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Presentation Sisters Union                          News Update June 2009                             Print Version                          

much has been achieved through their generosity.

Now the school can run off copies of documents for each student instead of writing on the blackboard.  We also got to visit the girls’ dormitories – over 70 girls in one long room.  Because many live so far away from school, they have to board here because there is no transport. We finished with a delicious lunch prepared by the Home Economics’ teachers with lots of typical Zambian dishes. Later  we were honoured to be invited to Mr Pythius Tembo’s home.  He lives in teachers’ accommodation which is provided in all schools in Zambia within the school compound.  Pythius lives with four young cousins whom he is helping to rear as they are  orphans.  It was a really nice end to our wonderful day in the High School.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009: Sadly today was our last day in Kaoma Community School.  Again we set off walking at 7.00 a.m. for class.  As a celebration Beatrice had arranged that the older girls and teachers would cook a selection of traditional Zambian dishes for our lunch.  They taught us how to cook shombo (cassava nuts leaves with monkey nuts), milo (sweet potato leaves), ngulu (sweet potato with fried monkey nuts), mwanja (boiled cassava tubers), kapenta (small dried fish), litapi (dried bream fish), and mundambi (sour vegetables).  Also the boys played their part by cooking a large pot of nshima (their staple diet of meali meal).  Of course all these dishes were cooked on many braziers under the blazing Zambian sun as was our meal in Kaoma High school some days previously.

After such an enjoyable day it was difficult to realise that this was the last day we would see some of these children, even harder to contemplate that we may not meet again with Beatrice Nosiku with whom we have built up such a strong relationship since her visit to Carlow in April.  She spoke eloquently of the equality that now marks the partnership between Presentation College, Carlow and Kaoma Community School.

To mark the memorable occasion, we planted a tree in the Community School and also in the High School.

We resisted saying goodbye to the children in the orphanage after such an emotional day and preferred to wait until the morning.  We topped off the night with a lovely tea where the star guests were Rita, Sr Molly, Mrs Beatrice Nosiku and Mr Pythius Tembo.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009: This morning we were woken at 6.30 by our pen pals and other children from Judith House orphanage to say our final goodbyes.  It was very sad because we have grown really close to them all.  We waved them off with a rousing rendition of the Zambian National Anthem as they walked up the dust road towards school.  We then cleared our rooms and said goodbye to the staff and our friends at Judith House. We walked to the bus station and Sr Molly ferried our luggage in the pick-up. Our bus arrived an hour late so it was a tiring wait in the hot sun. The Principal of Kaoma High came to wish us goodbye and also our friend from Youth Alive and the conductor of the parish choir.  When we were driving through Kafue National Park we all saw a huge elephant which was the highlight of our day.  It took six and a half hours to get to Lusaka.  When we arrived at the Presentation Sisters residence we had a well deserved shower and tucked into a nice pizza and then went straight to bed!

Thursday, 4 June 2009: We were up bright and early again for our trip to Livingstone.  The bus was luxurious with a lot of leg room and big comfortable seats.  It was a change from our usual busses!  The journey took 7 hours.  The last 2 hours were bumpy and slow over a dust road.  The heavy rain season has played havoc with the roads here.  On arrival we walked to Faulty Towers Backpackers, watching the spray from Victoria Falls rise up into the sky as we walked.  The hostel is basic but seemed luxurious to us after our stay in Kaoma!!

We crossed the street to Olga’s Restaurant for our evening meal.  This is a joint initiative between Livingstone Diocese and the Italian volunteer organization CELIM. All profits from the restaurant go towards the Training School they also set up.  Here, teenage orphans can do apprenticeships in plumbing, carpentry, catering, brick-laying, dressmaking and computers.

Friday, 5 June 2009: Today was our long awaited trip to Victoria Falls.  It was the most spectacular sight any of us had ever seen.  It stretches out for over two miles and falls from a huge height with a thunderous roar  - hence the name Mosi-o- tuno (the smoke that thunders) The spray rises up from the bottom of the gorge and we got soaked from the back splash.  We walked and viewed from all angles and had our picnic on the shores of the Zambezi.   After that we climbed down through tropical undergrowth to the “boiling pot”, almost 2000 ft. –  this is the gorge where the water falls and swirls around.  There were large and small and baby baboons all around us as we walked!  We sat and looked at the scene for a while.  Above us we could see the bridge that connects Zambia and Zimbabwe.  As we watched a bungee jumper dropped from the bridge – spectacular.  We saw them being hauled up again.  The climb back up was tough but we managed it - just about.  It was an unforgettable day for all of us and even more so for those interested in geography.

Then we visited the market in the car park and bought lots of souvenirs and had lots of fun bargaining. For dinner that evening, we went to an African restaurant where traditional Zambian food was served.

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