Monday, 11 October 2010


Greetings from a dry dusty and roasting Mwandi as we await the rains at the end of the month, we hope. Duncan and Ina, our daughter Kirsten’s in-laws have been collecting pre-school equipment being disposed of in Edinburgh and taking it through to Kildrum to be stored until a container is organized. Our thanks go to Kildrum for putting their dunnie at our disposal. We are so pleased to have been given those wonderful toys and look forward to their being used here.

We are well but kept busy with duties at the school and hospital. The latest good news is that US$40 000 has been pledged by a US Foundation to build a classroom block at Sikuzu. This will save children a 10 mile round trip to school.

We are about to leave on Saturday for Mongu to the Western Presbytery Meeting where the new Bishop will be elected. Before the Covenanter in you chokes on your coffee, a Bishop here is in effect more of a Moderator than the priestly prelate of Presbyterian prejudice! The United Church of Zambia is actually an amazing and working mixture of Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Methodists, some Baptists and French Protestants; so there are several forms of baptism, child and adult believer, sprinkling and immersion depending on your 'tradition' and three forms of communion: the Scottish- passed around, the Methodist- on your knees at the front or the French - a series of horse-shoes around the Communion Table. Services too can be very liturgical, others are more like ours from the Common Order. Some services are more traditional and rather staid while others are quite charismatic. It is wonderful how all these manage to be accepted and welcomed by all. There is a lesson here for the Scottish Church(es).

The new Minister for Mwandi will also be elected there. Presbytery is followed by a 4- day Church Camp Retreat on an island in the Zambezi. So we have packed our camping equipment with our tents and sleeping-bags.

We will be using the inaptly named M10. Some of you, Scots of a certain age, will remember in 1970s and 80s, the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road being referred to as the ‘goat-track’; well the M10 takes that place here in Western Province. Mongu is only 400km away but the tar runs out at Sesheke and it is sand dust and dirt to the pontoon ferry at Sitoti. After crossing the Zambezi, a dreadful drive ensues across the floodplain to Senanga., another pitted and pot-holed causeway with washed out culverts. At Senanga we enjoy tar again for the last hour to Mongu. There are only tarred roads in Western Province. We’ll leave at 0700h and get to Mongu at around 1600h

Unfinished building work
Finally, Nick has asked us if we would make urgent enquiries to try and find an individual or a small team of builders who could come now or in the near future to work on the roof of the Church of Scotland house. He is desperately needing assistance to get the roof put on before the advent of the rains and before he goes on leave at the end of November.

If any of you know of anyone who might be able to help, please let us know and get them to contact us as soon as possible. This really is a pressing need.

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