Saturday, October 6, 2012

Zambia Pt. 4

  What day is it now...? Oh we've been here a week! Wow! Yesterday was a day of ministry and work for some of us. The ministry was playing with a group of HIV positive kids in the "Nasansa Project" which was within eyesight of the Democratic Republic of The Congo. The work involved arranging the warehouse for the pump assemblies back at Lifeline.
Robert and I
    The ministry team was Mom (Linda), Brookllyn, Crystal and myself, with the leadership of the Dentist and Margaret. We drove down the dusty, bumpy, roads lined with people staring or waving. Three small children, playing in the dirt, sing/chant something in Bemba as we rumble by. We pulled into the project center to the sight of children running around. The children that were a part of the project were sitting on a mat toward the back of the building. I sat down by a boy who told me his name was Gift, and we began to toss a football (soccer) back and forth. That grew to include Dan and Johnny, two more boys from the project. And we played football, or rather kicked the ball around a bit. We then played a couple more games before they headed in for lunch. I was sitting by the children as they ate and was completely floored when a little boy, named Robert, looked up at me smiled as he stretched his hand out to me with a piece of bread. I said "No its ok" and then sat there truly in awe of what had just happened. It was the child who had nothing, no guarantee of a meal for tomorrow, who was offering to the one who had plenty. I was just amazed. Could I do that? Would I? ... His smile, as he continued to eat and glance my way everyone in awhile, warmed my heart. I may be wrong, but i think I've learned more than i've taught on this trip, and that is quite alright. After a small demonstration on proper teeth cleaning, the kids were off and so were we.
    Our work back at Lifeline didn't take as long as we anticipated, which lead to an early home arrival and some swimming at the Kaniki pool.
Canoeing with the boys
    Today was our first full day off. In our plans was a trip to Nsobe game preserve. It was nice to just relax a bit, go canoeing with a few of the kids that came along, and even get a line wet. The highlight definitely was going on the game drive. We spotted some antelope, some guinea fowl, and a few other species of antelope that can't name. Then we found them, six giraffes wandering through the thickets nibbling on trees. The photos I took weren't great with my iPhone, but I was able to get within about 20 yards of them as I flanked the rest of the group to try and get a good angle. They were incredible, such massive animals. I couldn't get

much closer so I headed back to the truck and we headed off. There was a herd of antelope just off the road in a field so we slowed to a stop. We waited a few minutes, then Justin, Keith, Daniel and I took off after them on foot, as they hopped of in several directions. It was a fun way to end the day. Well, either that or riding home in the bed of a pickup truck with the wind blowing through my hair.  I began to drift back to thoughts of the many children I had met over this past week. The Lord began to show me how they had each expanded my heart in different ways.

Like Abigail, who beat the HIV+ odds of survival by making it past the age of 5, and was living, loving, teaching those around her at age 8. Or little Moses, so frail from the same disease, who was content to just sit on my lap without saying one word to me. To Gift, also HIV+, who was stuck to my side as we played and sat around together. It all kind of hit me right there. I had the opportunity to care for and even love these kids even if only for a few moments and nothing else i've done really compares. Yes, that was probably the best way to end the day.

I may have learned a lesson this time...
One last quick note. There are moments that you realize "You know, I've been here before and the last time it didn't go like I planned", and you stop what you're doing to avoid a similar outcome. Then there are times when you just throw that caution to the wind and say, "Naaa this is different". Well today was unfortunately like the latter, and i'll get to the story. I was boasting about the strength of my amazing 48oz Nalgene water bottle to our Zambian driver Edward. I proudly told him that it was unbreakable even if it was thrown up in the air and allowed to hit the ground. I demonstrated and was happily correct. Then our friend Daniel showed up, and I continued to explain what had taken place, and asked him to prove me right once again by throwing it up as high as he could. Once again I was right, this thing IS unbreakable. So for the last time I had my friend and teammate Justin Coffman seal the deal with one last toss. Well... yeah they're very breakable. Perhaps it was Justin's touch, with those biceps he has, that bottle didn't have a chance. Or maybe I need to just trust my gut that this may not be such a good idea. Either way it made for a good laugh for all of us.

1 comment:

  1. AMAZING! def: Something that is so wonderful, it is hard to find the words to match