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Presentation Sisters Union                          News Update June 2009                             Print Version                          

in the schools as planned, they toiled alongside these women harvesting the maize, sunflower, soya bean etc. which will be the food for these families for the next months. They engaged in a spirit of good cheer and laughter as they sang and danced, getting the harvest in, discovering how much hard work is required to put food on the table in the homes around Kalomo.

Sr Teresa Molloy brought a small group (two students and one teacher) with her each morning as she went on her rounds of clinics in the area. Thankfully most of the people met on these trips are now healthy and well but on each visit the students were exposed to the reality of life in this part of Zambia and how precious life is. Visiting and interacting with the students of the schools in the area (Green Acres and the Community primary schools) was full of laughter and fun as well as some learning.  The students had prepared very well for these encounters and after their time in the schools the walls of the classrooms were brightly decorated with the Irish and Zambian students drawings and colouring.

There were many football games played both the Irish and Zambian teams striving for victory but the winning was not important it was the participation by all that made the encounters so special. The Irish students also enjoyed a visit to the world famous Victoria Falls as the country had a lot of rain this year the falls were particularly full and great fun was had by all as they endured an absolute soaking. A big thank you to all who made the trip so successful and to the people of Kalomo a very special thank you.

Carlow Trip: The Carlow Group kept a diary of their visit. It was written by a different student each day.

Thursday, 21 May 2009: We arrived at 6 a.m. after a very comfortable, hassle-free flight.  Having dropped our bags at the Presentation Sisters house, we continued on to Kalingalinga parish where Fr. Eamonn Hayden had prepared a lovely breakfast.  

Fr. Eamonn is chaplain to a nearby Aids Hospice run by Mother Teresa’s Sisters.  We were introduced to the patients, some of whom were very sick.  It was difficult for us to see this but the hospitality and warmth of the men and women we met was amazing.  We were welcomed by their singing and we sang some songs in return, both African and Irish.  We visited the younger children and babies.  It was hard for us to realize that some of them have Aids.  They were so cute and we didn’t want to leave. Afterwards we walked around the  shanty town where Fr Eamonn lives and saw first hand the poverty.

Friday, 22 May 2009: Today we visited Matero Boys High school where Ms Territ taught some years ago.  We had the opportunity to chat with Grade 11 and 12 classes (equivalent to 5th and 6th Yr in Ireland). We shared our culture and answered their many questions about our country, ranging from religion to  politics, even the existence of leprechauns in Ireland!

It was really interesting and very educational.  We got an idea of how our own age group live and the similarities and differences between both cultures. In the morning we are off to Kaoma, a 5 hr journey by bus.  We’re really looking forward to meeting Sr Mollie and her children and also our two visiting teachers, Beatrice and Pythius.

Saturday, 23 May 2009: Today we woke up at 6 a.m. so we could get the 8.30 bus to Kaoma.  We were told in advance about the “porters”  who would crowd around us at the bus station wanting to help us put our bags on the bus!  They look so  bedraggled and all are fighting for a little business.   We finally got on the Kaoma bus and a preacher started preaching.  It was really cool because this was a new experience for us.  We travelled through Lusaka and saw the markets and the shanty towns on the outskirts.  

We travelled for about two and a half hours until we got to the Kafue National Park.  We couldn’t see any animals at first but then they came out all of a sudden.  Between us we saw empala deer, lots of warthogs, monkeys, hyena, zebras and as we crossed the Kafue river we saw a crocodile.  An elephant was seen down by the river.  It was amazing to see the animals in the wild and we were a lot more excited than the Zambians!  It took an hour to get through the Park.

We reached Kaoma at 2.30 and Sr. Mollie and Sr. Virginia were there to meet us.  We got our cases from the bus with a lot of hustle and bustle from another set of porters in Kaoma, all friends of Sr Mollie and slightly inebriated because of the bank holiday weekend! As a result they looked even more bedraggled than those in Lusaka!  They finally managed to load our bags safely. At the guest house we found a brand new kitchen and solar powered lights.  We had a lovely lunch prepared by our cook, Charles.  We then went over to the orphanage where Rita and the children greeted us with songs. It was very touching.  We met with our pen pals with whom we have been corresponding.  We are now certain that we have made a group of Zambian friends.

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