Erika May REPORT (DI)After 4 months in Sweden, 6 in Norway and almost three days ofroad we got to Lusaka. It was worm outside, and we were stilltogether, so even it all of us were very tired we enjoyed a lot thisday. The second day we had to split, and go true our projects. Theroad was long, if I remembered well almost twelve hours. Ieva andMartin were together with me until Mkushi , and they have alreadytalked with the project leaders. Mine was not answering. After awhile I started to panic, and started to think that what will happenif nobody will come and pick me up and I will have to spend thenight alone outside somewhere, but soon my project leader called,he was in a meeting in Challenge, so when I arrived at 3 o’clock inthe night his son came to pick me up. My first night in Samfya I spend it at the office, and I was sotired that I slept until the next morning, when my project matewoke me up with a sandwich. Thenext three days I was just walking around Samfya, to get to know
and get familiar with the place and with the surroundings. Theplace is beautiful, amazing. From the window of the main office,you can see the Bangwalo lake , and the garden is full with sometrees with interesting flowers, but also orange trees and mangotrees. Looking at this nature, and to all the combination of colors,and to the sky with seems much closer and it is very clear, at thenight you can see every constellation, every star, the milky way,you get a feeling of piece. The beach is very close, two minutesfrom the office, and it is very nice. The water is blue and clear, andin some parts some trees are growing in the water.
After getting familiar with the place I had the meeting with myCo project leader, Eleanor, and the next days we visited theministries: the ministry of education, life stock, agriculture,fishery, NZP+ (nation of Zambian HIV positive people), all thepeople with who I will work, and by the end of the first week Iwent for the first time in the field, in Mundubi. The road until Mundubi is like 22-30 km from Samfya, and Iam going usually with the bicycle, but its beautiful. Somewhere tothe middle of the way from Samfya to Mundubi it is a bridge, andthe lake is so blue and clear. On the way you can also find thehouses of the ants between the green big grass. The smaller lakesand swampy areas on the way are full with lake roses, and all the
The houses are small anddifferent. Sometimes I tend to think that they are matching withthis nature. The people are young, they are singing all day, most ofthem are nice and they would share anything they have with you.
They seem really happy. They are very religious, and they also know how to have fun. Inthe Mundubi area they have some kind of tradition, that the youthsare gathering together every night, and they go true the whole areasinging, dancing and playing drums. I also heard that in some of the communities people are stillpracticing witchcraft. I didn’t had the chance to talk with them orto see them yet, but in 6 months I will have time. In the way true the communities, and in the communities thekids are following me everywhere and they are yelling after me“muzungu”, or “how are you”, but it is too bad that most of themcannot speak English and they know only a few words, so I cannottalk with them. In the city, in Samfya it is a little bit different. Forex. I have a neighbor, her name is Aggie she is 5 years old, and shehas a very good level of English, she can also tell stories in
English, and she is drawing very nicely. She is a smart girl. Hermother cannot speak English, but usually she is translating. Now I am in Mundubi, but when I am going in a place I amlooking at what is needed to be done, and I am doing that. Untilnow we established to form a new pre school in the Mubembe Village, with the village actiongroup, we started to make a playing ground for the pre school inMundubi, I had a lot of meetings with the support groups, villageaction groups, and I hap presentations about HIV/AIDS, nutrition,health and hygiene, food security, safe food storage. For safe foodstorage we also made a fruit dryer, and present it to the area leadersto promote it, and we are also promoting it, because mostly in themango season a lot of fruits are going bad. This way they could drythe fruits, and have fruits also later. In the communities I am also promoting the fire wood savingstoves, and the tree planting, because if we are just cutting trees ina some years we could remain without this beautiful nature. I amalso promoting the importance of clean places, clean dishes, theimportance of the dish racks. As I heard a lot of pregnant woman and kids, mostly fewer thanfive are getting sick, so I prepared a presentation about maternaland children under five cares, to present it in the communities, and
to the support groups. Every time I have the chance I am tellingthem about the importance of the safe, clean, boiled water, orinstead of water the use of the tea. I was surprised to see that in thecommunities only a few people are drinking tea, so I had apresentation about all the benefits the tea has, and I had alsodemonstration with tea in Mundubi Pre School and in the school.For the demonstration I used the lemon grass, Artemisia andmoringa , because this plants are also known as prevention againstmalaria, so I am trying to promote them as well. Most of the support groups are making business withagriculture, but most of them they don’t have seeds, and they don’treceive support all the time from the ministries, so I am trying toteach them to save some seeds. If they are eating a papaya, to donot throw the seeds, to keep them, dry them and plant them. Theycan do exactly the same thing with tomatoes, maize, beans and soon. Most of the people in the community are selling everythingwithout leaving anything to eat, so I am also trying to explainabout the right balance between the food grown to eat and to sell. Because the hot season is coming soon, and in this time peoplecannot keep the food neither for one day I came up with the idea tomake a natural refrigerator. It is very simple to make, we need twoclay pots, a bigger one and a smaller one, with is placed inside thebig one, the space between the two pots is filled with wet sand andit is covered with a wet cloth. The food is placed inside the smallerpot, and it can stay for two days or more. This way the people canstore their food safely and it is also another option for business.Some people could start making clay pots and they could sell them. The thing witch seems a little bit more difficult is making themunderstand that they are not doing things for me, or for DAPP, thatthey are doing everything for themselves. Most of the time theyneed somebody to push them to make things. I would also behappy if I could see them trying to do things, and not just waitingeven if they don’t know for sure how, if they would startexperimenting things.
Beside this things, together with my project mate, we are alsoparticipating at common actions, so we made a plan for “KeepSamfya clean” , everything is ready, we are just waiting for theministry of environment to establish the exact date. Some advices for the next DI’s who are coming in Zambia,would be to learn bemba, because mostly in the communities onlya few people are speaking English. You can survive also withoutbecause you have one area leader with you who is translating, butit’s not the same. It is better if you know. He is not with you all thetime. So, kisses for all of you, and see you in less then five months!!