I have no idea where the past few weeks have gone! Teaching is going well as the end of the school term and our time here approaches – the children have to sit an end of term test so now we are mainly focusing on revision of everything we’ve covered with them. There’s still time for fun though; this week I did a “teach the teacher” lesson where the kids could vote as a class on what they wanted to teach me! They decided I should participate in a traditional dance and some singing, not to mention learning a variety of phrases in their local language Nyanja – hopefully nothing rude!
It was my birthday on Friday so I made cupcakes for my class which went down a treat, and we had a great morning sponge painting and making our own wordsearches. I had a lovely birthday weekend too; Saffron treated me to a delicious dinner and cocktails in the evening and on Saturday we had a jewel party! Gems are much cheaper in Zambia so if you buy a ring here, it’s worth four times as much in England – I got a gorgeous ruby and designed it into my own ring which will be ready in a week! As if that wasn’t enough, today we went to visit a baby elephant orphanage – it was so entertaining to see them close up, play fighting in the waterhole and nuzzling. They’re such social creatures; it’s wonderful to see them interacting together, especially at a young age – there were five orphaned babies, most of whom had lost their mothers to poaching.
Looking ahead, this will be our last week teaching at Open Arms Community school which is a very strange thought. When we started, the three months stretched impenetrably ahead of us but I’ve realised that twelve weeks is actually such a short time! I have mixed emotions about leaving the school; I will definitely miss the children and, bizarrely, our accommodation, as it has been our home for quite some time. I’m so excited for travelling now that it will be a relief to be on the move again; we’ve been feeling a little restless with our routine just recently which is unsurprising as we hopefully have some amazing times ahead of us. I certainly won’t cry over the lack of rats (although we haven’t seen any in a while, perhaps we finally killed them all off?), or the power and water cuts! Most of all, I will miss our great friends Clare and Brett and their family, who have been more welcoming than we could ever have dreamed. I’m not sure what we would have done without them – who would we have borrowed gaffa tape and rat traps from? Who would have fixed our Zambikes or let us use their shower after three days without running water? Most importantly, who would have shown us the loving support they have, and opened their house for us to escape the isolation here? Their kindness has enhanced our time in Zambia indescribably and I can’t thank them enough.