You know the deal. You are home and feel like eating that special fruit or chocolate or you realize you forgot to buy soap. What do you do? You just get outside walk or drive a few minutes and get what you need or desire.
Well…it doesn’t really work like that in Zambia. Especially in rural areas like Chinkonono. There is a very small shop in the next village, but honestly speaking…it by far doesn’t have all our villagers need. So the only solution is to go to Kalomo. But the trip to town for groceries takes the whole day and you always have to add transport costs and hope for someone to pass by and take you there.
So it makes common sense that PAF is now creating our own grocery shop in the village. What used to be the sewing room will now serve as our own little shop. (This situation is temporary until we have managed to construct another building to move the library there and give the tailoring their own room.)
There was a lot of work to do to actually make that room look like a shop. Sonic, Scout and Wesley have been constructing a counter. Our new carpenter Jonsen has been making some nice shelves. And everybody helped cleaning and painting inside. All that took our PAF members about 3 days. Congrats, guys! You did a great job. Thank you so much for all your hard work you put in!
Check the making of the counter:
Scout working on the counter
Sonic working on constructing the counter
Wesley plastering the counter
All good, Wesley? 😉
Painting the counter
But also the shelves needes some fixing:
It will fit…I am sure
Advice from the young guns 😉
Jonsen – Carpenter
Shelves are almost set up
Painting the shleves
Preparing the shelves
Finally finishing up with the last strokes:
Cleaning the new shop
Now we are trying to come up with a smart way get the initial kickstart for stocking up with useful and desired items. Very soon our little shop will be running. A lack of soap, salt, matches and basic stationary items will be a thing of the past.
And who knows…maybe we will also offer some sweets for the kids and some cakes and other “luxury” items as well…I hear the birds tweeting such sweet rumours alreaedy 😉 We will keep you posted and definitely let you all be part of the big opening!
Many times did we announce that PAF is trying to find a caretaker for PAF Center. And guess what…after years of waiting we finally found someone. Meet Sonic, everyone!
Marital Status: married
Family: wife and 2 small kids
Education: gold panner
Place of Birth: Lusaka
In Chinkonono since: 2017
Sonic, you’ll say…sounds familiar in many ways, musically and catchy for sure, not to mention a popular video game hero. But yes…Sonic, that is his real name. 😉
He is 21 years old, happily married and a proud father of two cute and cheeky kids.
Sonic and his wife and baby
Sonic and his young family meeting Wesley and Lloyd
3 guys and 2 kids 😉
Sonic is a resident of Chinkonono. He arrived in the village in early 2017 from Mwembeshi, which is part of Lusaka rural area. Living in Mwembeshi he worked as a gold panner along the Momboshi River.
His new job as caretaker will be completely different. Sonic will now be taking care of the “green gold” in our greenhouses and garden 😉 He will also be in charge of running and maintaining the hammer mill, protecting the PAF grounds and the general upkeep of the PAF Center.
Meet our new PAF Center caretaker, Sonic 🙂
Sonic woking at PAF gardens
Leave that man to work, people 😉
In return a house was constructed for him and his family, so he can stay and work at PAF Center full time. Also, and that is an absolute milestone in PAF history, he is the first person to get “payed” by recieving an incentive for his work. Let me explain the concept here: PAF gives him money to buy diesel for the mill. People come to PAF Center to grind their maize. 4/5 of the profit goes back to PAF to buy new diesel and to invest in other projects. Sonic gets to keep the remaining 1/5 of the profit for himself and his family. Looking at a normal month that is about 90 Kwacha (roughly 8 USD) every 2 weeks for Sonic.
This a way forward for PAF as all members are volunteers and come to work on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays….definitely a concept we are looking to expand and transfer to other parts of PAF activities. 🙂
Of course we had to make sure, Sonic is the right one for this job. So he had to apply for it and undergo serious “interrogation” by some of our PAF members.
Sonic at the “formal” interview for the job as PAF caretaker with some of our members
You already know that maize and tomato are 2 of the core ingredients of the majority of Zambian and sub-saharan African meals. But we also have to add cabbage to that list. It is full of nutrients and keeps the belly full for a long time.
Of course our villagers and PAF members in Chinkonono are growing cabbage for their own use. But our member Raphael is doing it big style. He has a huge cabbage garden and is growing it for his family’s consumption and for sale.
But Raphael doesn’t only grow cabbage. In his garden you will also find onion, egg plant and tomato.
We say: well done! But take a look!
Proud farmer 🙂
Hard work pays off
now that is one big cabbage
On a side note…Lloyd is also trying other good foods 😉
Since we moved our PAF garden closer to PAF Center it is much easier to grow veggies. People work hard to make sure they supply their families and the village with veggies. This season we focus on tomatoes. Besides cabbage tomatoes are among the most important and popular ibgredients in Zambian cuisine. So it only makes sense to grow a larger quantity of them at our PAF garden.
Unfortunately it doesn’t come that easy. With dry season around it is very difficult to water the plants. Mostly women have to carry buckets and buckets and buckets from the river or a well to water the plants. Not even mentioning the actual gardening work. You get the picture…
But just a few days ago all the work started to pay off and the first harvest could be brought in. What a joy 🙂
Of course we have to face the fact we cannot conserve tonatoes properly. But we are trying new methods to keep them longer. One of them is to keep ashes from cooking and put the fresh tomatoes in a box with cold ashes and store them away in a dry and cool place. Let’s hope it works out!
Time flies, folks. Bruni is already back from her 10-days trip to Chinkonono. We are currently working on another slideshow for you guys to see what happened and also some other cool surprises.
But what we can do for now to make the wait worthwhile we want to show you a little tour around PAF Center. Bruni will guide you around and talk about it. It is in German language, but we added the English subtitles for you guys.
Hope you enjoy and are as proud as we are about what happened there in the past years and how far we have already come.
You know people say that education is the key and reading educates. Well…it is true. So one of our main objectives at PAF is to educate our villagers, both kids and adults. Building a library was one of our top priorities. By now it is open everyday and as you can imagine people come and read all the time.
our book shelve
I guess we need more novels 😉
Even adults sit down to read and learn new things 🙂
fixing some educational posters in the kids reading corner
new chairs for the adults 🙂
As by today we have 260 books in stock, most for kids and teenagers but also some for adults. Topics range from science to novels and kids stories. We are trying to offer books in English and Chitonga.
Most are educational books with topics on agriculture, geography, science, literature, religion and health. But of course fictional books are not missing in our library. People can read novels like Harry Potter or Robert Ludrum in English. But also Tonga books like Tuli Bayuni (We are Birds).
The library is open to everyone in Chinkonono and the surrounding villages. People can come and read books inside or sit outside and enjoy the sun while diving into another world. Insides we have 2 kids reading tables along with 8 kids chairs and also 1 adult reading table with 2 adult chairs. I know…it sounds very small. And you are right, it is. But for now that is the best we can do. And lets be honest…the books is what matters most. And also people can of course borrow books for 2 days and read them at home.
But what am I telling you here? Let Lloyd take you on a little tour through our small library:
And yes…just like in any proper library, we do have a new librarian. Obert Milandu is taking care of the library and is giving out books and making sure they are all being returned.
Hey, if you want to come by and read a book…our opening ours are:
Week Days: 14:00hrs to 17:30hrs
Weekends: 08:00hrs to 17:30hrs
Thanks to all those kind donations, especially from Australia, our kids and adults are now in tune with the rest of the world. And I mean…who of us can say he never got lost in the magical world of Harry, Hermionie and Ron? We are so glad that Chinkonono people now can too. This library is making such a big difference and impact on people’s lives.
Since lots of adults in the villages don’t know how to read and speak English we are working hard to get Chitonga books. But we also still plan to set up English courses for adults.
I know…good read so far and you are waiting for the catch. And I don’t want to disappoint you here 😉 As you can imagine, books are not easy to come by in the Zambian bush. So we kindly ask for your help. If you have any spare books and want to send them to us to stock up our library, please feel free to do so. Since we plan to expand the library there is still space in the shelves to fill. Asking for money is always something that feels bad, but of course you can also donate and we will buy books for PAF library.
Planting A Future
P.O. Box 620288
Let’s work hand in hand to help our Chinkonono people to get access to literature and books. Thank you guys so much for taking the time to read this and maybe considering a book donation 🙂
It is again the end of year and everyone and most people are feasting and partying. Chinkonono village was not left behind again. Our PAF member Bruni from Germany made sure the PAF crew celebrated. So Bruni donated money for the event.
Just look at how happy our PAF kids Orsborn, Allan, Ryton, Cyford, Ruth and Told are!
It was supposed to be a PAF family get together, but when the village got wind of it they, too, invited themselves. I mean, who wouldn’t if there is food involved? 😉
This was quite a challenge to adapt to: from planning for 40 people to 160 now. But as it is with PAF, no one was turned away and miraculasly everyone had his fill of food, drink, laughter, joy and music.
But as you all know, a party does not prepare itself or little elves come and do it. So of course our members had a lot of work to do before the feasting.
First of all we had to decide where the food should be served and we were lucky enough that we could use the building that our dear friends Repairer of the Breach built near to PAF Center, the Brain Shapers Learning Center Zambia. Thank you so much, guys!!
Well…some decoration had to be organized. Funnily enough the men took care of that part. Lloyd, Patrick, Effeso and Phillip sat down and used what they had in their gardens to make the room look nicely. We are talking about banana leaves which were being cut into a “Merry Xmas” lettering by Lloyd. Just take some white paper and glue….tadaaaa 😉 Now add some of thosepoor man roses, the bagavarias. The deep purple reddish hues will lighten the Christmas mood. Doesn’t look too bad, does it?
Lloyd and the guys are cutting banana leaves for decor
Coming out nicely
Just adding some flowers and it is done 🙂
Now the major thing everybody was looking forward to: FOOD 😉
Our PAF ladies spent hours and hours cooking in our community kitchen at PAF Center. Rice had to be cooked, nsima had to be stirred and stirred and stirred. And if any of you ever tried cooking nsima, you will know what hard work that is. Also some goat stew and chicken were prepared, scones baked and drinks served.
Just imagine you would have to cook for 160 people, who initially were supposed to be only 40 😉
Pretty steamy in there 😉
Our PAF ladies doing some culinary magic in our Community kitchen at PAF Center
Stirring and stirring
Well…a bit more rice
Ladies, good job!! You guys rock! A big twalumba to Jane, Rosa, Venulli, Bina Bra, Bina Fortune and the rest of our PAF heroines 🙂
Before food was being served Patrick showed us his geeky dance to pass some time while the ladies were cooking.
Meanwhile…preperations went on, heavy loads to carry 😉
Just enjoy our PAF ladies and some kids marching in to the sounds of “My African Dream” 🙂
And then…then…the waiting had an end and finally food was served. Everyone was in such a good mood.
But even serving the food turned out to be hard work…just look at those plates! Incredible! Also make sure you check out our “Christmas Tree” Zambian style 😉 Since we lack a real one, we put some Elephant Flower…you know: attitude is everything 😉
Serving some decent portions
First plates are ready
Our “Christmas Tree” is watching over the dinner 😉
Now we are bringing on some meat
And then the feasting began. Everyone enjoyed a day full of laughter and fun…and a full belly.
Village kids digging in 🙂
Well deserved, ladies! Enjoy your meal!
The gentlemen sat down inside, in style 😉
In summary what was meant to be a PAF get together ended up as a village party and left everyone happy and satisfied. It was so lively and colourful that it was a Christmas to remember.
Thank you, Bruni! Twalumba! ❤
PAF is wishing everyone a Merry Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
Thank you and Twalumba to all our members, donors, supporters, friends and crew! Without all you guys PAF would not be happening!