Today we left Ndola bound for Livingston. our plane was slightly delayed as we needed to wait for the president to land ....we thought all the pomp and circumstance was for us This part of the journey is merely the icing on the cake! We had such an amazing trip with a wonderful team but today we get to enjoy a side of Africa where we see more of God's splendor !! We will have a sunset cruise tonight with hopes of seeing many hippos, crocks and elephants !! And an awesome sunset painted by the God of the universe! The sunset cruise was absolutely wonderful ! What a relaxing fun evening. We saw hippos, baboons, impala and zebras .... some to far a way to get clear shots with my phone camera. It was a joy for me to watch the "first timers " as they enjoyed this side of Zambia!
This day was beyond what words can describe. The glories of God, nature, and the universe unfolded before our eye. Before even leaving leaving the hotel grounds, we were entertained by frolicking mongoose and a lone giraffe and as we headed down the highway, a group of elephants were seen as we came into the elephant corridor. We went onto the game drive in Botswana, after crossing borders, complete with passport and visa checks.
"Hot and arid the air flowed over us, heading down the road in a Land Rover.
Eyes atune to the trees and shrubs in search of wildlife.
Along the river banks antelope and kudu were found
As well as cape water buffalo, egrets and ducks
Elephants too numerous to count enjoyed bath time in the river.
More sightings of sable antelope, monkeys, mongoose, and glossy starlings.
A final encounter with a lion pride brought tears to my eyes; an emotion stirred in me I cannot explain. Father, mother, a toddler and babies all lounging in the shade of a tree.
The beauty of all god’s creatures in nature as they should be."
The peace and serenity of today was a beautiful ending to our days of giving service and sharing fellowship with the beautiful people of Zambia.
After awakening early this morning Sara and I decided to take a walk around the grounds of our hotel which is located within the Mosi-O-Tunya National Wildlife Park. When we rounded a corner on the footpath we encountered a small herd of impalas. I can only say this was just the beginning of the sights that were about to unfold! We also encountered a flock of weaver birds, brilliant yellow making bell shaped nests by weaving grasses. Many more sights and all before breakfast.
A very satisfying breakfast was had by all before boarding our shuttle en route to Kasane, Botswana. Our final destination the Chobe Nation Wildlife Preserve. Imagine our surprise by catching sight of pack of mongoose and then no 20 paces on a lone giraffe nibbling the leaves from a tree! Friends the surprises kept getting better and better...truly takes your breath away and brings tears to your eyes. Before we got much further we encountered a herd of elephants enjoying the shade of an upland tree. They varied in size from a small baby with its mother to full grown adults. We also spotted a warthog, glossy starling and verit monkeys.
Our tour guide, Kaiser, was phenomenal, so well versed in botany and taxonomy. He also studied astronomy all before he could qualify to lead game drives. He was patient answering all our many questions and requests all while spotting and angling the vehicle for optimum viewing.
We were able to drive along the Botswana side of the Zambezi River. The rainy season hasn’t begun so the preserve is dry driving the animals toward the water. We saw impala by the score. Cape buffalo accompanied by oxpeckers who feed on the tormenting ticks they are followed by egrets who feed on the small fish and insects stirred up by the buffalo. Amazing how nature providers for one another!
We saw hippos, Egyptian Ibis, warthogs, mongooses, kudu, spoonbill crane and many more birds. As we continued on we heard that old familiar call in the distance a traveled to locate a humongous herd of elephants
More elephants than one could ever imagine heading to the riverbank and then over the crest innumerable elephants frolicking in the river! A most spectacular scene. Calling, splashing, squirting and snorting we didn’t know where to look first. Each view provided a glimpse into the life of elephants in their own environment!
We were all hoping to see some lions but being so hot and dry they tend to be elusive. Kaiser was not to be deterred and found us a small pride. Imagine our utter delight. A male with 2 females, a youngster and cubs relaxing in the shade of a large tree. We could have stayed all day just observing these amazing creatures to the sound of dragonflies encircling our vehicle.
Many more sights were yet to behold as we wondered to river’s edge this evening to watch the sunset over the Zambezi as the mist from Victoria Falls was rising in the distance as hippos frolicked and bellowed closer to shore. The perfect ending to a fabulous day! I am truly astonished witnessing God’s handiwork. He truly is an awesome God.
Today is day 9 of the mission. We all met around 7 to take a "power walk" and enjoy the fresh air. Leonard filled us in on some of the history of kasama and we spoke with some grounds men working on the original provincial office's home to prepare it for the centennial festival.
We the returned to our hotel to have breakfast and to change Into chitangas for the church service . We attended the Evangelical Church in Zambia. About a 15 min drive from the hotel. The worship team was so full of energy and amazing voices! Even in their own native language it was very apparent they were worshiping Jesus. After the worship singing Leonard read scripture and the message was on Jonah and how we all have a bit of Jonah in us. The pastor's take home points were:
1) God is a God of all flesh , all tribes and nations
2) God is a God of second chances
3) He always sends a warning before destruction because His desire is for all to repent and show humility and be obedient.
4) We are called to be humble, responsible and committed to what God is calling us to do.
I then had a brief opportunity to share what TPM had been doing in their country and the appreciation we felt for the hospitality of everyone. We were offered cookies and soda pop and then set up for our clinics. Marge and Michele did eye glass readers for many people in need, Amy did BP screening and Sara did some nutrition counseling. Linda and I ran the first aid clinic and lots of children came to be seen and hang out with us!! Lots of fun and they really enjoyed looking at our pictures and singing songs. Then we were off to market to see, and smell the sites.All in all a great day!
Tomorrow Tiny People Matter board our Tiny little plane to head back to Ndola for the nite.
Melissa and Team Zambia
The Tiny People Matter Team awoke to another lovely morning in Kasama, Zambia. How blessed are we! We started the day with a nice breakfast outside with a warm breeze blowing under a sunny sky.
After breakfast it was off to work.
Today we did a morning and an afternoon class, so 8 hours of teaching altogether with barely a break to eat our sandwiches. They just kept going to accomplish the mission. These ladies are like energizer bunnies. We have certified a total of 115 people in Kadama! This team which God has assembled is such a blessing especially as we have added the Helping Mother Survive Program and have Amy here with her expertise as a Certified Nurse Midwife and Essential Care For Every Baby with Sara here as a nutritionist and breast feeding counselor. Everyone has added their knowledge to the teaching seamlessly.
With Marge on the team, and her years of experience as an educator and adult practitioner, she has given us a more rounded team and given us the opportunity to reach more people.Today rain was forecasted but God provide an incredible day with slight African breezes and we were able to hold all the parts of the class out side .... what a blessing.
One of my responsibilities is to make sure our birthing back packs get distributed among the clinics in a way that makes the most sense. This is sometimes difficult as EVERYONE wants a lot. Leonard and the provincial nursing officer helped see that we got enough kits to the clinics based on average monthly births and distance from main hospitals.
We have been good stewards of the money raised and items donated. I am ready to do my happy dance as we have successfully distributed the “goods”
Today was a day to feel grateful , thankful and blessed!
From Linda and Team Zambia
Rise and shine! We started our day bright ( or actually dark) and early, departing the Foundation for cross cultural education, FCE, @ 4:30 am. We headed for the Ndola airport enjoying a beautiful sunrise as we drove on the NWest hwy. We had a short, smooth flight on a 10 seater Cessna type airplane to Kasama, in northern Zambia.
We spent all afternoon teaching and certifying over 50 nurses, nurse educators, and midwives in the resuscitation techniques of Helping Babies Breathe, HBB. They in turn will be able to teach their staff and colleagues these skills and techniques. We also provided education on the management of post partum hemorrhage and breast feeding and nutrition. Resuscitation bags were distributed at the end to be taken back to several of the clinics throughout the province. It is always so rewarding to engage with the students and make teaching fun. They were all actively involved in doing the childbirth scenarios; we had a lot of laughs , in particular when the males were "delivering " their babies.
We were blessed with a beautiful day, and showered with rain in the evening.
Margaret M Gingrich RN MSN CRNP
Professor of Nursing
Harrisburg Area Community College
Today was the day for us at the FCE children's school where Melissa, Linda, Michele, and Amy conducted a health assessment clinic. completing the forms to be given to the school nurse. Initially, some of the children were a bit skeptical and nervous but we tried to make it fun. Assuring no immunizations. We performed a basic head to toe assessment. I had them open their mouth and say "ah" then "ee" to see their teeth, then "oh" then I made a kiss sound and they laughed or smiled., We diagnosed possible malaria relapse, impetigo, Ringworm, ear infection, and a possible reading disorder for a teenager who couldn't identify certain lower case letters, enlarged tonsils, and possibly tendonitis. We bandaged small and very significant deep abrasions. They loved the opportunity to listen to their heart, lungs, and bowel sounds with the stethoscope.
The tooth brushing and nutrition lesson was a hit by Marge and Sara who demonstrated proper brushing techniques as the children followed them using toothpaste on their finger. They were given a toothbrush and toothpaste to take home. They talked what foods are good for them nutritionally.
The 5 year old class serenaded us with the song"5 little ducks".
Thankfully we had Marge, our adult practitioner,on our team. She visited several staff adults and assessed their health issues making recommendations which she will follow up with in a few days. some of us took a beautiful late afternoon walk along the paths.
Dinner was a yummy pizza dinner(3 flavor choices) fruits and salads
With the day over, we hope everyone at home voted
Awakening this morning in rural Zambia is like a scene from “Swiss Family Robinson”. Imagine lying in bed under a thatched roof, birds calling from the surrounding trees, crickets chirping from below all while a cool breeze enters the window. You have a small glimpse os this part of Africa.
Our day began with a quick and bountiful breakfast followed by a tour of the FCE compound which is our host for the first leg of the mission. The FCE is a self-sustaining school, farm, orchard, and wood shop begun at this site some 20 years ago. They have built this facility from the ground up using the old tried and true principles of the Zambian culture and in so doing have returned these native skills to the surrounding communities.
After completing our tour we boarded the bus for our trip to the Copperbelt Polytechnic Institute. Here we provided our program of “Helping Babies Breathe” to a large group of nursing and midwifery students. As the students moved through the various training stations we witnessed their eagerness to learn these skills.
We were than off to the Arthur Davidson Children’s Hospital. We were blessed to meet with many members of the facility and deliver a wide variety of much need supplies. Several of the nurses were trained in previous trips and are now sharing this knowledge and training with new staff members. We had a quick tour of the NICU to see how their facility operates.
We rounded out our day with a visit to the Child Life Touch orphanage. We had such a wonderful time with the children who are being cared for within this home. We were entertained with hymns in both English and their native language. A truly rewarding experience as these children performed with giving hearts. We then were able to enjoy playing camp songs and games in the yard as the cool of the evening settled. The enthusiasm of the children was such a Blessing. Melissa has been visiting this orphanage for 10 years and have witnessed these children grow and thrive.
My word for the day was resourceful. In each interaction and stop throughout the day I was impressed by how resourcefulness of Zambia’s people. In the propagation of orchards, to the lifesaving skills to save the tiniest and most vulnerable babies or the raising of Zambia’s next generation the people demonstrate resourcefulness!
Today was other full day. We started the morning with a wonderful breakfast prepared by the FCE staff and then headed back to Ndola. 1st we greeted the Minister of Health. Then we headed to Roan School of Midwifery. We demonstrated a scenario from Helping Babies Breath and then had the students practice using the bulb syringe and ambio bags. The students picked up the skills very quickly which is a testament to the wonderful training that they are receiving. They have a terrific practice lab to do simulations.
After lunch we headed to Thomson Hospital. We received a tour of the maternity ward. The nurses at the hospital have amazing ingenuity using the resources available. Being the IBCLC on the team, I was glad to see the 10 Steps for Successful Breastfeeding posted on the wall of the ward and many of the women were doing a wonderful job feeding their little ones.
Lastly we visited chilabula farm. Right after arriving, it started to pour. Rain on a metal roof is extremely loud, especially when you are trying to understand soft spoken Zambians. We gave eye glasses to the people who needed them, did blood pressure checks and sang songs with the children.
On the way back to FCE we stopped at Leonard’s farm. He runs a camp for children during the school breaks and operates a farm. The farm helps the children learn about responsibility, take care of the land and make money to go to camp. Leonard has a great low ropes course including a zip line that was made with items he found.
Today definitely brought me back to my days working at Kenbrook Bible Camp- the ropes course, singing camp songs with the kids and seeing their smiling faces. We are now off to bed because we have an early flight in the morning.
Muli Shani from Zambia (a formal hello in Bemba language )
The team departed Dulles airport on Saturday evening. Special thanks to Nick Cargas for being our amazing chauffeur from Linglestown to Dulles .... 5 women plus 11 medical suitcases and 5 personal carry on cases and lots of excitement !!
We met our 6th team member at the airport and after successfully checking in the suitcases with only a few minor weight adjustments we were off to head to security and our gate!
God has once again put together an Amazing team ... small but mighty !!
Our flight took off at 530 pm sat evening and we reached our first destination at 630 pm Sunday ( LONG flight !!)
We had stay over in Johannesburg South Africa for one short nite then off to the airport at 615 am. Boarded our flight to Zambia ... a short and sweet 2 1/2 hour flight! All of our luggage made it safe and sound from US! Thankful and grateful !!
It is now Monday morning around 11 am and we whizzed thru Zambian customs at warp speed! Unheard of!! Thankful and grateful again! Leonard and Rose were waiting to transport us to FCE Kings Highway in Masati . This is our home base until Friday! For me this is like returning to my Zambian home. The people that take care of the team while we are here are some of the most Godly people I have ever met . They have dedicated their lives to serving as Christ served and they radiate God's selfless love. I have been coming To kings highway with my teams for the last 10 years and some of the people who serve here are truly like my brothers and sisters!
We unpacked and ran some practice classes for our team Sara figured out how to make the new portable projector work and the flash drive that Wendy Crane downloaded for us is gonna work perfect! (Thanks Wendy and Reese for all you do for TPM!)
We have felt very welcomed here and will be jumping in tomorrow with full health clinic
For the village school kids and some first aide classes for the staff !
Thanks you for all the thoughts and Prayers!
Team TPM had a delightful, never to be forgotten day. We played Dr. Doolittle - we walked and talked with the animals.
The day started with a delicious and varied breakfast buffet. Then Petr. Picked us up for our Safari in Chobe National Park. What a safari it was!!!! We saw warthogs, kudus, impala, springbucks, hippos, and off in the distance Water Buffalo. The highlights were the baboons and the elephants.
We parked next to a large family of baboons, including, as with the all the antelope many new born babies. Then 2 "teenaged" baboons got into a fight. Well, the dad, the alpha male, was not allowing any family fights. He ran over to the combatants in second time and grabbed one and "reprimanded him, shall we say, very energetically. No blood was drawn. The other combatant ran about 1000 feet down for river bank and kept an anxious eye on dad.
The other highlight was the herd of elephants. Leo, our driver, stopped to show us an elephant footprint in the sand. We all remarked upon Grace's desire to see elephants. Leo started saying that the elephants ad moved back into the bush.
THEN IT HAPPENED!!
A large herd (16 or 17) elephants amazingly appears at the tree line!!!! We admired them as they stopped and watched us. Leo then moved our truck back approximately 15 yards and the elephants, including a baby and a number of youngsters, marched in front of us. We watched them, they watched us and the TPM team was left breathless. You have not lived until you and a wild elephant have stared each other down.
We returned to the Avanti Hotel after some purchases on the Zambezi River bank and met with Mr. Jackson 5. He took us on a tour of the grounds and showed us zebras, including a baby, a gang of mongoose, and most spectacularly, 4 giraffes right on the hotel grounds!!! After the animal adventures, we were dropped off at the market place. Everybody bargained, haggled,and bought.
We closed the day with a final team Dinner including words of the day, debriefing, a look towards plans for next year, and of course, Amarulla.
God bless all of you for following Tiny People Matter. Let us know if you have any questions or can donate any medicine, medical or school supplies. Thank you from the entire TPM team.
Steve and Michele Block