Zambia Trip Update #7 July 26, 2013

And just like that, we had to say goodbye.  After a week together for several hours every day, leaving is not necessarily the easiest! For many of our team, today was the last time they will see these dear children.  We had a great ‘closing day’ with the students and teachers, challenging them to a couple different soccer related activities.  Us PTR coaches also challenged the teachers to a little friendly soccer relay, which we managed to win.  It was great, half the students were chanting “Zambia, Zambia,” in support of their teachers, and then the other half was cheering on our behalf.  Fun for all regardless of the end result.

As our day ended the school had prepared several ‘goodbye’ presentations for us.  Each class had prepared songs for us, and several students also stepped forward to thank us personally as well.  It was touching to say the least, and there were tears in some of our eyes as the realization came that this was goodbye.  Our hope is that for this week, they heard what we shared about the love and message of Christ, and that they saw it in our actions as well.  Our prayer of course is that we will meet all these wonderful smiling faces again in heaven some day, if not here on earth.

Some of the children from this school are local, so we’ll see them around now as the semester has ended…which is GREAT!  In fact, after lunch and our time together discussing Noah’s trusting character, followed by another team members testimony, a couple of these school children met us at the dorm to walk with us to our match for the night.  It turned out that the other team showed up rather late, but we made the most of the time by scrimmaging among ourselves until then.  Finally when the Macha Sparrows had assembled, we enjoyed the friendly competition, losing 2-1 as the darkness surrounded us.

With our little fan club and contingent of school children, we walked ‘home’ singing and talking together. It wasn’t one of our long walks, this one was a mere 10 minutes or so, as this field is the main community field found right behind the local hospital.  We then showered quickly and were back out the door for a walk to a nearby village for a real treat!  On Sunday, we had pre-ordered a meal of tacos, dessert cake, and coffee or tea.

Yes, this was prepared by a local Zambian lady who has amazing cooking skills to say the least.  We were joined by a couple friends we’ve gotten to really know and appreciate since arriving, which made the time even more special.  For our Zambian brothers who had joined us, this was their first taco experience, which they enjoyed…at least so they said!  Many of us ‘experienced’ taco eaters said these were some of the best taco’s we’ve ever had.  And then to be followed by an amazing chocolate cake was a great way to end the meal.  I should clarify that this woman does have dreams of starting a restaurant one day, so we were grateful to support her effort, but we also can now see she definitely has the skills to do so.

Oh I should mention that in addition to this fine meal, we were also served the local beverage of choice, ibbwatu.  There really is no explanation or comparison that can do it justice.  Suffice to say it is a maize based drink that is a milky white color, somewhat sweet, and has maize solids in it as well.  For most of us westerners, it is an acquired taste!  But the team did great in at least trying it, and that’s all we can ask.

After we finished the meal and enjoyed some more fellowship, we enjoyed the star filled sky while walking home.  We have really enjoyed this week for so many reasons…but we are looking forward to a little slower paced day tomorrow!

Loving life in Macha,

The team

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