A new student has joined the First Grade class at MICS. She is 6 years old and her name is Michelo Munachoonga. Her family of 5 lives in a small thatched room in the village of Macha. Her father, a former Health Officer, is unemployed and her mother has just recently become the house manager for our Macha B&B. They do not have enough money for food and clothes, so a private school is something they could never afford on their own.
It has been decided that MICS should have the philosophy of tithing of students, so, Michelo is the first student to be granted this status. If however, anyone feels that they would like to help sponsor or partially sponsor Michelo or another child like her with tuition, it would benefit the entire school also. If you would like to sponsor a student you can contact us at email@example.com for more information.
The Macha Guest House, alias The Macha B&B, has two new guests for about one week, when they will move to different housing. Two medical students from the Netherlands are here in Macha to do some research. Robin is on the left and Iman is on the right. Neither of them has been away from their native country, so it was decided that a Mom & Pop away from home for the first few days would help soften the cultural shock. They missed the bus from Choma to Macha when they came, so they had to travel the 70km dirt road in an available truck. A good introduction to where they were going.
As part of their medical school training they are required to do a research project. They decided to set up a database trying to provide a correlation among patients of the area that are suffering from TB, HIV-Aids and other regional illnesses.
When the mobile unit from the Mission Hospital goes out into the surrounding villages, they accompany the unit to take blood samples for plating and analysis. This will enable them to determine diseases and then subsequent treatment when the unit goes back to the villages visited.
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Greetings from Macha !!
Some of you have wondered where we are actually located. Well, for those of you that are inquisitive, here are a couple of pictures to give you some idea where Macha, Zambia is located and where in the village our house and MICS are located. (click on the images to see larger size pictures, then just click “back” on your browser to return to the original blog view)
The turn off to Macha is just north of the Village of Choma on the main road from Livingstone to the Capital City of Lusaka. The google Map shows that we are about 70 km. to the north-west of Choma. The blue line on the view is the road from Livingstone to Lusaka and on to the north.
The aerial photo shows our house with the box around it and MICS (the new school) with the oval around it. The Malaria Institute In Macha (MIAM) complex is at the left of the picture and the overall view from the plane is toward the northwest. The road off to the top right of the picture heads out toward the ABFA (All Blessings From Above) airstrip, where the new school campus, Flying Mission dwellings and the headquarters for LinkNet will be located, starting next year.
We miss you all and extend an open invitation to anyone wanting a change of pace from “city life” for a while. The Macha Bed and Breakfast is always open!
We as Americans take so much for granted. Such as the small children knowing about “Valentines”. It is interesting when it has to be explained to kids that “Valentines” (when colored) are not green or brown or yellow. Or maybe in the “bush” they are !!
The children of MICS had a “Big Day” on Valentines Day. They did their coloring, came to the house to frost and eat “Valentine Cookies” and even watch a “VeggieTales” video. All this before going back to the classroom for their treat bags and finally climbing on the back of a “bakkie” for a field trip to the airport. It just so happened that Macha had visitors from South Africa on Tuesday, and it was the first time that a twin-engine plane landed at “ABFA International” (All Blessings From Above).
Last Sunday was another rainy day. We went to the local BIC Church, because they are the ones who started the Mission Station in Macha 100 years ago.
Each Sunday that we have attended, numerous groups have a time of singing. The picture inside the Church is of one of the groups from the Macha Girl’s Boarding School. They attend and sing each Sunday.
After church, it was starting to rain, so the “freeway traffic” was a little slow and congested on the way home. (As can be seen in the picture of the “long Blue Line”.
Because our car is still in the shop in Lusaka, we have walked to whatever is going on in Macha. Not that auto travel in the village is necessary.
This month at MICS the children are learning and hearing about a favorite author…..Dr. Seuss. They are listening to the reading of his books during “Story Time”. Friday, they went on a field trip to “our house” to watch the Dr. Seuss video “Green Eggs and Ham”, after which they participated in cracking open eggs for a snack of both yellow scrambled eggs and “green scrambled eggs”. All of the students ate all of both types of their eggs and also had a cookie that Mrs. Moono made for the occasion.
November to March is the rainy season in Zambia. This year we have had plenty. When it is raining, the soil is like grease when walking and driving. The other day Ben Sakala decided to take a shortcut down a narrow pathnext to the school, and ……… You guessed it! STUCK!!!! It took six men pushing and me driving to get the truck out. The reason I was driving was that when I tried to explain “rocking instead of flooring it” “like in snow” no one could relate. Finally, we went in reverse, with the men periodically lifting the back of the truck away from the bushes to keep from wiping them out.
We went to the local market to be shown where to purchase certain items. Mrs. Grace was our shopping-guide. The attached photos show the local extended-WalMart and us after our purchases.
We purchased some items for Mrs. Moono to “adequately prepare” our meals and also needed to get some pails for washing and collecting trash. Mrs. Grace showed us where we could buy onions and potatoes. We got four small onions for “one pin” (which is 1000 Kwacha) and four small potatoes, also for “one pin”. These were purchased in the open part of the market.
Then we went to find some pails. Ronda wanted two blue pails, one for at home and one for at school, and two blue larger buckets, to be used as trash buckets at home and school. Here was where the fun began. The shop we went in was very dark, in contrast to the bright sunshine outdoors, so it took a little time for our eyes to adjust. Once we could see, there were clothes and items hanging from the ceiling and many things behind the counter. Getting the two small pails was no problem, there is a good turn-over in these. However, the demand for the larger “Blue Buckets” is not as great, so they had to scurry around to find a second “Blue Bucket”. Once found there was more commotion in the back of the shop. Come to find out, the last large bucket must have been there for some time, because they had to clean out the remains of a dead rat (not recently deceased) before it could be sold.
We got our treasures and Ronda snapped the picture of Mrs.Grace, Gil with the “treasures” and Mrs. Sakala, with some of the market in the background.