Gifts to earn extra money,

Daniela is now 14 yrs old and was happy to help. Also a big thank you to Denise who is a dental hygienist and donated a bag full of tooth brushes, paste floss & tooth picks.

For all the family- winter & summer hats, tooth brushes & tooth paste, socks, Gummy vitamins, 48 pens, 3 boxes of crayons, 10 pencils & erasers, reading glasses and cases, small package of medical supplies and 2 suitcases.

Mamma- hand fan from Japan, pillow & fancy zippered case, hand soap, oven mitt, 5 pots, 8 each of plates, bowls & bread & butter plates ( Corning ware so they wouldn’t break), a Blanket, 3 recyclable carry bags, scarves, bath towel, laundry soap.

Dad- seeds, tarp

Nyambe-4 bars of rose soap, clothes for her children, and little balls for her children, stuffed animal.

Njamba- shorts, long sleeved flannel shirt, Basket ball jersey, 2 T shirts, multi tool, flash light and crank flash light, Chisel set with sharpener and holder to sharpen them, safety glasses, carpenter pencils, tape measure, harmonica, calculator, stuffed monkey, dictionary, Thesaurus, Atlas and times table flash cards.

Kafuku- calculator, shirt, saw, how to make a composter sheet.

Ngebe- sewing kit, material, hair bands, scissors, pins, quilt batting, pink T-shirt, green sweater, stuffed dinosaur, calculator, big rolls of thread, buttons, purse, cream, toiletry bag, gloves.

Mutiowa-soccer ball, pump, extra pins for pump, shirt, Blue jays bag,

About one month before my flight I met with a friend of mine and we were talking about her 19 yr old daughter Jami. She had completed college and was looking for work to no avail. Millie her mom said she really wanted to be a writer, especially re humanitarian issues but it was a hard field to get into. I was sitting again one morning, it is my best time to think, and I called Millie and left a message saying Why doesn’t Jami come with me. It would be company for me and a chance for Jami to write and maybe start her career. So with in two weeks she was booked on Ethiopian Airlines with me.

I sent Jami and her parents a list of what I thought the expenses were,  our itinerary and important phone numbers like the Canadian Consulate inZambia. We were all set and Carl drove us toBuffaloto catch our flight as it was less expensive that flying out ofToronto.

While I was doing my research aboutLusakaI happened upon a wonderful blog

( Letters From Lusaka)written by Kimm who lives inLusaka. Her husband Thom is working with the Ministry of Agriculture inZambiaon a two year contract.

Kimm’s blog was so insightful and entertaining that I read back through all of her blogs. I had never blogged before but I sent her a note asking her if she knew where I could get pots, plates, blankets and a mattress for my Zambian family. I had asked specifically what they needed and that is what I was told.

Kimm then put me in contact with Christy’s blog ( A thousand Words) who had been to Zambia the previous year with a group from World Vision.

Between the two of them I felt so comfortable and ready to go.

Kimm was kind enough to tell me about this amazing Lodge to stay inLusaka, which was conveniently 1 mile from where she lived. This saved me about $100.00 per night in accommodation fees. She also offered to take us to the Kamwala market the day after we arrived.

So with my two inexpensive suitcases I got fromValueVillage, with the intent to leave with Njamba, we checked in at the airport. I had stuffed a few more things into Jami’s suitcase last minute and her bag ended up 13 lbs over. It cost me $200.00USD. Apparently it didn’t matter how much I was over it would have cost $200.00 but at that point I wanted to take the world to them so I paid it. It was well worth it.

Hindsight being what it is I should have made all the people behind me wait in line while I took 13lbs out of Jami’s suitcase and carried it onto the plane. But as it was I was carrying a stuffed big purse, my camera & video camera bag, binoculars, my backpack with my clothes and a 3ft long tube of gum balls. It was the first thing I bought to take on my trip and I was bound and determined I was going to give them out in the village.

After 30hours traveling we arrived inLusaka. We had stop over’s inWashington, Addis Abba,Harareand finallyLusaka. After changing $2000.00USD into Kwacha, the driver form Kilimanjaro Country Lodge barely packed us & our luggage into his little car.



We drove through downtownLusakato the east end of town to a marvelous country estate. The owners Ann & Nick have a two year old so the property was geared to children which was lovely. They had miniature ponies for the kids to ride. Sand boxes and a cage with bunnies & guinea pigs. Ducks & peacocks and even a turkey. The food was amazing either on the patio or indoors and there was a good assortment of local art and crafts you could buy. It was the perfect place to get acclimatized to a new country as the staff were welcoming and spoke English very well. I loved their names. Innocence, Collins, Chamba, to name a few. We had a lovely meal and Jami went back to our room to re group while I sat and enjoyed the smell of the air and realization that I was inAfricaon the patio. Around 7:oopm the power went out. I had heard that this happened during peak hours to avoid blowing a transformer. I left my patio seat and walked in the pitch black to our room to make sure Jami was Ok. I met her on the path coming to find me. I went back to the room and lit my candle that I had brought for just such circumstances and found one already in the room. We lit that to save mine and I left her by candle light, doing her thing. It was luckily only out for about 15 minutes, but the restaurant and patio looked beautiful lit by candle light.

Kimm arrived right on time the next morning and enjoyed one of the wonderful cups of coffee prepared at Kilimanjaro. A true espresso café’.


After a bit of a delay as we weren’t quite ready, we headed off to pick up Margaret, a colleague of Thom’s and head off to the market. I bought 5 pots for Njamba’s mom and priced the mattresses. I didn’t buy one at that point as I had not heard back if it was Ok to strap it to the top of the WV vehicle. We then met two teachers Kimm had befriended inLusaka. For someone who lives in a foreign country Kimm sure knows how to make friends. I can’t imagine how many friends she has all over the world.


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