Thursday, November 26, 2009

New Aprons!

This may not sound like a big deal to any of you - but it sure is to these women! Uniforms are a sign of being employed, and having a good job. These women have been pushing for full uniforms for longer than I have been here. Talking with the women made me realize that they want to have a way to keep their clothes clean while working, and also look nice. Together we decided that rather than full uniforms now we would start with matching aprons. I bought the fabric, and one of the women (Tabitha) sewed them into these aprons and hair wraps, they are SO happy!
In this picture left to right standing - Catherine, Faides, Tabitha, Chuma, and Precious (coordinator), sitting in front Helen S. and Helen M. These women are the cooks and cleaners here - feeding 48 kids plus all the day students (200+) is a hard job - remember, they are doing the majority of the cooking over an open fire! I really enjoy these women - I feel so lucky that these are the women I get to work with.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Maybin Luya

For those of you lucky folk to have visited the Upeme Project, I am sure you have met Maybin, and like everyone else, been very impressed with him. Maybin has been living at Upeme since it started, he helped build the orphanage, and has done a lot of other jobs around the site during his breaks from school. You will be happy to hear, Maybin finished his grade 12 exams! Unfortunately, his school didn't do any sort of ceremony or anything. He is now in the process of deciding what he wants to do next - a huge decision for anyone. He cannot apply to colleges and universities until he gets his results back, and that could take until April - in the meantime he is looking for work! A big CONGRATULATIONS to Maybin!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


A few posts ago, you may remember us talking about the 7th graders finishing up their exams and now getting to go a for a long holiday while they wait for their results. Samuel was one of those 7th graders - but since the last break he has been asking us if he could make something out of beads - I keep saying yes, but not right now, and then before I knew it he had started exams. He was the last one to get picked up, and that was making him feel a little left out. So one night, we told the other kids to send him to our house, alone! He came and we made beads on a very cool Bead Loom that Sara and Sam had left for the kids. Samuel was so happy!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A small treat!

At last the end of the hot season is over as the rains have started kicking in pretty regularly. This brings a lot of change to life here. Most importantly the temperature has cooled down considerably, which makes just about everything a little nicer. One of the changes that comes along with this change of seasons that is not so pleasant is the massive amount of insects that have started infiltrating our house at night. Some of these insects are pretty interesting with bright shiny colors, others are so big we could put a leash on them and keep them as pets. There is a certain type of insect here that just about everyone (not Katie and me so much) is excited about is an insect called Inswa. They are the size of a small cricket with wings and come in the thousands. At night they swarm and just about cover the house (because of the light on the outside) and everyone scrapes them off into buckets to save, and to eat. Apparently the fry it and it is suppose to taste like chicken, but they haven’t offered us any yet.

Here is a picture of Catherine (2nd grade) holding a bowl of her recent catch. She was so proud!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Zambian Summer!

While the United States is gearing up for winter, in Zambia we are in the middle of a HOT summer! At first I thought it was just me (being from Minnesota and all) that couldn't handle the heat, but it isn't. Everyone is doing whatever they can to stay cool....I thought this was pretty funny. This is Gadrose using a fan that Sara and Sam left from their visit. BUT - this isn't an ordinary fan, it sprays water. The kids love coming over and spraying themselves - it is so funny to watch! Gadrose has nicknamed this fan Mr. Manzi (which means Mr. Water).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tests, tests, and more tests!

This past week was a very important week for our seventh graders - they had tests! These tests will determine if they are able to go on to eighth grade or not, a very big step. These tests could be considered the equivalent to our ACTs...the results will determine what school will accept them.

We have 11 kids from our Centre, 16 total from our school who took the tests. Now that the tests are complete they have to wait to find out their results - I think waiting will be the worst part!
The ones who pass will leave our Centre and move on to Secondary school - we have two houses there - one for our boys and one for our girls.

Now that the kids have finished testing many of them have set off to be with their relatives for this extended break, it was hard to say goodbye this time, once they are at Secondary we only see them once a week, we are used to seeing them ALL THE TIME! The kids are sad too, but we are all excited for the big next step!

You get to enjoy a little but of my computer art - we didn't remember to get a group picture - sorry!