Retrospect Johan Achtien
As you know, I was allowed to go to Zambia with the foundation this year. When I left I didn’t know what to expect and have taken it as it was. I can only say that it has certainly become one of the best experiences of my life. We had a great time with each other and I personally didn’t have one day that wasn’t really fun. Once panic broke out in me, I was the “youngest” of the couple, so I also used my phone. But one day my phone didn’t want to charge anymore, in fact I had more or less “said goodbye” to everyone at home. Because despite the sometimes cramped internet, I still chatted with the home front every day via WhatsApp, so that they kept up-to-date with our experiences. After I had just withdrawn a little and had been messing with my phone for about an hour, it finally started to turn on the light of the charging again, which immediately relieved me, haha. But when it comes to building, dealing with the people there, it’s a wonderful experience. And not to forget: playing with the children was fun to do. For me it was a super fun experience and if everything permits I will definitely come along again. I can recommend it to anyone who plans to once doing something like this, as it was really a lot of fun!
Retrospect Mans Haitel
Zambia was unknown to me, one of the poor countries in Africa. Then came the question from BmB: do you want to help us build a school in the Kaoma area? I didn’t have to think long about that, because I think education is a basic right for every child. Six weeks of working and living among the local population makes you realize the true meaning of poverty. It hurts when you hear children say: I’m hungry, while you’re eating your afternoon sandwich yourself. Hundreds of children surrounded us every day and under the guidance of the teacher they dragged building materials. The mothers also contributed, by carrying stones. I wondered: Where are the men? Working together with Eddy’s local craftsmen was a pleasure. Where possible we tried to transfer our professional knowledge and they wanted to learn from us. But time went fast. We wanted to get the roof on, but unfortunately the roof plates didn’t come on time. Our time was up, but Eddy and his men must have done the job well. We said goodbye to the residents of Kashokoto. Dear, friendly people who allowed us into their environment. I will never forget them and since then I think about them every day. I’m glad I made a small contribution and have been able to contribute to improving their lives. On our way back to Lusaka we visited Livingstone to deliver a number of computers. This offered us the chance to visit the Victoria Falls. It was beautiful, a wonderful end to an exciting and valuable experience.
Retrospect Herman Bouma
This year no retrospective on the construction of the school in Kashokoto but on the 10-year anniversary celebration of BmB. A celebration in Kaoma always starts with a church service, in this case a H. Mass. The service is scheduled on the program at 9 a.m., but that is an elastic concept. When I arrive at the church it’s very quiet. Work has been done on the ceiling in the church last week. Out of curiosity I walk into the church to see what it looks like now. I’m perplexed, it looks like a bomb has exploded. Chaos! There’s a jetty on the priest’s choir, benches are piled up, dust and paint are everywhere. Conclusion: no service can be held here.
But after 10 years I don’t seem to know Kaoma just yet. As if by magic, men and women are starting the big cleaning. “What do you mean the service cannot continue, you have to pay attention!” It will work out! The service starts an hour later than planned, but whoever cares… Meanwhile, men set up tents. Tents that must protect the public against the bright sun. That job should have been finished already, at least in my opinion. It seems like I am the only one who cares. Of course, everything ends up well. Throw away the program booklet and everything runs smoothly. It will be a fantastic party. A party with many speeches, with music and with a lot of singing and dancing. BmB is constantly praised by the children for all the work that has been done. In Zambia you don’t let your guests go home without a meal, so after the closing song, the national anthem, all guests get to eat. And while the first ones are eating, more nshima is made and the necessary chickens are slaughtered and put on the bbq. A party to remember forever!
Retrospect Harm Vleems
On a Friday morning all the children of Kashokoto stood around the Zambian flag. One of the children had started singing a song, all the other children then sang along. The children, young and old, walked one after the other in a large circle. No pushing, pulling or bullshit, everyone knew what was expected of him or her. More than 100 children sang enthusiastically. While clapping and singing they walked their laps. Then it was time for the Zambian national anthem to be sung. Everyone stood in position. This was the time to show and hear that Zambians are proud people. The first and the last verse of the national anthem were sung. I got goosebumps when I heard the last song, so beautiful and so convincing:
Praise be to God
(Praise be, praise be, praise be)
Bless our great nation (Zambia, Zambia,
Free men we stand
Under the flag of our land
Zambia, praise to tea
All one, strong and free.
After the national anthem they prayed. All of us said the Lord’s Prayer. I was deeply impressed by this event.
28 March 2020