Well it has been a while since we last blogged! For the last 7 weeks we have been back to the UK and it has been so lovely to catch up with all our friends and family (or at least as many of you as we could!!). Travelling 3000 miles around the country was tiring but we so appreciate the welcome and love that was shown to us and the hospitality of many. The photo as you can probably see is in Pizza Hut in Bracknell, a big favourite for the girls in England. Pizza’s in Zambia just don’t taste the same, although I think Sam would eat pizza anywhere!
Now we are back in Lusaka. We have now been here for a week and are beginning to feel more settled. Our flight back was a success in that the girls and I slept for the best part of the night. Unfortunately Sam only got a couple of hours sleep, but I think that was because he was watching films!
Initially it felt odd being back. Strange and a little unsettling, moving between such vastly different cultures is a shock and manifests itself in so many ways. The pangs of embarrassment as I see a man going through my bins in the morning after noticing that I had sorted out and thrown away items that he clearly treasured and were not rubbish at all. The walk to school with Isla and Amba past so many children walking the other way with no shoes on and carrying sugar cane on their heads. The guilt that this stirs in me, as I wrestle with the fact that my children are able to go to school whilst so many others are not. The guilt at buying new clothes and other items in the UK. Did I really need them? So many thoughts that I guess are there in the UK but that I never have to face on a daily basis. Finding a peace amongst this inequality is hard at times. Living in almost a contradiction – loving my life here, yet at times so hard and challenging. Yet my focus and vision never changes. I am thankful to God for placing the children of this nation in our hearts. A passion to see an end to the abuse of children and a system in this country whereby they can be protected from harm.
Zambia is so beautiful and coming back just reminds me of this. I love the people, who always have the time to stop, smile and greet us. I love the way men carry lawn mowers on the back of their bikes and anything else that sort of fits. I love eating fritters made in the morning on the side of the road. I love the weather and the joy of seeing my girls running wild outside enjoying nature and their friends. I love the smells of the market and the simplicity of life. And the welcome we have received since coming back has been beautiful. The teachers at the school embraced the girls and had clearly missed them. Our colleagues at EFZ warmly greeted us and treated us like family. So special to feel loved. We are fired up with vision and have a plan of activities for the next year, including various training around child protection in Zambia.
So here we are, entering year two. We want to thank everyone for all the support that has been given to us in year one. Your faith in us as a family has encouraged and overwhelmed us at times and your generosity has been hugely appreciated. We thank you for joining us in the vision. We also thank all those who have offered to support us during the next year. We will continue to update you on our lives out here but for now take care.
Hannah, Sam and the girls x