Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday at Namwianga

The team had several options for worship this morning. Some of the team walked to Tumongo. Tony Cloud from Alaska agreed to preach. Another group went to a church that meets at Namwianga Basic School where Darrell Conway was preaching and several of us stayed on the Namwianga compound and went to church at Johnson Auditorium which was mostly in English.

This is the most relaxed day on the entire schedule. The team came in for breakfast starting at about 7am and finished up approximately 8:30. After worship, the team will have lunch at the Hamby Guest House and then we will have a lengthy meeting to prepare for the week ahead. When our Zambian volunteers join us we will approach 300 total travelers. It is a daunting task to move, feed, and house such a large group.

Tomorrow we start early and send an advance team out to construct a tent city and move everyone's luggage to their assigned tent. We ask that team members carry one small bag for the outing in addition to a sleeping bag and sleeping pad. Still it requires several large trucks to haul our katundu (stuff) from place to place.

Our first site is Kanchindu, which is very near the Zimbabwe border and south of Namwianga. We anticipate a very large crowd, partly due to Zimbabwean refuges who are fleeing Zimbabwe to find food and safety. We will spend a larger proportion of our travel-time on tarred roads as we move toward the center of the country before turning south on dirt roads. As a result we are using rented buses to help move our crew.

After our meeting this afternoon, we will have the first annual King Canopy Tent Contest. We have to put up a couple of dozen large canopies each year to shield off the sun during the clinics, and they are not particularly easy to erect. We also have trouble getting parts for them. This year we are inviting teams of novices to have a race putting the canopies up as a means to train new volunteers. We have identified a new brand of canopies that we will switch to over time that require substantially less effort to erect, but in the meantime we need to train all hands to put them up and take them down quickly. The ability to erect the canopies quickly contribute to our ability to start a clinic on time, which translates to a hundred or more people being treating during a day. So while it seems trivial to train people to put up canopies, in the end it is actually very important.

More to come

Have a great Sunday