grooves of the brick building represent spiders. Broken open patches represent spiders that have hatched...and we just learned to pretend they weren't there.

Lizards and chameleons became friends.

The Lusaka market was colorful...and not just because of the colorful chetange fabrics. Those that sold the wares were friendly and interesting as well.

Along The Great East, farmers attempt to sell their tomatoes, potatoes, and other vegetables they have grown. 

A brick home with windows where one of TES Zambian teacher's lives.

The Basic (or government) school of the village.

The NEW medical center in the village.

We were astounded at the unique beauty of the area.

At the orphanage where widows and orphaned children become a family and lives are changed. This is a good place. A place for them to belong and to be loved.

Village Christian Church

Village Catholic Church

As we entered the gates of campus for the first time, I had to choke back the tears and swallow hard against the lump in my throat. Such an incredible and amazing story that God is writing at TES and in my life by fulfilling this dream.

Campus gardens grow food for students.

Pump house provides clean water for students.

Classroom buildings ^^ Grades 4, 5, 6

^^Back of the school kitchen

Insaka - a place to gather and to stay cool

The sea container used to bring over the first of all the supplies for TES - now used for storage.

Our room. Those zipping mosquito net tents gave us peace to sleep. 

Flat wall spiders = ignore. Fat floor spiders = kill with a shoe.

Homeschool room for North American students who are too old for TES, Resource room, library/chapel

GaGa Ball!

Grades 1, 2, 3

Don't pet this fuzzy thing...you'll have a very itchy rash.

These pictures tell the story of a place that has grown and changed and is changing the lives of the people of Nyangwena and the lives of the North Americans who live, work, and visit there. Those people are the characters in this tale. Zambia: The Characters will be chapter 2.

1 comment:

Carol O'Keefe said...

Hi Julie, These photos and comments truly capture the essence of our trip and bring back so many wonderful memories. Thank you for doing this. Can't wait for Chapter 2!
Blessings on you and your family,