First was my birthday, for me it was the birthday that wouldn't end. It. was. Awesome.
My first African birthday was the one of the best every (including all birthdays not just African ones). Laura was of course fabulous in taking care of b-day details, we went to the big city of Chipata (formerlyFort Jameson) and I was spoiled. First to give you an idea of how big a city it is, they have one paved street which runs through the town(and on to Malawi) but starting a in a few months they will have not one, or two but three paved roads criss-crossing the city!!! Amazing! And I got everything from hot showers to electric light bulbs. What a b-day treat. Plus two people baked me a total of three cakes, I'm still receiving b-days gifts (a hat tip to the Zambian postal service who seem to know that waiting for things only makes receiving them that much sweeter!) and we went out and had a fabulous meal specially prepared at a local Indian restaurant with friends. Very nice.
Here's me really enjoying the desert which was some kind of fruit in whipped cream, blah blah blah it was so so good.
Laura hosted a training for all (10) the Neighborhood Health Committees in our area (130 people total). Here's Laura’s training up a storm for the group. As you can see we have a beautiful conference room with space for unlimited seating (unfortunately many less chairs and benches than that) and no that's not a doorway into an unexplored dimension that she's standing in front of but our flipchart stand.
In Laura's training: "the newly elected community leaders for health (neighborhood health committees, NHCs) were trained in the causes, prevention methods, and treatment needs of each of the six main health concerns. These health issues included; malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, integrated reproductive health and safe motherhood, child health and nutrition, and water and sanitation in Zambia. The participants also learned interactive ways to teach about these issues to their communities; thus, honing their abilities to effectively disseminate accurate health information and later help facilitate health interventions." -(Source Laura's grant report ;)
And I had an IRI teacher and mentor training at Nsenya Zonal Head School for 22 schools in Nsenya zone for 52 people. Here's the happy group (that's me in the back)
My training went well. We had teachers sleeping at the school for a week or so. Eating their meals there as well as learning all about interactive radio instruction from 08:00 till 17:00 or 18:00 every night. The mentors being trained were great sports, and the teachers at Nsenya who helped with facilitation of the sessions were fabulous. They taught excellently of course, they are teachers after all, but they also went so far as to invite the trainees into their homes for showers, brought music tapes to listen to for evening entertainment, as well as arranged for all of the food to be delivered and cooked at the school. Abiyas Banda and Andrew Mwanza were two of the those fabulous teachers at Nsenya.
And just for good measure a close up of yours truly just hanging out in our hut.