Candy Crush?

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Everybody loves sweets and candy, right? So do the people in Chinkonono. So we invited Kennedy to visit us in the village. Kennedy knows how to make candy. He sells them in villages and in town.
It seemed like a great idea to try and produce sweets to sell at our market soon.
Making sweets is as simple as they are good. All you need is sugar, a few lemons, some food colour (or in our case orange and strawberry flavored powder for water), some cooking oil and a bit of water. Obviously a pot, pan and fire 😉
First of all you put a pot on the fire and heat the sugar and some oil. After a few minutes you add water and the lemon juice and stir a bit. When it is boiling you will see some bubbles and foam.
A pot of sugar
A pot of sugar
Kennedy showed us how he knows that the mass is ready to be processed further. He took bits of the foam and put it in the water to check the consistency. I would just burn my hands 😉
Kennedy checking if the consistency is alright yet
Kennedy checking if the consistency is alright yet
While you watch that mass cook you can take some of the flavored powder and mix it with a bit of oil and also heat it till it is a liquid mass.
When the sugar mass is ready you need a greased pan to pour it onto. And then use a spoon to move the mass to not have it stick to the pan.
Once the mass cooled down a bit it takes 2 people to kneed and fold it over and over again. It is beautiful to watch how the colour of the sugar mass changes. It looks like gold in the sunshine.
The next step is to make a big ball of the mass and make small balls of the colored powder. Those you press into the mass and along the ball on 3 sides.
Heating it up again to make the tubes
Heating it up again to make the tubes
Then it is easy…you just form long threads of the mass, put them on the pan and cut them. Let them cool and tadaaahhh: candy!
Check the video to see the most important steps. It is fascinating to watch.
All our PAF members watched and learned. Even our PAF Warriors showed up to have a look (and taste a candy) before their practice.
Everyone was watching and interested
Everyone was watching and interested
We are now thinking of producing sweets like that which contain moringa powder instead of the flavored powder. But for that we will have to wait till we can harvest again. Right now all our Moringa trees are desperately waiting for rainy season 😉
We even sat down to count all the candy we made to figure out how much we could sell them for and how much benefit that would be. And what can I say? It is worth it! 😉
If any of you guys is interested in trying PAF Moringa Sweets made in Chinkonono…let us know. We gladly take orders and produce as soon as we can.
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Deutsche Version!
Ob wir es nun zugeben oder nicht…insgeheim lieben wir doch alle Süßigkeiten. Da sind die Menschen in Chinkonono keine Ausnahme. Also haben wir kurzentschlossen Kennedy eingeladen, uns im Dorf zu besuchen und unseren Mitgliedern zu zeigen, wie man Süßigkeiten herstellt. Wäre doch eigentlich auch nicht schlecht, wenn man selbst hergestellte Süßigkeiten auf unserem bald fertig gebauten Markt verkaufen könnte…
Süßigkeiten herzustellen ist wirklich kinderleicht und schmecken tun sie auch. Alles was man braucht sind folgende Zutaten: Zucker, ein paar Zitronen, Lebensmittelfarbe (oder in unserem Fall farbiges Pulver zum Einrühren in Wasser für fruchtigen Geschmack), ein bisschen Öl und Wasser….und natürlich Topf, Blech und Feuer 😉
Als erstes muss das Feuer geschürt werden. Dann werden Zucker und ein bisschen Öl auf dem Feuer erhitzt bis es blubbert und sich eine Art Schaum auf der Oberfläche bildet. Dann gibt man den Saft der Zitronen und ein bisschen Wasser dazu und lässt es weiter köcheln. Zwischendurch hat Kennedy immer mal wieder ein wenig vom Schaum oben abgenommen und im kalten Wasser betrachtet, um die Konsistenz der Masse zu prüfen. Würde ich ja nicht probieren…meine Hände sind nicht feuerfest 😉
Während die Masse so vor sich hinköchelt kann man schon das farbige Pulver mit etwas Öl mischen und dann auf dem Feuer erhitzen bis es eine zähe Masse wird.
Sobald die Zuckermasse die richtige Konsistenz hat wird sie auf ein gut gefettetes Blech gekippt und dann mit einem Löffel bewegt, damit sie nicht festklebt. Sobald die Masse etwas abgekühlt ist, wird sie zu einem großen Ball geformt und dann von 2 Leuten geknetet und gefaltet. Immer und immer wieder. Es ist faszinierend und wunderschön, zu beobachten wie sich die Farbe der Masse ständig verändert und golden im Sonnenschein glänzt.
Die farbige Masse kann nun zu kleinen Bällen geformt und dann längs der Zuckermasse in 3 schmalen Streifen angedrückt werden. Nun muss man eigentlich nur noch die Masse in schlauchförmige Stangen formen und auf dem Blech schneiden. Tadaaahhh: fertige Bonbons!
Schaut euch am besten mal das Video an. Dort sind die wichtigsten Schritte noch einmal zu sehen. Es ist faszinierend, die Herstellung zu beobachten. Kein Wunder, dass so viele unserer PAF Mitglieder zugeschaut haben. Auch die Jungs unserer PAF Warriors haben es sich nicht nehmen lassen, einen Blick (und ein paar Bonbons) vor ihrem abendlichen Training zu erhaschen.
Natürlich haben wir gleich mal alle Bonbons gezählt und durchgerechnet, wieviel Gewinn man theoretisch beim Verkauf erwirtschaften könnte. Es lohnt sich 😉 Momentan denken wir darüber nach, anstatt des farbigen Pulvers auch Moringapulver zu verwenden, um gesündere Süßigkeiten herzustellen. Allerdings müssen wir nun erstmal auf die Ernte warten, denn zur Zeit sehnen sich unsere Moringabäumchen noch nach der Regenzeit 😉
Falls ihr also Interesse an hausgemachten PAF Moringa Sweets habt, lasst es uns wissen. Wir nehmen Bestellungen entgegen und werden dann nächstes Jahr schnellstmöglich produzieren.
Candy Crush?

The PAF Warriors on the March

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Football makes the world go round. Even more so for the people in Chinkonono. They struggle everyday with drought, hard work, no money, no infrastructure and health issues like HIV and malnutrition. They just need and crave for a little distraction of their everyday lives.
The football pitch...
The football pitch…
Basically everyone in the village just loves football. And whenever our PAF warriors have a home game at the pitch next to PAF Center the whole village gathers to cheer for the boys. Even if it is just practice people come to watch.
The crowd (and Julie) watching the match
The crowd (and Julie) watching the match
And when the packages from Australia arrived that Andrew and Niki sent us the joy was huge. It is wonderful to see how proud our PAF Warriors and Eaglets walk out on the pitch now, wearing their new uniforms.
Proud Warriors! :)
Proud Warriors! 🙂
Of course we had to take some new team photos for the Warriors! Check that!

You can really feel their new selfconfidence now.

No wonder they scored and won against a much stronger Mguba Team. 😉
Just look at this video! There are some very skilled boys in that team. And Lloyd’s son Junior looks very promising.
The excitement in the village is just incredible. Check out what happened after Nestor scored a goal! It is crazy house 😉
It makes everyone smile to see such joy. Thanks again for everyone helping out so that those guys can play football! It really makes a difference for people in Chinkonono!
Deutsche Version:
Das Runde muss ins Eckige. Solange der Ball rund ist, ist alles in Ordnung. So oder so ähnlich könnte auch das Motto der Menschen in Chinkonono lauten.
Ein Großteil der Menschen dort führt ein hartes Leben, Trockenheit, Wassermangel, harte Arbeit, keine Kohle, keine Infrastruktur, keine Jobs, HIV und Mangelernährung. Logisch, dass sich jeder dort nach Abwechslung und Ablenkung vom Alltag sehnt.
Jeder im Dorf liebt Fußball, Klein und Groß, Jung und Alt. Wann immer unsere PAF Warriors ein Heimspiel haben und sich auf dem Fußballplatz direkt neben unserem PAF Center zusammentreffen, strömen die Dorfbewohner in Richtung des runden Leders um die Jungs anzufeuern. Selbst zum abendlichen Training kommen die Fußballverrückten und es herrschft Partystimmung 😉
Als dann die Pakete von Andrew und Niki aus Australien in Chinkonono ankamen, war die Freude natürlich riesig. Es ist wunderbar zu sehen,wie stolz unsere PAF Warriors und Eaglets seitdem aufs Feld laufen und allen ihre neuen Trikots präsentieren.
Natürlich mussten wir erstmal ein paar vernünftige Mannschaftsfotos der Warriors machen als Jule da war.
Das neue Selbstvertrauen, das sie auch durch die neuen Trikots bekommen haben, ist mehr als offensichtlich. Kein Wunder, dass sie gegen das viel stärkere Team aus Mguba gewonnen haben. 😉
Schaut euch einfach mal das Video an um einen kleinen Eindruck zu bekommen. Unsere PAF Warriors spielen in Orange 😉
Und Fun Fact: Lloyd’s Sohn Junior ist wirklich ein vielversprechendes Talent. Man kann nur hoffen, dass er bald entdeckt wird.
Die Begeisterung im Dorf ist wirklich unglaublich. Guckt mal, was passiert ist, nachdem Nestor (Lloyd’s ältester Sohn) das Siegtor geschossen hat. Das nenn ich mal echte Fans 😉

Müsst ihr auch grinsen, wenn ihr solche Bilder seht? Ich kann mir nicht helfen. Aber es macht mich glücklich, das zu sehen. Nochmals vielen Dank an alle Spender, die es unseren Jungs ermöglichen Fußball zu spielen! Solche Dinge machen die kleinen, aber feinen Unterschiede im Leben der Menschen in Chinkonono aus.

The PAF Warriors on the March

PAF Reading Circle

Ever been attending a book club? Reading a book and talking about it, analyzing it and interpreting it. Well…we do have a PAF reading circle in Chinkonono now. Well…it is probably not quite as professional and conversations might not be as deep. But our kids gather at our PAF Center regularly after school to read books and exchange stories they read.

Thanks to our friends and donors like Murray and Niki those kids finally have access to books and can practice reading, the english language and most importantly kick-start their creativity and imagination. It is amazing to see their sparkling eyes focus on the pages. You can really see them diving right into their stories 🙂

And who knows…maybe some day one of those kids will start writing their own story or book 😉

On a side note: We are still trying to solve the problem of lights inside the library. We hope to raise funds for solar panels so that we can install solar powered lights inside the building and thus enable them to also read inside. We are working on it 🙂

PAF Reading Circle

So many mouths to feed…

You probably all have heard about those huge African families, right? Well…you should meet Zaire. He is married to 4 women and lives with all of them and their children and even grandchildren. As you can imagine it is not easy for people in the village to provide for all of those people and feed all those hungry mouths.

Zaire and parts of his family ;)
Zaire and parts of his family 😉

 

So Zaire was really happy when PAF decided to donate a few trees for him and his families. We gave him 2 pawpaws and oranges and some other fruit trees in December 2015. Now check out how well he takes care of those plants and how big they have grown already!

Lloyd took us on a little visit to Zaire’s home. So check that video and meet Zaire:

 

 

What a happy and lucky man 😉

 

So many mouths to feed…

A Market in the Making :)

African markets….what image do you have in your mind when you think of an African market? Bright colours, smiles, women carrying baskets on their heads, lots of people rushing through, bargaining and talking, laughter, animals running around…well, fair enough. It is not that far off reality.
In African societies a market is a place where people meet and interact. It serves as the socialising agent and fosters togetherness. While its primary objective is to provide a place where people can trade or buy and sell products and services, a market is a very important aspect of communal life.
Our PAF Center with the library / sewing room, the market and kitchen
Our PAF Center with the library / sewing room, the market and kitchen
In our village, people have to walk several kilometers to Nguba and Singwamba to sell or buy basis products like soap, salt , food and medicines. This will be a thing of the past as a communal market is under construction at our PAF center.
Our market will be made of only natural materials
Our market will be made of only natural materials
We are building it, using local materials such as logs, grass and mud. It will be made of Mubanga Tree logs or Iron Tree so that the market building can last for more than fifty years.
And to quote Lloyd here: “Remember, it is traditional building skills being exploited here and no strange stuff like cement or bricks.” … and right he is 😉
Quite a bit of work is going on as you can see in the picture.
Our technician on the site, Mr Epheso Mulwani, is busy mobilising PAF members and volunteers to build the market…and working on it together is the first step of creating a communal togetherness. It will be “our” market and people will be even more proud of it once it is finished.
Check this video Lloyd sent me to see what Epheso and Lloyd are explaining about the way the market is built and what materials we use:
Knowing we talk about Africa I wouldn’t rely on the 8 days 😉 But we will push things to finish it as soon as possible.

Please check back on our blog and see how we do it here in Chinkonono. We will keep you posted.

A Market in the Making :)

Feels like Championsleague now! ;)

It all began with a picture on Intsagram. It is incredible what can happen, using social networks…you meet the most amazing people. So it happened for PAF 🙂

Lloyd sent me this picture of our Planting A Future football team, the PAF Warriors…a team of Chinkonono boys.

The Planting A Future Warriors :)
The Planting A Future Warriors 🙂

I uploaded it on Instagram and the way it works is that you use hashtags so other people can find your pics related to certain topics. One of my hashtags must have worked out because the picture got some likes and comments. One of them was from Andrew from Melbourne in Australia.

We started talking about the conditions of our team and about how hard it is to equip the village kids with sporting uniforms and balls. Andrew said he would love to help us. And so he did…only a few days after the Instagram post I received an email from Andrew. He said he was working his way through the warehouse and found some jerseys he would love to send over to Zambia.

What Andrew planned to send us...so awesome :)
What Andrew planned to send us…so awesome 🙂

I was so happy when I heard that. To be honest I expected maybe around 15 jerseys, which would have been great already. But the next email Andrew sent me made me feel a bit dizzy…in total he found 60 sets of sporting uniforms (jerseys, shorts, socks) in different colours and sizes. Surreal 😉

Andrew :)
Andrew 🙂

He also talked about PAF to his mom Niki, who is a primary school teacher. She talked to people in her school and managed to get some school books and educational posters of numbers, alphabet, colours etc. for our village school.

Niki :)
Niki 🙂

All those things were gathered and packed (in 3 big boxes) within only a few days and then shipped through DHL…express shipping! That was new. Usually when we send stuff it takes ages to get there. So everyone was very excited. I remember Andrew texting me he wished he could pack himself into one of the boxes to be there when they will be opened 😉

DHL packing the boxes...sooooo exciting!
DHL packing the boxes…sooooo exciting!

And the best thing about it was that Lloyd and the villagers didn’t know anything. We planned it as a huge surprise. I only told Lloyd that 3 boxes will be in Kalomo soon 😉

After a little struggle with Zambian customs at Lusaka airport (it would have been too good to be true if all worked out like planned), which Andrew could solve, Lloyd could finally pick up the boxes on Monday and take them to the village.

I guess pictures and videos say more than a thousand words. So just check them and see for yourself!

 

This is what Lloyd said when he got back to Chinkonono and opened the boxes with the kids around:

“Imagine playing football in one pair of jerseys for the whole year and sometimes playing in birthday suits when some players opt to wear the jersey to church or wedding ceremony?
This was the scenario at PAF Warriors until one of our supporters gave us a surprise. It was such a surprise as the whole thing from planning to shipment was done in such mystery that I kept guessing what was in store for us. Julie and Andrew did it in such a way that they deserve an Oscar for the “Mystery of the Year Awards”. 😉

This beautiful mystery kept the village on the edge…personally I thought it was books for the library. One woman thought it was a bale of chitenge materials while headman Chinkonono thought it was a batch of breadfruit trees.
The mystery didn’t end there as kids competed with each other guessing on what the parcels contained. Most of the kids thought it was kids clothes and toys and the big boys thought it was a pair of jerseys.
While Julie kept on keeping me on the edge of the seat by refusing to reveal the contents. This made me so anxious to get the parcels and take them to the village so that I could see what was inside.

So happy when Lloyd finally got the boxes :)
So happy when Lloyd finally got the boxes 🙂

The day we were to open the boxes was dramatic as kids came to my house at 06am just not to miss the excitement. 😉
We couldn’t do it at home due to the number of people anticipating to see the contents hence we took the boxes to PAF center which has a lot of space.
We did a quiz before opening by asking kids what was in the boxes. As you may guess the general response was sweets, clothes and toys.
There was a mixture of joy and horror when the boxes were opened. Some of the real young kids sighed with dismay while girls and boys, men and women cheered loudly. It was obvious they had the last laugh.

And what was in the boxes? While while…sixty pairs of brand new jerseys, shorts and socks. The village had never seen such a thing before. It was such a joy to touch what they only saw on TV.

And now their own village team was to have a full soccer kit like premier league soccer teams clubs and two brand new balls plus a soccer ball pump. But also our ladies were happy as they were given the white jerseys for the new-formed netball team, the PAF Eaglets.
It was such a beautiful day indeed.

Gratitude to Andrew and Niki Skoullos for donating the kits and school materials. This will motivate the boys who bring so much happiness in Chinkonono. Gestures of love like this make it a beautiful world to live in. Indeed its love without boarders from Australia.

Thanks Andy and Niki. Thanks for being part of the light PAF is bringing to Chinkonono village.”

Andrew…you guys really brought so much joy into our hearts! We have no words to express how grateful we are! Those kids, boys and girls, love sports. It is their way of releasing stress and getting their minds off things. And now they do have proper uniforms to play football or netball and can even compete with other teams!

Also the school materials will make our village school so much nicer and more colourful. Our kids will love it and that way be even more motivated to learn and study 🙂 Thank you so much, Niki!

 

Andrew sent me a little text as well. Check what he says:

“Even in rainy, cold Melbourne, Australia – our hearts are warmed by the work Planting A Future does.  
Through the power of the internet I was lucky enough to come in contact with Julie and she helped us share what we can with the people in Chinkonono! My mum Niki, being a primary school teacher was able to collect story books, educational posters and stationary which I hope Lloyd and the teachers will put to good use!  The sporting uniforms I was able to get a hold through work and I thought it would be special to be able to provide uniforms and equipment for those who love sport just like me! I would love to wish Planting a Future the best of luck with their campaign, I’ll be supporting you guys all the way! To Julie, Lloyd and all the people in Kalomo and Chinokono village – we’re sending you our love! ”

Twalumba kapati! Zikomo! Thank you! Danke! We are sending back all our love to you, Niki and Andrew!

You guys are world changers and it lifts our spirits as well that there is generous people like you out there in this world who just jump in and help us without thinking twice! We are humbled indeed! That is Love Without Boarders!

Feels like Championsleague now! ;)

When Chinkonono comes to a standstill ;)

Psychologists say adolescence is the period of storm and stress. But we at PAF say it is the stage of discover. 😉

Yes, the extra energies are evident in our daughters and sons…and these, if not channelled or harnessed properly, can an individual’s adult life. As in all communities our youths are exposed to negative vices like drug abuse, alcoholism, gambling, casual sex and violence.

As a group we have endeavoured to bring the youths together by sponsoring a football team. This team is made of boys from Chinkonono. Most of them are kids of PAF members.

The Planting A Future Warriors :)
The Planting A Future Warriors 🙂

Check out how engaged those boys are in practice, even more so the spectators on the side 😉

We use whatever means possible to get balls, jerseys and whistles. The boys don’t have boots or socks but are very happy to fly our PAF banners high 😀

Whenever the team is playing the whole village comes to a standstill due to their mesmerizing soccer skills, coupled by their boyish playfulness.

Our supporters ;) Go Warriors!
Our supporters 😉 Go Warriors!

And hey, despite dismal results at times, these boys bring so much joy in our hearts and help us distract from our daily struggles once in a while.

All you guys better stay tuned for more updates on our PAF Warriors!

When Chinkonono comes to a standstill ;)