We’ve only got about 10 days left in Zambia. So little time, so much to do…
Robert feels the building project at Heart of Africa Mission is at the stage where he can comfortably leave the rest up to the workers there. The buildings will house the teacher training college they wish to begin in May. Besides knowing he has headed a successful project, he has very much enjoyed working with the African men.
One older worker, John, 66, impressed Robert with his hard work and good attitude. Robert often drove him home, as it’s on his way. John told him, “People ask me, ‘why does the Mzungu (white) man work so hard? I tell them, it is so that you can learn from him!” That is Robert’s hope – that the men have learned from him – not just to work hard, but also how to do a job well and some of the skills to do so.
After the first two days on the building site, Harold was going to send Everesto home again. He was painstakingly slow and didn’t seem to know much. We’re all glad he didn’t. This young man turned out to become a good faithful worker. Robert feels that’s as much a measure of success as the finished project itself. The experience will make Everesto more employable somewhere else.
Yesterday we met with some of the Bukuumo members under the trees of City Square to discuss the issue of the squatters on the farm. Robert told them he was really happy to see them coming up with good ideas and making decisions to move forward. I feel the women have become a stronger presence in the cooperative. So maybe we have helped to facilitate some movement after all.
Robert and I have an exciting two days ahead of us – we’ve been invited to visit a large commercial farm in the Mkushi area, one of the oldest and largest farming blocks in Zambia. An Indian company out of Nairobi, Kenya, bought 4,250 acres of land there, of which 1,125 acres are under irrigation. We met the owners of this company last year in Nairobi. They were interested in setting up a chicken layer business on the Bukuumo land at the time.
Their Zambian manager asked us to visit the farm with him for two days. He would like Robert’s thoughts on what is happening, or should happen there. I get to go along for the ride. This will be quite a change from working with hoe farmers!