Magnificent beard and flowing locks

After a weekend of relaxation at the Victoria Falls, it was time for our group to get back to work.  On Monday, Julie-Anne went to the capital city of Lusaka to check up on one of our students and grab groceries for the entire week.  The past week, we had been staying with Nate, but this week, we stayed at the Lillo Lodge, a little over a mile away from the center.  Some of the rooms don’t have sinks, others don’t have water, but be that as it may, we enjoyed our week there.

At the center, Ben and Kevin took on new roles - they started conducting interviews.  This consisted of talking to some of the old members of Amos who already had sponsorships and checking up on how they were doing and if anything had changed in their families or lives. According to Ben and Kevin, they loved doing the interviews, as it helped them get to know the students that they were spending time with and helping.  They were shocked by the number of students who said that education is the most important aspect of life, and realized how students in the United States take for granted the educational resources they have at their fingertips.

Dance

Karen continued to run interviews with new members who were applying for a sponsorship.  Throughout the week, Scott, our “physics professor,” held math class with kids in the morning and physics in the afternoon.  He even brought materials to hold labs (or “practicals”, as they’re called here in Zambia) with the grade 11 and 12 students. Marie-Odile, our leader, who we devote our undying loyalty to, was supervising the center with Fred and Agnes (but mainly Agnes). However, there is an undercurrent of changing allegiance for some of the students, who are devoting loyalty to Kevin, otherwise known as “Jesus,” due to his magnificent beard and flowing locks.

On Thursday, the gang went for dinner at Agnes’ house, and were joined by the Boarding House family.  We ate chicken and rice, and all danced in Agnes’ living room.

At the end of the week, French volunteer Enzo, who is staying at the boarding house, put together a show for us.  Enzo is from France, and he brought his skills in juggling and tight-rope walking to the boarding house.  The show consisted of kids walking on a slack line (a trainers tight-rope), juggling, and songs including Mumford & Sons and Phillip Phillps.

The show was fantastic, and very impressive, and it was a great way to say goodbye to Kevin and Ben, who are leaving Saturday night.  Everyone in the group is distraught, as Kevin and Ben are really the life of the group, and without them, only sorrow will be felt.  (Guess who wrote this...)

We sit now at a hotel in Lusaka, saying goodbye to Kevin and Ben, playing dice and having drinks at our hotel.

Signing off.

The AEP Volunteer Team