We moved into a conference area with tables and chairs and brought all of the luggage in. Frederick suggested that we wait and give the gifts in the morning but I am sure they were as excited to receive them as I was to give. I told Frederick I couldn’t wait until tomorrow so we started. The following pictures were taken by my wonderful husband. If not for him, I would not have this photo journal.
If you click on the photo it will enlarge
I had placed a suitcase in my bedroom in January 2012 and every time I found something that I thought would be useful I put it in the case. It was great to give away useful items that I really didn’t need but I knew would be precious to them. Books, paper, notebooks, pens, pencils, 2 back packs for school, pillows, blanket, T-shirts, dress shirts, jeans, shorts, boxer shorts, Band-Aids, deck of cards to help with math, advil samples from the doctors offices I work in, cuff links for Dad, this list goes on & on. I also brought clothes, jewelry, a manicure set & nail polish for Ngebe but she wasn’t able to come. I framed two pictures for Njamba’s mom, one of her & Njamba and one of Ngebe & Njamba.
I also printed about 200 copies of the pictures from last year so they could take them back to their village and show everyone as there were a lot of people in the pictures I didn’t know. Here is a sample.
Just before we left on the trip friends donated a few items. By then we were just barely under our alloted weight so I could only take small items that were donated. A watch, from our neighbour Bill, shoes & books, from our friend Jan,Bubble gum, from my cousin Cheryl, golf hats from my Dad. I also took two binders filled with articles I had printed off the internet that I thought would be useful. I took teaching materials for the little ones. Detailed instructions on how to put on a play about a bunny in Africa. ( I took make up to do up the little faces to look like animals). These binders also had detailed instructions on how to compost as it is difficult to get fertilizer and the soil is so sandy it is hard to grow crops. There is a great organization called Ripple Africa that started by growing trees in Malawi, a neighbour to Zambia. They have expanded and do a multitude of things now but I printed there wonderful suggestions that I am sure they could do in Zambia. Like building a more efficient cook stove that burns less wood. Also building a frame with grasses covering it to protect seedlings from the harsh sun to give them a better start. Frederick is now collecting seeds from the trees in his area so he too can plant more trees for future generations and to help stop global warming.. He has to wait until the rains come before he plants as he doesn’t have easy access to a bore hole for the water so the seeds don’t dry out. I actually dried out seeds from Jan-Aug. to take for them as well. I would place the seeds from green peppers, red peppers, squash, pumpkin, cucumber, cantelope, basically anything with seeds, on a piece of parchment paper in my bay window. They would dry out very nicely and I put them into unused envelopes from bills. To buy seed these days it costs from $1.89 up so when you need a lot it adds up. I even planted some of the green pepper seeds in my garden to make sure they would grow and I had 3 foot plants and loads of green peppers. The cherry tomatoes are hard to dry for seed and it is too bad really as we had so many.