It’s been a while since I’ve been in touch. I hope you’re well. Here it is the end of the hot dry season and we are waiting for the first rains to begin. It’s mid 40s in the middle of the day and a very difficult time for both people and animals. I hope it breaks soon.
Yesterday I loaded up my remaining 28 barrels in our Cruiser… they just about fitted inside and on the roof rack! We went to Kakumbi Old Palace, about 10km from here where my driver Anderw was born and bred. He knows the area like the back of his hand and found villages where there were no boreholes or wells and where old and disabled people lived so we managed well without the list. It’s about 6km back off the main tar road but could just as well been 60km back, it’s is very undeveloped and rural. We distributed all 28. It was a bruiser of a day in the intense heat but very rewarding work. I need to do this more often to remind myself of the extreme difficulties people face every day in these areas. Life is tough.
We came across several cases of blindness (one old lady aged 80 since birth) and one old lady (the last picture, seated) who recently got sparks in her eye from the fire and was in a lot of pain. She just lives just with a 12 year old granddaughter who collects all the water before and after school. The old man in the picture carrying 2 buckets is a retired head teacher who lost his wife 2 years ago, now lives alone in poverty and walks 500m to the borehole every day like this to collect his water. We also came across lots of lameness, a woman adult dwarf, several cases of deaf and mute (including 2 young adult sisters with babies) etc. But we also received tremendous welcomes and several old ladies ululated and danced (funny, I think the ululation is a dying art, I’ve never heard the young girls do it). One woman cried, with joy and relief.
It was a life enriching experience for me and as always very humbling. Thank you Adrian for making such a difference to these people’s lives and for giving me the opportunity to share the joy with them.
Anna and Steve Tolan
Founders and Directors
Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust