This summer, student and teachers from St Robert’s embarked upon their inaugural visit to Lusaka, Zambia. From the playing fields of Lusaka to the edges of the Victoria Falls and plains of Chobe National Park, the students conducted themselves impeccably and positively affected the lives of countless young Zambians.
Sport in Action, our partner NGO, focuses on the positive impact that sport can have upon impoverished communities, which are often affected by high levels of unemployment, crime, exclusion and many health risks, including HIV and AIDS. By organising and encouraging children and young people to attend sport sessions, it is hoped that sport can be used as a medium to educate young people, develop motivation, self-development and self-reliance and help improve their health and quality of life. During our two weeks in Zambia we worked with local volunteers, organising and delivering school PE lessons, community sports initiatives and health awareness workshops within the deprived areas of the city’s compounds. One of the values SIA prides itself on is sustainability and accountability; all of SIA’s programmes are coordinated and delivered by local Zambians throughout the year, and each one is reported on and reviewed annually. Every penny that is donated goes to Sport in Action’s projects, and the organisation’s financial reporting and transparency is to be admired.
On that note, it falls to me to thank all who helped the students in their fundraising efforts over the course of the year. I recognise that this is not an easy undertaking and requires careful planning and a genuine commitment; this trip would not be possible without your support, so thank you. You have made a real difference to the lives of countless young Zambians through your donations and support. I hope that this diary, compiled by the students, will provide you with a small insight into the visit. As part of the visit, the students made a £2000 donation to Sport in Action for use in their programmes. We will report upon how this money has been used through St Robert’s as it is deployed and reports are produced later next year.
Once again, thank you so much for your support over the past year. I hope this is just the beginning of a truly life-changing partnership.
Zambia: The Journey
On day 1 we spent our entire day travelling to Zambia. Despite my premature arrival to the airport at 3.30 am Bethany was late and I was afraid of missing our flight. Luckily, that wasn’t the case. After my anxious wait to see whether or not I’d over packed we all got our cases weighed successfully, said goodbye and boarded the plane. Our first flight was direct to Amsterdam and as soon as we got off the plane Mr. Flavell revealed a worried face of realization – he had left his mobile phone on the plane. Once Mr. Flavell retrieved his phone we all began to explore Amsterdam airport, Nour and I sprinted to McDonalds and we all were eager to try out the flat escalators. After a slightly uncomfortable search by the airport workers we endured a lifelong flight of 12 and a half hours, but thankfully there was a large choice of films including; Saving Mr. Banks and Divergent to keep us entertained. Arriving in Zambia, we were amazed at how smoothly everything had been so far and to top it all off Siobhan was given a free visa into Zambia due to her Irish origin. However, not all luck was in Siobhan’s favor as after tediously watching the conveyer belts full of suitcases, we realized that her suitcase hadn’t been delivered which contained all of her Malaria tablets, Mosquito net and other vital equipment; thankfully Miss Foster had packed spares of everything! After we traced Siobhan’s case back to Amsterdam and were guaranteed a speedy delivery of the case we were greeted by our house mates and travelled in a brilliant bright yellow bus to our house. We arrived home and instantaneously I spotted a ginormous spider – but that was only a taste of what was to come, which we quickly realized as soon as we saw the spider in Mrs. Chappell’s room. This resulted in Rebecca frantically spraying her insect repellent all over our room while the rest of us were left to choke.
Zambia: Day 1
The morning after our arrival we went to an induction in the Sport in Action office and we were able to ask all of our personal enquiries, including Sarah’s personal favorite “Are we allowed to cuddle and carry the kids?”. During the day we visited our two placements, St Patrick’s – the all girls school where the playground was filled with enthusiasm and excitement after seeing the 10 Muzungus and then we went to Mtendere – a mixed community school. Then we visited the Wi-Fi café, so Sarah could see how many messages she received and how many people were missing her, sadly for Sarah, she only had two. Afterwards, we visited the local Spar where we stocked up on personal essentials – chocolate, Fanta and Pringles. After a busy and tiring day we were cooked a gorgeous meal of pasta and chicken – all credit due to Miss Foster and Sarah. Just before bed I spotted the father of the spider we found the night before and told Rebecca, her reaction was hilarious as she sprinted into my arms and screamed hysterically. We told Siobhan and she was eager to catch it. After Siobhan put on a tremendous show catching the spider it plummeted from the wall into Rebecca’s suitcase and she was not impressed. Our day provided us with a brilliant insight into the fascinating culture of Zambia and our incredible placements.
Zambia: Day 2
Today we visited Fountain of Hope! To get there we had to use the public bus, which was an experience! About 40 people squeezed onto a 10-seater but it turned out to be very beneficial as we were invited round someone’s house for Zambian tea, thanks to Siobhan! On the walk I made a gorgeous little friend who was also called Sarah (fate or what) she gave me a high five and then a cuddle! Fountain of Hope was massive and lovely to see how many lives they help and how hard they worked for each other. Introducing ourselves was exciting, firstly nobody believed I was 16 which I don’t know whether to take as a insult or compliment hahah and then a 10 year old boy said he wanted to marry me which was the cutest thing yet most embarrassing thing ever! Can’t get over how friendly everyone here is! We sang and danced with a group of girls for a full hour and were completely shown up due to how fantastic they were! In the house chilling now playing cards and Mr. Flavell is thinking he’s a pro… Ordering some pizzas and having a zamfam night in: -D
Zambia: Day 3
Today was the day of Mass. We all got dressed up – which we loved more than we should have – and set off walking for church. I think it’s fair to say that we attracted a lot of attention looking like we did. When we arrived at the church, we discovered that we were a bit early and the mass we were actually attending was a children’s mass. The mass involved a lot of singing – which was an interesting experience and we were welcomed by the entire church when they asked visitors to stand. Once mass was over, we waited outside of the church and we were warmly greeted by a group of Zambian children that attended the mass. They were all very eager to shake our hands, respectfully bow and take photos with us. Once our lift had arrived we visited the market outside of the arcades. We managed to practice our bartering skills and get a lot of bargains between us. After the market, us girls sat in a restaurant and ordered a few Fanta’s whilst the teachers (practically our parents for this trip) did the big Zamfam shop – of course we bought them a drink afterwards to say thank you and kept an eye on the trolley so that nobody took anything from it. We arrived home and ate a delicious yet spicy chili, followed by a few more games of “guess the intro”. We then gathered in the sitting room with the Zambians that are living in our house and watched the world cup final. It was an intense match that ended in disappointment for some of us. But all in all it was another great day in Zambia.
Zambia: Day 4
Today we had another early start and a long journey to Chongwe! We spent the journey singing some old school classics, the teachers and everyone walking past loved it. Alfred, our peer leader, introduced us to the head teacher of the school in the rural village, he was so pleased to see us. There were other volunteers who were staying at the village who showed us where they were sleeping, which made us all really appreciate our house back in Lusaka. The girls had no beds and were sleeping on mattresses in a cramped classroom. Alfred then proceeded to take us to the field behind the school where we all led different activities. After splitting the children into groups our group took charge of the parachute games, which the children really seemed to enjoy despite the language barrier. The other group led football and games, which the children loved too! After the hour session Alfred then took us to meet the head woman of the village. After our greeting she took us into her house, which was pretty small. Her English was pretty poor so Alfred translated her many thanks and gratitude, and Miss Foster’s speech. To show her thanks she presented us with 3 large pumpkins and a live chicken!! We found it hilarious at the time but Alfred then went on to explain how much of an honour it was. We decided to name the chicken Fred and he travelled back home on the bus with us. However he has since laid an egg and it has come to our attention that Fred is actually a girl. We ended another great day in Zambia with a few games of charades and who’s who, which was a right laugh.
“They probably wont remember what you said, they probably won’t remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel”
Zambia: Day 5
Today we woke up very early to start our first day on placement. We were out of the house by eight o clock and went to University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and worked with the special needs school. We split off into our groups and my group played netball with the girls where the others played football with the boys. Although we only played for an hour the children loved it and getting their photos taken was very exciting! We left UTH and went back to the office and met our peer leaders. Mrs. Chappell led my group (Beth, Lauren, Chloe and Sarah) to St Patrick’s school. It was a Catholic all girls school and we worked with peer leaders Memory and Chiko. There, we played Netball for two hours with the under 15 squad. We had so much fun and the girls were amazing at netball! The heat soon got to us so when it was time to leave I think we all downed a litre of water! Thirsty work. Also it was a race for the shower too, everyone was covered in dust and no matter how much you scrubbed you never felt clean. To top the day off though Mr. Flavell made a lovely Spag Bog!
Zambia: Day 6
We spent our entire day on placement at Mtendere today. Our day began at 8 in the morning after leaving the Sport in Action office and travelling there by bus. After we arrived we began by splitting the children into three groups. Nour took the easy route, obviously, and took the only two pieces of equipment we had, the parachute and the ball. Which left Bex and me with nothing but our natural talents. I began by teaching the hokey cokey, ring a ring a roses, head, shoulders, knees and toes followed by horses and jockeys. After lunch we had a theory session for female empowerment where me, Bex and Nour helped to teach the girls about HIV and AIDS. It was challenging because we weren’t entirely sure on the topic but it went quite well considering. The other girls from the St Patrick’s placement came and joined to coach football. After a long walk through bushes, and over a river, we arrived and again split into 3 groups focusing on passing, possession and fitness. This was fantastic and everyone had a great time! Afterwards, we went on our long walk back to Pik n Pay to get some bits and bobs before heading home for showers, food and games! Another perfect day!
Zambia: Day 7
We began the day at our placement UTH special school, all of the children once again welcomed us with lots of hugs. Mrs. Chappell’s group played netball and our group played football. I joined in the football with all of the boys as Nour and Siobhan played a little game with the smaller children at the side, they used a ball with a bell inside which I assumed was for those that were deaf, I had never seen one before. One boy at UTH school loved to dance, he really enjoyed the go-pro. After that we went to the office and had lunch as we waited for Alfred to arrive. Once he arrived we set of to Mtendere, as we walked down the alley way to the school many people were desperate to talk to us shouting Muzungu and wanting to talk to us, I was a bit worried at first but they just want to talk to us and say hello! At our placement we played netball with the under 17’s, we did a warm up of relays and then followed that by a passing game up and down the court. It was Jerome’s last day on placement so we took lots of photos. The girls were so sad to see him leave. They tried there hardest to get him to take him to England. When we arrived back at the house it was the night Fred was going to be killed, however he was no-where to be seen. We had lost him. Everyone thought that Sarah had let him out the gate however she was sure she hadn’t. The only thing we could think of was that Amos the house cleaner had let him out by accident. Later that night we packed for Livingstone and since we were so busy packing, and with no Fred to eat we got a subway for tea; I’m not exactly sure what mine was but it was UNREAL or as Miss Foster would say Incredible. They were so much better than a usual plain lunch-time sandwiches.
Zambia: Day 8
Today we woke up at 4am to leave Lusaka and to travel to Livingstone, we were all so excited for our break away, despite some early morning blues. We took the yellow bus up to the bus stop and then we were kindly accompanied by Steven through the bus station. It was a very strange experience as everybody was trying to persuade you to use their bus. It was a very sad experience too, as we were able to see many homeless people wrapped in small and worn blankets by the bus station, that was a very eye-opening experience for me and it allowed us to appreciate just how fortunate we all are. Once we were on the bus we endured a slightly tedious and long 7 hour bus journey but it was certainly worth the wait. I thoroughly enjoyed the sites along the way and all of the children and locals were incredibly eager to catch the attention of the Muzungus. When we eventually arrived in Livingstone people tried to persuade us to use their taxies or buses again and it was difficult to keep saying no, especially as they were so persistent. Miss Foster knew what to do though and organised for us to take a taxi to Jolly Boys, where we would be staying Friday and Sunday night. The décor was vibrant and fascinating and it had a great, warm and welcoming atmosphere. We settled into our rooms and began getting ready for Victoria Falls and we were all so enthusiastic and excited, we wrapped up all our valuables in plastic bags and hid them in safe places to protect them from the wrath of the waterfall. We were picked up by taxis to go to the falls and as we were approaching Victoria Falls we saw an abundance of Baboons and we were all fascinated by watching them in their natural habit, jumping and running wherever they fancied. Once we had paid our entry fees we entered the falls and instantaneously, we were enthralled by the sights in front of our own eyes, immediately we discovered why Victoria Falls is considered a true wonder of the world. The view was incredible and it seemed too good to be true, the flow of the water was illuminated by the beautiful beaming day time sun and the waterfall looked absolutely amazing. We were all so fascinated we insisted on staying at each platform where you could view the waterfall for long periods of time, so that we could embrace and appreciate the beauty and wonder of Victoria Falls. As we got closer to the main flow of the falls we felt so happy that we were able to experience such picturesque sights. As we walked across a large bridge in between the falls we rapidly became soaked, all of our clothes were dripping wet and mascara was streaming but we couldn’t have had more of a fantastic time. The sprays from the waterfall were so strong and powerful that it was difficult to see whilst walking across the bridge, but we were able to embrace the peace and tranquillity of the falls without seeing anything. The sounds of the rippling water were very therapeutic and we were able to get very close to the falls and it was a prime photo taking opportunity that we all seized. However, the beauty of the falls could never truly be captured, especially as the atmosphere and sounds from the falls largely contribute to the beauty. For a while we sat by the falls and embraced our time there by not talking or taking photos and just appreciating this incredible experience, this moment was heightened by a school group singing in the background. Despite the relaxing environment Mr. Flavell was not as relaxed as a sneaky Baboon tried to seize the opportunity to take off with his bag while Mr. Flavell was facing the other way – the Baboon wasn’t so lucky. Once we were finished at the falls we headed to the shops where we put the bartering skills that we had already acquired into further practice, however, due to the tourist nature of the location we had to drive a hard bargain as they were not afraid or hesitant to rip off the Muzungus. While we were shopping a woman outside had a shocking encounter with a Baboon, as it walked towards her and she frantically panicked. We took the same taxis back to Jolly Boys and had an excellent time as our radios were synchronized and we had some brilliant music on in them, including ‘Ice Ice Baby’. Each time Siobhan, Nour and I turned our heads we could see Miss Foster, Sarah and Chloe having the time of their lives waving their hands out of the window and singing their hearts out. Once we arrived back at Jolly Boys we showered and had a meal of Butternut squash soup and spag bol. Afterwards we were able to use the Wi-Fi and talk to those back at home which was lovely and then, after a long yet great day we headed off to bed to rest for another early morning get up as on Saturday we were going on safari in Botswana, we were all so excited.
Zambia: Day 9
Today we had our first day on safari and it was incredible! First we had to take a little speedboat across the water to enter Botswana where I got the best group selfie ever! We stopped to have a cup of tea and a snack then walked onto our safari boat. The view was so so amazing and we managed to see crocodiles, hippos, elephants and buffalos all beside the water. We then went back for lunch and had a cute buffet then continued onto our jeep safari. Our tour guide was called ‘OD’ and made it clear it DID NOT mean ‘overdose’. We saw some beautiful animals for example giraffes, more buffalos, impalas, lions and more elephants. The lions walked right behind our jeep and we followed then all the way round the park, then we pulled up right beside an elephant, which was touching distance away, we couldn’t have been more lucky! After every stop when OD wanted to move he’d say “all good?” which we still find hilarious now! Lastly, we watched the sunset, which was so nice that even Mrs. Chappell started to cry. It was bright red and pink! After that we made our way to camp which was literally just plastic, thin tents in the middle of the park where all the animals could easily get us and the man thought it was a good idea to inform us that leopards regularly came onto camp but it was ok because Miss Foster said we had to appreciate it as we were never going to do it again! The toilet, if you can even call it that, was an adventure in itself. It was just four poles with a hole in the ground and it didn’t help that they fell on you every time you went. It was such a good night even though we were all scared to death, we all sat round the campfire playing the “humming” game and the stars were the most AMAZING things I have ever seen in my whole entire life there was so many and you could literally see the milky way! SPEECHLESS! I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to have been with, zamfam always.
Zambia: Day 10
Our second day on safari and we were woken up at 5.45am. We quickly got ready, tidied up our tents, had a quick cup of tea around the camp fire and set off in the jeeps to watch the sun rise. We were situated in the perfect spot to just quietly watch the sun slowly rise into view. The sky was filed with different shades of pink. Once we had watched the sun rise, we headed out for our first game drive. On this drive we saw much of the same amazing animals including elephants and lions and we were amazed and very lucky to see a leopard. We watched it through the trees before it walked into clear view and jumped into a tree. Our first game drive was followed by brunch back at the camp. After a break of sitting around the camp then spending a good 15 minutes laughing at Chloe sat in the tent (apparently she looked like a worm) and showers for those who wanted them. We received a lovely meal then packed up our things and bundled back onto the jeeps for our final game drive. Again we saw most of the same animals but we got a bit closer to them this time, including a herd of elephants passing in front of our jeep. All in all, safari was an absolutely incredible experience but makes driving on normal roads boring! We were back at the border for just after 4 o’clock and once we’d eventually got over the border, back into Zambia, we got on the buses headed for Jolly boys. Whilst on the bus a laughing fit broke out, started by Sarah, which seemed to annoyingly last the entire journey and only stopped when we reached Jolly boys. Tonight was Zambia night and we were slightly disappointed to see that nshima was not on the menu – the food was still delicious though. Dinner was followed by Zambian drums around the fire. It was all very exciting as we each got our own drum and were taught different rhythms. We were also made to sing and Rebecca volunteered to dance which was funny for the rest of us. The fabulous drumming was followed by a quick shower for a few of us and an early night in preparation for the long day of travelling ahead. It was another brilliant day in Zambia!
Zambia: Day 11
Today we had another fairly early morning breakfast at Jollyboys before the long drive home to Lusaka. This gave us a chance to reflect, relax and catch up on some sleep in preparation for our evening treat for Sarah’s birthday! When we got home, all of the girls enjoyed having the chance to dress up and have a dance in the living room! Rhapsody’s was amazing. We were greeted with cocktails on arrival (non-alcoholic, of course) and ordered the most incredible food. At the end of the meal, we celebrated Sarah’s birthday in a special way with birthday cake and candles. Sarah was also presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, which she loved!! Another incredibly special day with the Zamfam.
Zambia: Day 12
After an extreme amount of early mornings today we were allowed a delightful lie in. However throughout the night I got woken up by a very loud clucking sound outside, it had to be a chicken. When we all got up after our lie in we went to see if we could find him, Amos said that he had seen him that morning, so with placement not starting until the afternoon we decided today had to be the day of the death. So after scrambled egg for breakfast we got ready. The plan was for Mr. Flavell to kill him and me and Siobhan to help. We tried hard to catch Fred yet there was no hope, Mr. Flavell managed to corner Fred yet he still couldn’t catch him. Fred then ran underneath the bus in the garden but he disappeared we looked all around the garden but couldn’t find him anywhere until Chloe looked in the bus and he was sat inside, it turns out there was a hole in the bus! We tried everything to make him come out but he wouldn’t. Eventually in his own time Fred came out, he ran around and Amos came, he laughed because we hadn’t caught him yet so he just walked to him and simply picked him up, got some string and left him on the kitchen floor whilst we boiled hot water. Amos laughed at us as we nervously waited and thought it best if he took Fred and killed him for us. Then we put the chicken in the water and waited 20 minutes until we could pluck him, the skin was very stretchy. Then we left him and Amos said while we were at placement he would kindly cut out the insides. We went to the office had dinner then headed to placement. Today everyone came to Mtendere. We took the netball session, we played a passing game then shark attack with an added netball, then after we played a game. When we got back to the house we cooked Fred, after a short power cut. For tea we had Fajitas with a bit of Fred on the side, Fred was very chewy, and Mr. Flavell surprised me by persuading me to eat what I thought was intestine however it was an even worse part (worst experience ever). Also as I was busy writing my diary I realized he had eaten ALL of the chicken. I’m sure I will forgive him though. ♯TIA
Zambia: Day 13
This was our first full day back on placement after returning from Livingstone. The usual Wednesday for the Mtendere placement consisted of teaching PE in the morning and joining with everyone to teach girls in action followed by football. Me, Nour and Bex had planned our session the night before as last time it ended up being a free for all after Nour took the parachute AND the football, our only two pieces of equipment. This time we had skipping ropes but no parachute. The groups were larger today than the previous week but we split into three groups. Bex played games such as sheep sheep come home and did some energizers whilst Nour also played various other games. I had the skipping ropes but as we only had 9 pairs we eventually had to tie some together and make a giant skipping rope and play games to try and get all the children involved. They were so enthusiastic and put so much effort into whatever you asked them to do. I thought the younger children would be the hardest to teach as they speak very little English, but after demonstrating they got the hang of it and were able to even teach me some games to play.
After the St Patrick’s group had arrived we began the girls in action session. Nour and I were given the topic of menstruation, Bex and Beth had women in sport and Chloe, Sarah and Lauren had marriage. It was challenging talking about Menstruation as we didn’t get much response from the girls, mainly because of the language barrier. However the following day I had girls come up and ask me questions when no-one else was there so I think it was also down to embarrassment. I think these sessions are vital as some of the girls I spoke to, who were as young as 13, were leaving school early to go home and cook for their family. They were also genuinely shocked at the fact that I was 17 and not married. They asked us a lot of questions about England and the difference in culture which shocked them when I told them what is typical in England. After lunch we walked to the field to teach football. There was a little girl who followed us everywhere, she could not speak English but she was always willing to learn and participate in our games. She was called Zazitta and was the only girl taking part in football. When we got there we split into groups after doing a group warm up of shark attack. In my group we played under and over and side to side as well as incorporating various exercises and challenges to make it competitive for the children. We then all joined together for a group game. I really enjoyed being referee for the game and the boys playing were very enthusiastic and loved the game. After we finished we walked back to Pik n Pay to get taxis back to the house. Whilst waiting for the taxis two evangelical Christians came up to us and tried to get us to surrender our life to Jesus, even though we told them we were all from a Catholic school, but James the taxi driver turned up and sadly we didn’t have time. When we got back everyone relaxed and at about 7 I made chili for tea. Halfway through there was a power cut but it didn’t last too long.
Zambia: Day 14
Early Morning rise again and we went to the office first thing. We started placement at UTH and it was a little sad as it was our last visit to the children. However we left on a high as we played skips and we dance and sang and we loved it as much as the children did. I learned how to sign my name too. Leaving UTH in a better mood than expected our group went to St Patrick’s and had an awesome PE session working with the parachute! We played netball afterwards with the team and I played centre again which involves most running so I was absolutely sweating! Though my team wonJ! We then had a girls empowerment talk about periods and the girls joined in and didn’t feel uncomfortable thankfully. Chiko lead the session and we helped answer any questions. That night we invited Memory, Chiko and Alfred for pizza night to say goodbye and gave them a card and a little gift each. It was really sad to say goodbye to them cause they made us feel so welcome and we became very close to each other. We had a sing and dance though before they left and Memory braided my hair too. When the night did come to an unfortunate end Alfred said some touching words as did the girls but final goodbyes could wait until tomorrow! Going to miss them so much L
Zambia: Day 15
Today was the day that we had all been dreading. We began the day by sorting out all of our donation items while we listened and danced to ‘Your love is relentless’, which added a lot of poignancy to our morning and consequently a few tears were shed. Afterwards, we headed to the S.I.A office to have a meeting to conclude our time here and on placements and to give positive and critical feedback to ensure that the projects are able to continue to prosper. This was a lovely concluding meeting and it allowed us to all think about the time we have had here and what we have learnt and gained. This again led to some serious eye watering. Then we went off to our two separate placements, Mtendere and St Patrick’s. At St Patrick’s to begin our day we had a PE session with very young children at the school where we spoke about issues associated with hygiene, we played with the big skipping ropes with the children thoroughly enjoyed and we did numerous energizers and songs, such as my personal favourite ‘Ride that pony’. There was an abundance of young children surrounding us who were fascinated by the muzungus dancing and singing and they couldn’t contain their infectious giggles. We were surrounded by a surreal amount of children who kept playing with our hair and talking to us. Then, we held another PE session with girls of a very similar age to us and we astounded by the numbers we had to deal with, there were more than 100 children in the session. We played an array of games such as; Red rover, dodgeball and we also played many energizers and sang lots of songs with corresponding dances which were brilliant, despite my hesitance to dance in front of a circle of over a hundred staring children. Then we played some netball with our favourite netball girls and this made us all exceptionally exhausted and then we had to say our goodbyes to the girls, this was incredibly sad and I was so upset to say goodbye to such wonderful girls, especially Charity. We also had to say our goodbyes to Chiko and Memory, the peer leaders who we absolutely love; this was very difficult because they were so lovely and very helpful during our trip. Then we headed to Mtendere with a suitcase full of items for donation, we joined up with the other girls and watched them lead their football session, which was excellent. Afterwards, the children tried on some of the football strips and their faces were beaming with excitement. This was a brilliant end to our trip and we said goodbye to Alfred, this was very sad because he had been amazing the whole trip and he showed his appreciation by getting the children in a circle to perform some kilos. We said goodbye to all of the football group and children and headed home. As our cupboards were almost empty in the house and Mrs. Chappell did not fancy a tuna pasta we decided to go out for a meal, for our last night. We went to Manda Hill to a restaurant called Chicago’s which had an incredible atmosphere and we had a brilliant meal. Once we arrived home, we tucked in our mosquito nets for the last time and we reminisced on our wonderful time in Zambia.
Zambia: Going Home
After a hearty team breakfast of scrambled eggs on toast – courtesy of Siobhan – we embarked upon our morning tasks of packing and cleaning. With the help of Sammy’s music and Steven’s entertainment, this was fairly painless and we were ready for lunch in no time. As a last day treat, the Zamfam headed to Rhapsody’s to reminisce on some highlights and reflect upon our time in Zambia. We were only sorry that it was not Sunday so Lauren could top up on a few more souvenirs! A trip to the Spar to spend any last pennies was appreciated, and Topdeck seemed to be the order of the day. Lemmy and Sakala, two of our team drivers, picked us up and we made a quick stop at Manda Hill for Zambian football shirts before heading home. When we got back to the house we found Sammy slaving away in the kitchen preparing Zambia night for us! It was an experience for us all as we were not allowed to use cutlery; sharing ideas and techniques as to the best ways to scoop beans with our nshima was a must! This was a perfect way to end the trip of a lifetime, in the living room laughing and sharing stories, despite a few tears here and there! Eventually it was time for our last trip in the big yellow bus and Mubanga and George escorted us to the airport, thoroughly entertained by chants of ‘Mtendere!’ and ‘One day, one day’ to pass the journey. A quick trip through security, a short wait and we were on the plane heading home. Seeing our friends and family as we walked out of Newcastle airport was fantastic and we couldn’t wait to share our stories.