Friday, January 30, 2009

crop circles

Crop Circles just outside Lusaka.

January 29th

Today Jan 29 was our first full day at Chitokoloki and it was a bit overwhelming.  I started the day with devotions at the Maintainance Garage.  There were  four of us from North America and about 30 Zambian men.  The singing was excellent and it was nice to meet some of the guys I will be helping.  Justin is the foreman and he is excellent, knowledgeable of many different trades.
Gordon Hanna the mission administrator gave me a quick tour of the station.  It is one square kilometer, with 3 hospitals (emergency/surgical, outpaitient/overflow, leprosarium), close to 200 buildings, an airstrip, a school, all  on the banks of the Zambesi River.
We have not been down to the river as yet but hope to go tomorrow.
At 9 am Gordon gave Mary and I a tour of the outpatient hospital and the surgical hospital.  We watched as the surgeon removed a tumour from the carotid artery of a patient.  It was a three hour surgery, and then they stayed doing other surgeries to finish about 6pm.  The adminstrator was saying that this is the best equipped hospital north of Lusaka and all running on a generator.
Mary went back to our flat to meet the girl who will help boil our water and I went back to the Maintainance garage to meet Alex.  Alex is a worker/plumber who lives on the station with his wife and four children.  He has been working here for 2 years and really enjoys his work. We spent the day working on planning the plumbing and pipe fitting for a small guest house, (a converted stable called « the coachhouse »).  It is in various stages of construction,  wiring to be completed, tile for the floor, plumbing etc. to be completed by next Tuesday.  We will be  busy.
We had a horendous lightning storm yesterday that knocked out the VSat (internet) so I will likely post this when it comes up again.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

leaving Lusaka

We boarded a small plane and made the 3 hour trip to Chitokoloki.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In Lusaka

The Adventure to Chitokoloki begins…

The trip has proved to be long,  with two night time flights.  Toronto to London was fine and we arrived in London about 7 am  looking forward to a 11 hour stay. We spent the time sleeping and wandering Heathrow airport.  It was quite busy and hard to find a place to relax.  We boarded the plane for Lusaka at 6pm and arrived in Lusaka at 620 am local time.  We found our bags  (thankfully they made the trip with us) cleared immigration and headed out of the airport.
« Thanks » the driver met us (yes his name is Thanks) and gave us a taxi ride to the guest house. We met Rodwell the guest house manager and he showed us to a very nice room.  We slept for two hours and then went into town to the Manda Hill Mall. We were able to get most of the things- food wise that Chitokoloki suggested. Returned home and put the meat in the freezer, had supper and it is almost nine and we are hoping to get to bed soon. It is hot- about 25'C and really sticky. Has rained a couple of times today but everything is green and growing. We met a couple from the Congo- 30 years and then a doctor who works at a mission hospital on the border of Zambia and Angola. He is coming to Chit to do some major surgery in a couple of weeks. He has me scared but that didn't take much. Edna the house keeper had nice meal of fish and chips for us for supper. We talked to John the doctor and John the pilot, then headed for bed about 9pm.  So tomorrow we are to take a taxi to a smaller airport and catch a flight out at 11:45. There is another man coming on the flight but hopefully we can bring all our stuff. The guest house is really nice- clean and comfortable and doesn't seem to be bugs. We started our malaria pills on Sunday and hopefully they will be working just in case. Spent  300,000 kwacha on taxis today and 588,000 at the grocery store!  Tomorrow begins my life wearing a dress all day! Oh well. If that is the worst, we will be fine! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Africa Packing

The time is getting short.  We are in the process of packing, finishing last minute details and getting excited. In the picture Tim is trying to get one more thing in the pack.  We leave for Toronto on Saturday, we will stay in a hotel near the airport then catch the airport shuttle on Sunday. Mary's brother Mark will be driving us to TO and then returning home via Hanover (possibly).  We will try to update when we can.  Thanks for your interest and prayers.