The Uncommon Man

June 11, 2006

Zambia Trip - Entry 6

From Steven Botkin, sent Friday, June 9, 2006 1:50 PM


We’re sitting in one of the two shopping malls in Lusaka at the end of a long day. We began the day, after a round of tai chi and breakfast provided by our host family, at the Zambia Immigration Office, finalizing the visa for Patrick from Nigeria to join us in the training next week. Then we drove to the YWCA of Zambia, which has its own extensive compound of buildings. (We’ve been amazed at how frequently buildings and private homes are surrounded by high cement walls topped with barbed wire or electric fences, with large metal entrance gates, often staffed by a security person.) We spent time getting to know eight young men who were members of the Zambia Men’s Network. We were all excited to finally be sitting together. They described how effective the survey (see below) we had sent them was in reaching out to and starting conversions with their friends and family. They are all volunteer peer educators and have done presentations in schools, as well as going door to door. One of the many questions they asked of us was how to sustain their passion for this work and make it financially viable for themselves and their families.

Today was graduation at the University of Zambia. We were surrounded by proud families, bright smiles, and colorful clothes as we stopped to pick up our training handbooks from the printer. (See our photos)

The day was filled with driving through Lusaka traffic arranging logistics for the training. (One of our board members who has done international work warned us that many logistics would require last minute revisions, and he was correct.) We have great respect for Stephen Mbati, the Zambia Men’s Network director, for his patience and persistence in addressing all of these challenges.

We’re tired from the day, but very grateful for each experience, and each person we are meeting. After sending off this report, we hope to return to our “home” in Zambia in time to catch the end of the first game of the World Cup.

Here are the Zambia Day 6 photos


Posted by Russell at June 11, 2006 07:34 PM


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