From the scene – week no.1
12. 6. 23 - Departure of the first group - Petr, Pája, Matěj
A week ago the first of us arrived in Zambia - Petr, Pája and Matěj - three brave adventurers, who were given a difficult task to complete all the paperwork, find out whether the brick-making machines were already on site and start purchasing materials. How did it all go and what did their first week in the area look like?
On Tuesday afternoon, they landed safely in Lusaka with all their luggages, which they successfully checked in, equipped themselves with SIM cards for better communication with you, us (i.e. the rest of the team in the Czech Republic) and with each other, checked in at David's place in Natwange, a hostel situated in Lusaka, and planned the program for next days.
On Wednesday they unofficially went to see two cars. This was followed in the evening by a meeting with Jan Lipavský - Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, which took place at the InterContinental Hotel. Here the Minister met with the Zambian Minister of Health, Sylvia Masebo, to officially hand over the hospital equipment sponsored by the Czech Republic. This enabled them to present our project to influential people including politicians, diplomats, business representatives and the media. During the meeting with the Minister, Petr, Pája and Matěj briefly presented the project to him and officially handed over the team T-shirt together with the portfolio of our high school project. Thanks to the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Lusaka for the invitation.
On Thursday morning, they went to check out two more cars. In the afternoon it was already decided what car to buy and the details of buying a car in Zambia were still being worked out. They also had to deposit money into an account so that there would be a safe transfer of money when the purchase was made. Then on Friday they went to the car repair shop to do a full inspection. After discovering the defects on it, they then started negotiating the price, made a deal with the dealer and paid for the car.
The next item on the agenda was a visit to The Builders, a construction shop in Lusaka. There they shopped for goods that are hard to find in small towns. For example, protective work equipment, levelling equipment, hammers, tool storage boxes and courts. And, of course, boots - the Baťa brand (founded in 1894 in Czechoslovakia)! Another interesting fact is that in this construction shop, as in all shops and restaurants, gospel music is played and the employees sometimes sing and dance. Petr also printed the project documentation and Matěj and Pája bought antimalarials. In the evening, our new car was brought to their accommodation and a stone fell from everyone's heart.
At the moment we bought the car with the money we have in our account for building materials. If we can't get financing for the car when the last of the building materials are purchased and therefore there is no more money to pay for it, we will sell the car and buy the rest of the materials.
On Saturday, 17th June, Petr, Pája and Matěj arrived in Kashitu, leaving Lusaka at 6 am. "The community welcomed us warmly. We arrived just as they were improving the community centre where we will be staying. Monika, Joseph's daughter, showed us around the community. We saw the primary school, the kindergarten, the local shop and, of course, the area where the high school will be built. After the tour around the community, they prepared a traditional Zambian meal for us. After lunch it was time to meet the children and play the bongo," writes Pája.
On Sunday they went to mass at the local church. "It's very important to the local community. As well as prayers and wishes, they also address what will happen the next week, so we and our project were also introduced," writes Pája.
In the afternoon, they went beekeeping to a local farmer, Thomas, where they took honeycombs from the hives. Thomas is a community beekeeping tutor and helps 1,200 farmers maintain their beehives! The special suits were loaned to them by the community, which also lends the necessary beekeeping tools to the farmers. In the evening, they hiked to the highest rock in the area and watched a true African sunset over the first full day in Kashitu.
By the way, the very same honey that passed through our hands is available for you to buy, taste and contribute to our benefit sale.
On Monday they went to the quarry, which is a short distance from the community, to look at the rocks and sand. The quarry used to be mined for material to build the railway line, but is now abandoned.
We are still looking for PARTNERS/SPONSORS to help us raise the funds that would cover the purchase of the car we can't work without.
IMPORTANT MILESTONES OF THE WEEK 12 JUN - 18 JUN 2023
- arrival of the first group (Matěj, Pája, Petr)
- meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Jan Lipavský
- purchase of a car
- purchase of first supplies, materials, tools
- arrival in Kashitu
- tour around the local area
- inspection of the nearby quarry for possible use