Thursday, October 29, 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015 Livingston to Mwandi, Zambia

As usual Cal was up early, but Rachel slept in.  The Green Tree Lodge did have WIFI this morning, at least most of the time there was a strong signal.  Last night too many people were on the internet so the signal was very week.  Cal posted the blog and began posting photo.  We also SKYPED our daughter and heard via her that our son and daughter-in-law are doing well in Paris.  It was good to touch base with family again. 
By noon we were ready to attend the R C of Livingston which meets at 1:00 for dinner and a business meeting.  After the Rotary meeting our ride was there to take us to the village of Mwandi.  We transferred luggage and were on our way out of Livingston.  5 years ago we were in a Land Cruiser with no A/C.  Today we were in a much newer vehicle that had A/C – what a blessing in this hot weather.  The road out of town was great for the first hour, but the second hour of travel was on a much poorer maintained road (all a continuous highway).  We remembered many of the sights along the way, and we saw changes.
We arrived in Mwandi after a 2-hour drive straight west of Livingston. This road goes from Livingston, Zambia to the country of Namibia.
We first went to a grocery stop where we bought 2 cases of bottled water for us to drink before arriving at the “Homes for Orphans” (H for O) ministry site.  Wow have they made changes! They have built 2 chalets which are en-suite (shower and toilet inside).  Wow are they nice! One chalet sleeps 4 and the other sleeps 10.  Our home for the week is the chalet with four beds. AND there is an electric fan – which is great if the electricity is on.  They also have nice toilet blocks and a nice shower block.  They are in the process of building a concrete block wall around the perimeter of the property/camp, instead of a boundary of medium sized twigs stuck vertically in the ground about 2 inch apart.  The wall is more secure against stray dogs, snakes, kids throwing stones at their dogs, etc.  The dining/kitchen area is the same, the tents where we stayed the last time are still intact, but have been repositioned for the chalets.  They now have running water all over the facility, in the chalets, kitchen, shower blocks, etc., electricity from the grid rather than from their own generator, and flush toilets in the chalets and toilet blocks rather than “long drops”.  All is a very big improvement.

Paula and Dan began this mission, to build homes for grandmothers raising their orphan grandchildren, (due to AIDs) in 2007.  When we were here in 2010 they just had the basics. While we were here there was a Rotary dedication of the new well/pump/storage tank on the property.
They have connected with organizations where (usually) kids and young adults sign-up to do a short term volunteer project somewhere in the world.  Through this, they now have school groups who come to have an African experience.  As H for O have hosted more groups and people, they use a certain portion of the fees to improve the property.  They are in the process of developing a camping site for campers who may be coming this way – there are no campgrounds for a 300-mile stretch of highway and they feel this could be a great service for self-catering campers. 
Home for Orphans Camp - Our Home for a couple days

Kitchen Dining Area

Dining Area

The same Tent we used in 2010

Water Heater/Barrel with Fire and Outdoor Shower Facility

Our Chalet for 2015

Water Heater

Some more Tents

Paula's House

The Small /Chalet Rachel Painted in 2010

Paula's Old House now a Fire Ring

A few minutes before we arrived a school group, from the UK, of 6 girls (15 years old) and 3 adults arrived.  They are with the group called “True Adventure”.  They set up tents and cooked their own supper, while we put our stuff in the chalet and the cooks, Berry & Mary, prepared supper for us. It was so hot last evening!! There is no place to go to get cool unless it is a shower.  I have been using a damp microfiber towel around my neck which definitely helps. 

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