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News

A Visit to Zambia 2011

 

From Clane to Zambia

I travelled from Cork to Heathrow on Sunday, 19 June 2011 where I met the group from Clane, Co Kildare: teachers Una Padden, Pat Breslin and Peter Dempsey and students, Auveen, Katie, Ciara, Emilie, Ellie, Sarah, Roisin, David and Connor.  We boarded flight BA255 and arrived in Lusaka at 6.00 a.m. the following morning.  We were met by Sr. Lynette who organised our transport to the Presentation Novitiate.  On the way we visited the Home of Joy Orphanage.  We had breakfast at the Novitiate and got settled into our rooms.  We then visited Chipata Compound where the sponsorship of Srs. Maureen and Imelda and the people of Mountmellick was acknowledged and appreciated.  We were up early on 21 June and took the 9.00 a.m. coach to Kalomo and arrived there at 1.30 p.m.  The teachers and students settled into the E & N Hostel and I stayed in the Presentation House.  The Sisters served a dinner to the whole group.  Each day 22-28 June the teachers and students went to Green Acres School for 8.00 a.m. each morning and taught classes and did various activities.  On Saturday, 25 June, there was a very formal reception and entertainment for us at the school attended by all the local dignitaries associated with the school.  In the afternoons the teachers and students did various tasks such as going on Home Based Care with Sr. Teresa, helping Sr. Debs with computer classes, visiting the farms where they shelled maize one day until their fingers were blistered.  We visited the school at which Sr. Peggie teaches and also another basic school and a nursery.  On Sunday, 26 June we attended Mass in the Mater Dei Parish church.  This was a special occasion as it was the feast of Corpus Christi and the children were making First Holy Communion.  The Mass was followed by a Eucharistic Procession around the compound.  The celebration lasted three hours and afterwards the students played ball with the local children and attended a youth meeting.

We said a sad farewell to Kalomo on Tuesday, 28 June and traveled to Livingston where we stayed for two nights at Faulty Towers Hostel.  On 29 June we went to the Victoria Falls and took a cruise on the Zambesi River.  Here the group were delighted to be joined by Sr. Ursula who was on her way to Kalomo to take responsibility for the computer classes.  On 30 June we flew from Livingston via Johannesburg to Heathrow and arrived in Dublin/Cork on 1 July.

The spirit of the group was admirable throughout.  Everyone cooperated in every way and there was never a complaint.  Their work was admired and appreciated and they immersed themselves in Zambia and learned about the people, their culture, religion, politics, history and geography.  This is but a brief outline and does not do justice to the richness of the experience.

[Submitted by Sr. Jennie Clifford]