We are so glad to be set up in Choma after our very long travel day yesterday. We are staying at the "Golden Pillow Lodge" just outside of town and I believe we are all happy with the accommodatiopns Leonard has arranged for us. I am writing this during dinner of beef, chicken, fish, vegetables, nsheema, rice and potatoes, and of course bottled water. I am still looking to taste caterpillar.
This morning we attended services at the Brethren in Christ Church nearby. The service and the beautiful hymms (including "Bringing in the Sheeves" and "Count Your Blessings") were in the local Tonga language, much of it translated into English for our benefit. But I am sure alll of us would agree that the highlight of the service was the singing of the many choirs from children to adult. Some of the songs were a capella and others accompanied on the organ, but all were exquisitely sung. Despite the heat, none of us wanted it to end.
In the afternoon we all drove to the Macha Mission Hospital about an hour north. On the road we saw our first wild game of the trip: a monkey, several guinea fowl, and three water bucks. Getting all eleven of us into Leonard's van is always intersting. Luckily we are all still getting along very well. Thanks to Marc for squeezing into the trunk.
I have wanted to see the Macha Mission Hospital for many years, since I worked with one of their doctors, Dr. Phil Thuma (whose father founded the hospital over 50 years ago), when he was in Hershey. Dr. Thuma is back in the States right now, so our tour was conducted by their medical director Dr. John Spurrier. The hospital is quite large and has an excellent relationship with the district. The success they have had with malaria and HIV is amazing, and the research they do there is impressive.
We don't know yet what our day will be like tomorrow. Travel is somewhat restricted for the next few days due to the upcoming funeral on Tuesday for the late president Michael Sata, who passed away about a week ago.
All for now from Andy and the TPM Zambia team.