Friday 18th August Day 22
Following breakfast and a time of Prayer, we set out once again for Makhululu to begin a clinic at 10:00. On the way we stopped off at a shop where
Joyce, a local dress maker who had earlier measured us all for garments, shirts
for the men and skirts and tops for the women. We called at the shop to choose
our materials. Joyce then made up the garments. By the time they were ready,
we had moved to Lusaka, so she said
that she would deliver them to us.
We eventually began the clinic around 11:00. Mei Mei was helping Pat with the children
and two local women were doing the Interviews as they could speak both Languages. Hank weighed the children, Tess and Georgina entertained a large group of other children whilst I waited on a bench
for anyone wanting massage but no one showed up. Some adults sat waiting to be
treated but Pat had to explain that she was only treating children because they
did not have enough medicine to treat adults.
Mike and Pastor Tobias had been discussing the proposed clinic building with the Committee. Upon their return,
Mike said that they were taking a trip into town, so I went along with them.
We then returned to Pastor Alice’s home, where Hank made some sandwiches, which
they took back with them for those still working at the clinic. I remained back
here with George, who had been quite ill for the past couple of days. He had
developed a rather bad chest infection and had trouble sleeping at night
because of a cough. He was unable to attend the clinic due to the infection.
The rest of the team arrived home shortly before 16:00 to our surprise, thinking they would
be much later. It appears that people didn’t turn up in the numbers they were
expecting. We learned later from Pastor Tobias that evil forces had been at
work. One must remember that Seed Sowers have not worked in Zambia until now and these people were
very suspicious of us and trust had not yet been established. It appears that
the Witch Doctors had been putting the word around the community that we were
Satanists and the medicine we were issuing was poison and so most of the people
who had received it were persuaded to throw it away.
Mike gathered us all together in the evening to explain this to us and to discuss how we should deal
with it. The situation required a great deal of prayer in order to cast out
the dark forces which had become evident in this community. Mike decided to
disband the Committee which he had recently formed and to continue with the
Project through the Church along with Pastor, Alice Pastor Tobias and his wife
Wendy. Later we ate dinner, prepared by Mei Mei and sat around chatting until
Saturday 19th August Day 23
Following breakfast, the plan was to go out to the Village to undertake a programme of
sport and recreation which Tess had drawn up. George was no better and just to
complicate matters he tripped and fell on the step leading from the lounge. He
banged his knee pretty badly and Pat thought he may have a slight fracture so
she strapped him up and told him to rest it. His cough seemed no better.
Shortly afterwards, Pat went down ill with a severe temperature, vomiting and diarrhoea. Having treated all sorts of conditions the day before, including
cholera, it was hardly surprising really. So off she went to bed whilst the
rest of the team went out to the village. There was little that I could do
with the team, so I stayed behind and worked alongside Rejoice, George’s wife, packing
the Glyco Nutrient tablets into bags of 60. We packed 140 bags in all, which
means we more or less emptied a full box of tablets.
The team arrived home shortly after midday and we had
sandwiches for lunch. In the afternoon, most just hung around but I went along
with Mike and Pastor Alice to take the minibus down town to have the exhaust
welded. It had come slightly adrift following the bumpy rides on the bad road
to Luangwa National Park the previous week.
Later we had dinner prepared by Mei Mei and Rejoice, sweet and sour chicken with rice
and Beans. Hank slept for two hours in the afternoon and when he woke he felt
unsteady on his feet feeling feverish and nausea. Pat gave him some medication
and took him to the bathroom where she dowsed him with cold water to bring down
his temperature. He remained quite ill through the night. Pat felt that both
he and she had classic symptoms of malaria, although they had been taking
medication to prevent it, however the parasite which causes malaria is becoming
more and more resistant to the medication. Lots of prayer and laying on of hands
Sunday 20th August Day 24
An early breakfast was taken and we were out by 08:00 on our way to Makhululu
to the Church where Pastor Tobias and his wife minister. Hank was too ill to
come. The Seed Sowers team lead the service. It began with some lovely
singing from the children, followed by an address from Pastor Tobias, and then Mei
Mei and I both gave testimonies with Pastor Wendy translating. Mike led the
Ministry, preaching about the Armour of God. He finished by praying for the
success of the clinic and the future of the village. He prayed that the dark
forces which had hindered the project so far would be cast out and that the
Lord would protect them and the work being undertaken. Later we drove back to
Pastor Alice’s house where a barbecue was held and we were joined by some
members of Pastor Alice’s church. We sat around in the garden until it cooled
down then we went indoors.
Hank still not well, more prayers were said around his bed.
Later we packed our bags and prepared for moving out tomorrow on our
way to Livingstone and Victoria Falls. During the night Hank had a strong reaction and was very
disturbed, fortunately next morning he was much better and fit to travel.
Monday 21st August Day 25
Mike wanted an early start for the long drive down to Livingstone, 610 K, 381 miles. We
managed to get away by 07:25.
The roads were quite good until a few miles outside Livingstone where we hit a
very bad stretch, several miles of big ‘potholes’ where the rains had washed
away the surface. Mike was weaving around all over the road trying to avoid
them. There was one occasion when he was late spotting one, although he did
brake, we hit it at quite some speed. There was a loud bump and a good deal of
our luggage shot to the front and yours truly almost landed on the floor, as
there were no seat belts in the back of the minibus. At first we thought it
may have damaged the suspension, however everything appeared fine so we set offagain. After this incident I was placed in the front seat at the insistence of
Pat because she said it would be safer for me as I could be strapped in. We
made several stops on the way for water, petrol and toilets. All in all, the
journey took us around eight hours, arriving in Livingstone at about 15:30.
Did a little shopping for groceries and water. Livingstone is a very busy place, lots of tourists visiting the falls.
There are men on every street corner accosting people, offering good exchange rates on American Dollars. One must be very wary as there are a lot of
forgeries around. The best place to exchange currency is the Exchange Bureaux
called 4X. These are very common in the towns of both Malawi and ZambiaIf you
go to a Bank, it could take half a day to change a Traveller’s Cheque. We all
took Sterling with us and
changed it at these Bureaux. Tess had only brought U.S. Dollars with her because
they are widely accepted throughout Zambia and so it meant she didn’t have to change any currency.
We met up with the Pastor who runs the Youth Mission which is where we were to stay for a
few nights. The accommodation was very austere, just small cell like rooms
about 8 feet square with rough brick walls and with double bunk beds in rough
cut timber in each one. The plumbing was atrocious, as was the electrical
wiring. The room I occupied had a light which could not be turned off.
Needless to say I slept in it because no one else would have been able to get
to sleep. Almost everywhere you go in Africa you find wash basins with no plug and WCs with broken flushes.
When one makes a comment on such topics, the reply one gets is “Ah well, this
is Africa!” It makes one
realise just how well off we are in our country and what we take for granted.
On the first night we were gathered together for a talk by the Pastor who
discussed with us plans for visiting the Falls the next day. He wanted to take
us to a village called Makuna, which is quite close to the Falls and was his
ancestral home. He told us that we would be able to buy curios and various
hand made items produced by the villagers. It was up to us whether we visited
the village on the way to the Falls, or on the way back. Mei Mei cooked dinner
which we all sat around and ate off our lap as there was no dining table.
Later when everyone had retired, I went to bed and listened to a talking book before eventually going to sleep.
Tuesday 22ndAugust Day 26
The Pastor and Mike both agreed that we
needed to be on our way by 08:00. We left shortly after and made our way down to
Livingstone to change currency and do one or two bits of shopping. We chose to
visit Makuna village on the way to the Falls. We were taken into an inner courtyard
where we had to squat down in a circle and clap 3 times which is a ritual
before coming into the presence of the Chief. We were then lead to a hut
which was the Throne room, but the Chief was absent on a business trip so we
were introduced to his wife the Queen. We were given a talk on the history of
the village, which dates back to the 17th century, and their Tribal
lifestyle. We were told that when a Chief is chosen and it does not always
follow that a Chief’s son takes on this role after his Father’s death because
if the Chief marries someone from outside the tribe, then their offspring cannot
be Chief. The person chosen to be Chief has no say in the matter whatsoever
he has to take up the role, regardless of any profession or occupation that he
may have taken up.
For instance, the present Chief was working for BP at the
time he was chosen and therefore had to give up his job. The ritual we had to
undertake caused some concern among our group. Being Christian they felt
uncomfortable at having to bow the knee for a mere mortal.
Afterwards prayer was held because of this, before proceeding to the village shop to purchase our
goods. I bought several items, mainly wood carvings. There were some very
beautiful pieces, not only in wood but also carved out of soft stone and
polished to a glass like finish. These people also take their products and
sell them on a stall at the Falls.
We later made our way down to the Falls where it was really busy, as you can imagine, this
being one of the major tourist attractions in the world. The entrance fee was
39,000Kwocha, which is round £6 Sterling. The path is quite winding and descends into a tree lined valley
and as one approaches the Falls, there is a walkway over a long bridge with
very high barriers at either side. I expected it to be noisier but this being
the end of winter in the southern Hemisphere, meant that the water level was
quite low. Although there was plenty of water coming over the main cataract,
and one could feel a slight spray, we were told that when it is in full spate, following
the rainy season, which is around April/May time, tourists are provided with
plastic Ponchos because the spray is so heavy.
We continued along the paved pathway as it wanders down the valley. There are steps in places ascending and
descending, according to the contour of the land. We passed several Waterfalls
as it comprises of many sections, some quite wide and some narrow. One of the
surprising things I learned about these Falls, was the extent of them. I
imagined it to be a large cataract falling into a deep gorge, when
in actual fact they stretch over a distance of roughly 1.7 kilometres and fall
to a depth of over 100 metres. My friends told me that they couldn’t see the
As we reached the end of the walkway, we came close to another bridge. This is the Zimbabwean Border and we could go no further, so we turned
round and walked back. People were bungee jumping off this bridge.
As one reaches the final stretch of the return walk, one passes a large statue of Dr Livingstone overlooking the Falls. The plinth upon which the statue stands was
taller than myself 6ft, Livingstone is saluting with his right hand and
holding a Bible in his left. The native people commented that they find it
somewhat amusing and slightly arrogant the fact that History states that Livingstone
discovered these falls in 1855 when in actual fact the people of Africa knew they were there all the time,
and have been for many thousands of years. It seems that he had an inkling of
the falls when he was in that region in 1851. He told of hearing a great
thunderous sound in the distance, however it was some four years later before
he eventually reached them.
By the time we got back to our starting point it was lunchtime and having brought food with us, we took a walk along the side of
the river where we found a shady spot, sat on some rocks and ate our lunch. Afterwards
we slowly made our way back home, making a stop in Livingstone to shop for food supplies. Mike, myself and Tess strolled into a very pleasant little bar and
indulged in an ice cold beer, which was most welcome.
Following our evening meal, I went to bed for an early night. I felt a little ‘under the weather’. I
had a very bad sinus headache and felt a slight sore throat. One or two of us
had similar symptoms and I wondered if I had caught what George had been suffering from for the past few days. Pat put me straight on a course of
antibiotics, which seemed to nip it in the bud, and although I did develop a
bit of a chesty cough, it was not long in clearing up.
Wednesday 23rd August Day 27
Quite an early start, breakfast at
07:00, Mike wanted to be away by 08:00 but we managed 08:25 and headed off on the long haul back to Lusaka. With ten of us plus luggage it was a bit of a squash for a seven
hour drive. However we made several stops and the first one was around 10:25 when Mike spotted a large ranch type
building standing well back from the road. We all got out and strolled up to
the place which turned out to be a large cafe which was still under
It appeared they were building accommodation, chalets and creating
a game lodge. Our first port of call was the toilets. When we entered the
Cafe, Mike enquired what they were serving and there were such delicacies as
chicken and chips, so some of us said yes please and others ordered snacks and
drinks. We all sat down and watched Chelsea versus somebody on TV. Once we had finished our coffee, we hit the road again heading for Lusaka, eventually
arriving around 15:45. Taking
off one and a half hours for our brunch stop, altogether it took us about 6
We were all very pleased to have arrived. Having booked in at the Catholic Guest House where we had stayed for one night the previous week. We
unloaded our luggage and settled into our rooms. Hank and I managed to get the
same room as we had before.
We decided to go out for a meal, Chinese was the
most popular choice, so with Pat driving we set off for a place which one of our team had spotted on the way in to Lusaka. It took us a while to find it and Pat was all for turning back,.
however, we persuaded her to continue and eventually found it. The restaurant
turned out to serve Chinese, Indian and Western dishes. We all managed to get
seated at one large round table and order. It took an age to get our meal but
whilst we were waiting, we discussed the programme of events over the past
All in all it was agreed that the Mission had been a resounding success. Mike was very pleased with the way
the whole team had gelled together, considering the fact that only three out of
the ten had known each other beforehand. Each had taken on their respective roles and carried them out, giving full consideration to each other’s needs. Sharing
various duties without any disputes which made life much easier for Mike.
Communication between us all had been very good, which is half the battle.
Following our meal, we made our way back to the lodgings and sank into bed about 23:00.
Thursday 24th August Day 28
Didn’t sleep too well, Hank said he didn’t either and was up and about clanking around in the
Bathroom by 05:00. It was the
day he flew home and he had to be away by 06:00 as his flight was 09:00. I rose, washed and dressed to make the trip to the Airport with
him, along with Pastor Tobias and Mike driving. After saying our goodbyes to
Hank, we drove back to our lodgings and had breakfast.
Later that morning some of us, that is, myself, Mike, Pastor Tobias, George and Rejoice went out for a
coffee. It was only just around the corner so we took a gentle stroll. When
we got back, Joyce had arrived from Kabwe with all our garments which she had
made for us. We had a fashion parade in our room, photographs were taken and
we all had a good laugh and paid Joyce for her wonderful needlework.
Shortly after this it was time to take Mei Mei and Georgina to the airport to catch their flight back home. We said our
farewells to them both and set off back towards town. Pastor Paul met us at a
petrol station. He wanted Mike to meet the Bishop of the area. Unfortunately
he was away on business but his wife made us very welcome. We had drinks and a
long chat with her before heading off back to our rooms for a little siesta.
Mike and I thought about going for a dip in the pool but it was getting rather
late in the afternoon and the sun had gone off the pool so we decided against
it. In the evening we showered, dressed and went out once again for a meal.
This time we found a proper Chinese restaurant within walking distance just
down the road from our lodgings. By now there was only Mike, Pat, Tess ,
George, Rejoice and myself left. We all had a good meal and returned about 21:30. Mike had moved his belongings into my
room as he had been sharing with Pastor Tobias, who had gone home today with Joyce
and single occupancy of a room costs more, so Mike shared my room for the last
Friday 25th August Day 29
Time to return home!
Breakfasted at 07:30, then
settled up for our accommodation then finished packing.
Tess and I were ready to move out by 11:00 and make
our way to the airport. Our flight time being 13:40 we needed to be at the airport by 11:40. When we arrived and made some enquiries
it turned out that our flight had been rescheduled and timed at 15:40. Pastor Paul had arranged for his friend,
Max Banda, who is Head of Security at Lusaka Airport, to meet
us and escort us through all the necessary security checks. This made life
much easier for Tess, who was acting as my sighted guide. We were treated like
VIPs as we were ‘fast tracked’ through each stage of security, such as passport
control and hand luggage.
Later we browsed through the shop, making one or two purchases before moving into the cafe for a bite to eat and a coffee. Max came
to tell us that there was a further one hour delay on the flight, making it
almost 17:00 local time.
Eventually Max arrived to take us down to the tarmac and to identify our Luggage. Upon checking the labels on our luggage, Tess noticed that they read Lusaka to London Heathrow via Rome. We queried this with Max because
our tickets said Gatwick, due to arrive at 06:00 on the 26th.
I had booked two rail tickets to Devon on a train leaving Gatwick at 08:03. By the time we arrived at Heathrow it was about 08:15, but we had to wait a long time before we
could alight from the plane due to the availability of transport to take us across the tarmac to the terminal. By this time we realised of course, that we
had missed our train, even if we headed straight for Reading, which is where we would have had to change had we caught the train
After retrieving our luggage and making some enquiries we were shown to one of the small buses which run between the airport terminals and
taken to the central bus station at Terminal 1. The driver was most helpful
and got off the bus to help with our luggage at both ends. He directed us to
where we could buy tickets for a bus that would take us to Reading railway station, which we did and there happened to be a bus waiting.
The fare was £13 each, which I thought was rather extortionate for a 30 minute bus ride but we
needed to catch it if we were to get home. We boarded it and arrived at Reading Station around 11:40.
It was teaming with people as it was the Reading Festival that weekendHowever, Tess
managed to find a member of staff who took me to a machine to buy new rail
tickets, as the ones I had were not transferable. He told us that the next
train straight through to Paignton was 12:32. We were put in First Class where we could relax for the last leg
of our very long journey.
Tess alighted at Exeter St David’s, where her Mum met her and I eventually arrived in Paignton at 15:30 where my Sister in Law was
waiting with the car to take me home.
I went to bed that evening at 20:15 and slept until 08:15 the next morning.
Since arriving home, Mike informs me that things have improved considerably in Makhululu since
we left. He tells me that the bore Hole has been established and the clinic is
well under construction. He also tells me that the clinic in Tsoka, where we so such despair on our first day, has now been completed. The distance we
covered through these two African nations during our month there was somewhere
between 2,500 and 3000 km.