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Wes and Doreen's news

March 2014

Dear family and friends:

While Wes is still painting one of the bedrooms in our house here in Zambia (we were up at 5:00 and it now is 6:30 in the evening) I am cooking supper and thought I would send a few highlights of our week.

Monday we decided to take the twins that we have at this orphanage to visit their village and see their mother who has mental problems. She appeared so very much better than when we had visited her before. She immediately wanted to hold her babies, kiss them and talk to them. It was lovely to see. She is receiving medication from the Kalomo High Hospital and now that her mother is strictly administering them it appears to be helping her very much.

How can I explain going into a Zambian village. There is a fire burning where the Zambians cook their food outside of their houses.

The ground is swept around the houses so you can see if a snake has

entered their area. Life in Zambia is much slower than in Canada and

much more relational. Little stools are brought for us to sit down.

We sat and visited and laughed. The laughter of the Zambians is wonderful. I often think that they are happier than we are. They have so very little in the way of worldly goods but they have community, laughter and we can learn much from them.

Wes and I left the babies with the mother and sisters and continued on to Choma to shop for some groceries. I felt I needed to just have a break from all the demands while we are at the farm. We stopped along the highway at a place we like to have chicken and chips and enjoyed them, then continued on to Choma to make our way through the maze of vehicles and shops to find what we needed. We purchase most of our food from the Co-op but also purchasd some vegetables and fruit from individuals in the market. They are trying to make a living so I like to support them as well. We went back to pick the babies up and then returned home.

After a quick supper Wes and I took our two "gap" students with us to Namwianga for a Bible class. We were so very impressed with the students and how they participated in the study of Job.

Tuesday - caught up with the accounts. Then went to see Precious the mother of the twins to take her to the Kalomo Hospital. We took Wilson, an older Zambian man, with us and I am glad we did because Precious said that if the other young man social worker was coming she was not going to go with him to the hospital as she did not want to take more medication. But because Wilson is older she was respectful of him and came with us. Precious is suffering from mental illness and is on medication. But she is reluctant to take her medication.

So we were glad we had an older Zambian with us who persuaded her to continue with her medication which will help her brain to heal and she will then be able to care for her twins.

Going to the hospital is like stepping back into the dark ages. Until you see it for yourself you can't even imagine how backwards it is.

There were at least 20 people in line waiting for the doctor we wanted to see, but we had called ahead and were taken to the front of the line. Sometimes I feel bad being given preferential treatment, but glad I did not have to sit there and wait for hours to see the doctor.

Yesterday we had two new experiences. One we took maize that we had bought from the market to the mill to be polished. It went through a grinder several times and then the chaff was blown out of it. We use this to make samp for porridge for Sunday morning. Wes and I like it as well, better than the fully ground maize that the Zambians eat for breakfast every morning. As we continued on to town it began to rain, and did it rain!! We have never been out in such a rain. We decided that we could not do our chores until the rain stopped so we ran for cover. We were soaked to the bone and began to feel cold for the first time since we arrived in Zambia!! We waited for at least 30 minutes until the rain slowed down and we could continue on with our chores. We were thankful for the rain as there has not been enough rain in Zambia yet this season. Since Tuesday we have had several more rains, thunder and lightening. It is refreshing and now finally we are told there has been enough rain for everything to grow well.

Last night Wes and I sat down to watch a movie, Wes went right to sleep and I struggled to stay awake. So I decided we should go to bed, until I noticed it was only 8:00 o'clock. So we got up and walked around a bit and watched one more hour of the movie then went to bed. Somehow the many demands here and the heat exhaust one.

We have had quite a bit of rain. One day when we took the twins to their village it began to rain very hard. We all sought shelter in their house, built with bricks and tin roofing. We were 15 people in one small room together for around an hour. The two sisters of the twin's mother were there, the grandmother and grandfather were there.

It is evident that these people love their children very much. Piles of clothes were piled on a mattress on the floor and kitchen cooking supplies were on a low table nearby. Those that did not have stools sat right down on the ground. We from the Western world would find it very hard to live as they do. But I repeat - they laugh and show a resilience that is amazing.

Today, being Saturday, half of the sponsored students from Kalomo High School came to Seven Fountains, the farm where we work and live while in Zambia. They come to "volunteer" their Saturday morning to show appreciation for their sponsorship. Several students were instructed to break up cement that needs to be redone and many were assigned to pick the peanut pods off plants that had been pulled up from the fields last Saturday. I watched out of my window where I presently am typing and noted that several of the students stood and watched, then picked up a pick and used it for a few minutes or so. I noted that one of the students never stopped working. I went outside, sat on the steps, thinking this might motivate the other students to work more diligently. The same one I had noticed continued to work non-stop.

Some of the others hardly lifted a pick. I then went into the house,

chose a nice cap the same colour of his shirt and took it outside. I presented it to the young man who was working so hard saying I had observed and he was the hardest worker. He thanked me and continued to work. After work I spoke to him and found out that his name is Sylvester and that he is in Grade 11. When I asked what he wishes to study after Grade 12, he said that he wants to become a doctor. I told him that if he works as hard at his schooling as he did breaking cement, that he has a good chance of achieving good marks. I encouraged him to continue to work hard and do his best to win a bursary to the university in Lusaksa where he can take his education to become a doctor. This is one of the most pleasant things I find I can do here, to encourage these young people.

Hope all of you are well at home. Wes and I are thankful that so far we have remained healthy.

Love and blessings,

Wes and Doreen Mann

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