Three influential members of the Wallace Group, Mel Marshall, John Steele and Professor Robert Allison…
Can’t believe it is already week 2. The group has got into the swing of day to day life in Lusaka and the routes to placement seem much easier than they looked the first day. The group is getting on very welland everyone is working hard at their sites. The experience has been amazing so far and part of this is thanks to the group atmosphere we have created.
Last weekend we welcomed Ellie, Durham´s staff member, who joined the cinema night on Saturday and Sunday´s trip to Dream Valley. Second week started with an exciting visit to Chipata with Claire and Georgie, who are delivering PE sessions during the morning. Such great classes full of Zambia songs and games that got all the kids (and us!) involved. There I also had my first nshima experience at a place recommended by JP.
From Tuesdays to Fridays, Danny and I are working at Munali with the volleyball Hub and the talent team. The talent team is highly developed with great players playing in high-level leagues around Zambia. During last week, Danny and I set up a new timetable for the sessions at the five schools from the Hub Site. Sessions with the girls from Munali Girls Secondary School are progressing really well and they all keep showing up with great enthusiasm to keep playing. We are really happy and proud to see all of them involved with the sessions. Although their sessions are only on Tuesdays and Fridays, they also came on the Wednesday wanting to practice more. It is great to see how the sport makes such a positive impact on their lives.
On Tuesday afternoon we said goodbye to Mikey, Edinburgh´s staff member. We are all so glad to have had the chance to spend the first one and a half weeks with him. He has been so enthusiastic, positive and supportive with everything and everyone. We will miss you Mikey!
On Wednesday morning, the mock exams taking place this week deprived us from running the sessions at Mumana Primary School. But this was a good chance to keep visiting other placements, so it was time for Kalingalinga with Mae and Izzy, who are delivering the Hub netball sessions. The image of around 40 kids running to us as soon as we turned the corner will never disappear from my mind. At Munali it’s been hard to start the sessions with the Hub schools, but the week finishes successfully with two sessions at Kaunda Square Secondary School. Around 20 boys and girls showed up to play volleyball at their school before or after going to class. The afternoon at Munali Courts was also amazing with both Hub and the talent team. A great moment has been seeing one of the guys from the talent team arriving one hour before his practice and teaching amazingly well how to serve, dig and spike to some of the girls from the hub, who were already there before we arrived. It was great to see how he used some of the drills Danny and I proposed at the sessions during the first week. Contributing to the sustainability of the project and helping the development of young boys and girls as leaders is really fulfilling.
Friday night and it’s the time for Zambia Night!! Time to learn how to “wrap” the chitenges we bought the first weekend and take pictures with some of the great outfits the boys are wearing. Caterpillars, sweet potatoes, beef, and nshima (among others) cover the table. As Agnes warns, no spoons or forks are allowed during the meal, so everyone eats with their hands. A great dinner finishes with a dance circle following the rhythm of Zambian claps and songs. The dancing skills from Group 2 are spectacular, and also hilarious! (special mention to Archie). Week 2 is over! Looking forward for the next one and to heading off to Livingstone next Friday.
Silvia Puig Saltor (Stirling)