By Betty Trummel
When I first visited Shine Zambia Reading Academy four years ago, it was a fledgling school with three teachers and classrooms (a fourth room was used as the kitchen and storage area). Fast forward to June 2014…this school has blossomed into an incredible garden of learning. With six classrooms, a gathering hall, staff room, office, two staff bathrooms and bathrooms for the children, and a spacious library, Shine has tripled its footprint on this piece of land in the compounds of Lusaka.
The staff of three teachers has multiplied into nine, and there’s a full-time librarian. The library not only serves the school teachers and children at Shine, but is open to the community as well. Many former Shine students return throughout each week to use the library as a place to do homework and study.
Teachers have more materials to use for their lessons, and they are very attentive to the needs of the vulnerable children who attend Shine. These educators are eager to keep learning, and so are the children. Students often arrive early and stay late to read and play educational games in the library.
The food program is still in place, with each child being served fortified porridge on a daily basis. A to Z Literacy Movement continues to raise funds to contribute to the cost of the food program and teacher’s salaries.
Things that haven’t changed include the smiles we are greeted with each day. The students work hard and demonstrate how much they want to be at Shine. In the midst of incredible odds stacked against them, they appreciate this opportunity to go to school and to keep learning.
By Mal Keenan
Zambia is slowly building a small middle class. Very slowly.
And with a middle class comes more Zambian drivers.
Imagine a whole lot of 16 year old drivers on the road…that’s kind of
how it looks and feels. Some driving fast. Some driving slow.
Bumper to bumper.
And the cars are changing, too.
Back home in Crystal Lake, my sons and I play the game “Slug Bug” when we
see a Volkswagen bug driving by, and I think I need to get that game going
here in Lusaka as there have been so many “Slug Bugs” passing by.
Slug Bug Green.
Slug Bug Blue.
by Betty Trummel
On our way back to Lusaka last Thursday, I decided to take notes on the
colors, sights, and sounds of the journey. Here’s what I observed
transitioning from rural to urban Zambian life.
• A pink-orange glow greeting us as we left the Village of Hope at 6:00 am
• The smell of charcoal burning (deforestation for the production of
charcoal is an issue here) as the momma’s started the cookers to prepare
the morning meal
• Clouds of red dust as a Zambian woman used a hand-held whisk broom to
sweep trash away from the tarmac (road)
• Bags of charcoal piled high (and precariously perched) on a large truck
being driven in front of us
• Morning traffic on the “death road” (named that because of the many
accidents that occur on this major north-south road out of Lusaka) which
includes not only the traffic on the tarmac, but major foot and bicycle
traffic alongside the roadway; everyone is on the move to start their day
• Children in colorful school uniforms and women in brightly colored chetenge
• Police checkpoints along the way
• A man on a bike with a rolled up mattress and bedding on his back
• Mini-buses and vans packed with people…all overcrowded
• “abnormal load” equals wide load
• A man with a large wheelbarrow carrying 2 bales of hay; another man
using a wheelbarrow with a front extension, carrying bags of charcoal
• As we approached the city of Lusaka there was increased traffic both on
the roadway and adjacent to it, more strip malls and roadside stands, and
much more trash everywhere.
I was already longing for the beautiful agricultural region we had left
less than two hours ago. I’ll miss the stars in the clear night sky,
especially the Southern Cross. I’ll miss the sounds of the farm, except
the ducks quacking outside my window at 6:00 am.