“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Packing and new laptop set up causing some severe stress!

You pay over a thousand pounds for a snazzy new Dell, complete with a permanent Office licence to ensure ability to use it when offline, only to discover that Outlook is no longer deemed part of Microsoft's Office suite and so you must either pay another $230 or use the inbuilt "Mail" application .... which has only half the features and way too much blue for my liking..... and who the hell is Cortana? doesn't she ever shut up? Getting a little frustrated but hey ho... only 3 days to go!

Packing is also becoming a bit of a challenge, everyone has been so generous with their donations that we are struggling to stick to the luggage weight allowance - despite having 4 cases of 23kgs between us as well as carry on cases. At this point it looks like I shall be wearing every single item of clothing I am taking and have my camera gear all hanging round my neck!

Friday, 23 June 2017

vaccinations and visas

Diptheria, Polio, Tetanus and Typhoid; Measles, mumps, and rubella - Ant thinks it sounds like a meeting with the seven dwarfs.... it certainly didn't feel like it. I now have two dead arms and a slightly sluggish feeling. But at least I am now up to date with everything again. Thankfully I don't need a meningitis booster for Zambia and Hepatitis B was only a recommendation - but at £120 for 3 injections I gave that one a swerve. Not planning on swapping bodily fluids with the locals anyway.

I decided to change up our cash in to dollars last week - managed a respectable 1.24 exchange rate - who knows what Brexit will do to the rate over the coming weeks, bit of a gamble but hey it's done now.
Only thing left is the VISA. Going to attempt it online again tonight as this time I believe we have all the right paperwork, in the right format, (and in the right names) to give it a go.
Fingers crossed!

Saturday, 17 June 2017

6 weeks to go and I'd like to say "Zikomo Kwambili"!

Wow - I put an appeal out and what a response...
  • A reconditioned laptop and snazzy laptop bag for the Linda Farm project manager
  • £550 towards the amazon wish list
  • 15 working smart phones
  • Self-sufficiency books for the new library
  • An assortment of items from the Amazon Wishlist
We're off to a good start collecting what we want to take with us too - the shopping has started and the old suitcase almost full already with examples for the teaching sessions, new boodle sticks, cutting mats and nearly new shirts for the community. 

We have just 6 weeks ahead of us to practise the art of boodling and hopefully come up with some simple enough designs that can be taught to those who only speak Njanja and those who are deaf. We are thinking strong shopping bags and floor mats.. bed blankets and seat covers. 

The clock is ticking and the date gets ever closer, so thank you all for your contributions - it really will make a huge difference to their community. Thank you once again for your continued support. Zikomo!

Monday, 20 March 2017

18 weeks to go - that's a surprise!

Wall art at Linda Farm
Crikey that's come around quick. In exactly 128 days Tracey and I will be back on that night flight to Johannesburg to make the transfer into Zambia and back to the place we both fell in love with last summer.... the run-down, charming, basic and incredibly friendly town of Livingstone.
This summer we go for a week longer and have arranged to work on the Linda Farm project that inspired us so much in just the hour we spent there.
Linda Farm occupies a piece of land that the government allocated some years ago to provide somewhere for disabled people to grow their crops. The site is now home to 14 families (of about 6 people each) who live as a self-sufficient community raising animals and crops and providing a place for local young adults to learn about becoming self-sufficient themselves by growing their own crops and taking them to market to sell.
So in preparation for the trip, we are collecting old (but working) smart phones this year to help the teenagers to get their businesses started. We also plan to share the skill of turning old clothes and carrier bags into floor mats and strong shopping bags through the simple art of "boodling". Which is basically crocheting on a large wooden hook with stretchy yarn (or in our case old T-shirts).
We are excited to see how far they have come in the last year with their objectives - the pigs were arriving the week we visited and the water pump was being repaired and was to be turned on that afternoon. We were so gutted that we only visited them on the day we were leaving, but hey that's life.... we are going back and get to spend weeks with them rather than minutes! Very excited, very keen and slightly worried that 18 weeks means we should really get cracking collecting what we need and preparing the teaching materials with easy to follow diagrams that are language and age independent (as well as teach Tracey to use her new Nikon!). Many people have asked about donations this year which is incredibly kind. So if anyone would like to donate any of the supplies we plan to take with us, we have created an Amazon wishlist of some useful items which you can use to order and have delivered to us. Thank you for your support once again.