Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The people here struggle so for just simple things like clean water, shoes, clothes, a little tylenol for headaches. Their eyes tell just a part of their story. What Samfya Community Care Providers are doing here has been amazing and only God could do this. In the last 5 years since I have been coming this community is pulling itself up, surviving, building new homes, new businesses, a new hospital is going up. Like all the fires that occur here daily to burn the bush/grass so new plant life can sprout up, Zambia is slowly springing out of the turmoil it has been under. There is still a huge amount of work to be done but things are definitely moving in the right direction. Our hosts, Mark and Carmen, with their two young daughters, are truly God's lights in this area, leading SCCP, challenging them to achieve more, helping to empower them. I could not imagine two better people for this job - God knows how to pick them! We are heading out of Zambia over the next few days but we all will likely be back.

Had a couple of very good days the last two days. I spent time doing clinic visits, house calls, and teaching a local how to fit people for eye glasses. This mom brought in her unfortunate 21 month old who hot water off the fire spilled and badly burned his legs and arm two days prior. He was one hurting little boy with bad second degree burns, but bravely let us dress his wounds. Drew helped Mark fix some water pumps and also worked with me doing the eye glasses. Jackie has been working with the after school program playing games and teaching them some reading skills. God has really been moving my kids to a more giving heart this trip and they both want to come back in the future.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Camping in Africa!

Over the weekend we went camping in the middle of a Zambian national wildlife refuge - Kasanka National Park. These elephants went walking about 200 yards from our campsite and Drew got about 20 yards from a hippo rustling in the tall grasses before we high-tailed out of that area. Crazy!!! We did a lot of fishing on this river running through it - Drew caught 3 fish, 5 trees, and my glasses which fell into this river. Luckily we did not have to jump into this croc infested river to retrieve my glasses - Drew got lucky and caught them on his lure on the end of his rod. This was a fun camp-out, though it unbelievably got to the low 40s at night. It was like being in a dessert - 80s in the daytime, cold at night. Besides the cold, the pukos - a small antelope - would snort at each other, and the hippos would grunt to help keep us from sleeping. We did all survive!

We even did some truck calls. Here using the flatbed of the pick-up to look at this poor gentleman. He had these severe leg wounds for over 2 years, not being treated at all in this remote village. He is very fortunate to still be alive - some of these villagers are extremely resilient with the circumstances of their life.

Hut Calls

Friday we all made some hut calls to a very remote and impoverished village called Chipako, which SCCP has started to help out. Jackie and Drew spent alot of time trying to entertain the many kids that would gather around by playing frisbee with them while I checked on some very sick clients. The nasty wounds we saw there kept Jackie and Drew more focused on the kids than watching me work. The grass structure in the very middle is their toilet

We have been in Samfya for the past week doing lots of things. Here we are helping Janet, a nurse here with her husband who is helping with the water team, in a small clinic space in the Samfya Community Care Provider's warehouse to help sick community members. This is where we helped train one of them to fit people for eye glasses. We brought 300 glasses this trip. Jackie and Drew also helped the after school program for orphans here and a career day at the high school to help encourage them to learn any kind of trade they can.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Nasty crocs all over around here. We got up close and personal with a few, luckily we were in a high boat. Though a couple of them jumped and freaked out both of my kids. This was one of the older ones, huge and well fed too.

Hippos, hippos, and more hippos

Tons and tons of hippos here and also in the river by the falls. These guys enjoying their favorite passtime - wallowing in the mud. The hippos are the most dangerous animal in Africa - even though they are vegetarian. They do not like anyone in their turf - they will grab you with their jaws and pull you down into the water to leave you for the buzzards - and they look so cute!

Chobe National Park

Saturday we visited a national safari park in Botswana. They have the most wild elephants of anywhere in the world here and it sure did appear that way when in the middle of the day they all came out of the bush to cool off in the waterholes, playing in the mud and spraying off. This family just came out of the pool. There is 1200 elephants in a 60x60 mile area here, all playing and happy. They have even given some away to other neighboring countries because of the crowd, but they seem to be able to make their way back somehow.


The force of the water into this gorge, falling hundreds of feet, causes a mist/rain that seems to be falling up! Luckily this is not really rainy season - at that time they say you cannot even see across to the falls. They give you raincoats to stay somewhat dry - umbrellas would be useless. This is the largest waterfall in the world and one of the seven natural wonders of the world - only 6 more to go! This one is definitely a must-see. You can even walk on top of the falls if you dare, but the guides up there did not seem to be up to OSHA standards. It was fun from our vantage point - no need to get washed over the edge so early in the trip!

Back to Zambia

Hi, finally back to Zambia and this time with just my kids, Jackie and Drew. And finally after all these years I am spending some time sight-seeing. We start at Victoria Falls in Livingston. This is an amazing gorge a mile long where the Zambezi river falls into - it is HUGE - God sure did make one beautiful hole here. Just had to convince Drew not to climb in! We stayed in the Zambezi Sun Hotel right on the falls property in the middle of a national park with giraffe, zebra, monkeys, gazelle and sometimes elephants running through it. From our room you can hear the rumble of the falls and our window even shakes from it. Amazing!!!