Day 6 (Saturday) found the team on a outreach put on by a local partner church where they performed a play educating the community about disabilities in an attempted the fight the cursed and abandoned by God stereotype they carry here in Zambia.
Day 2 of the CLASP International trip consisted of speech screenings at the Bauleni Special Needs Project and a church partnership in Chawama.
So I am back in Zambia for just under two weeks thanks to the folks over at CLASP International. We worked out a deal where I take some photos and videos for them and they get me back to this country I love. I’m here with a team of speech pathologists, as well as physical and occupational therapists as they see patients and supervise students in the University of Zambia’s speech pathology program, giving them the hours they need in order to complete their program, become speech pathologists themselves, and then be able to supervise other up and coming speech pathology students.
It’s good to be back in Zambia, back with kids, and back behind the camera. I’ll try and post a few of my favourite photos each day, but depending on exhaustion levels and internet connectivity, we’ll see how that works out.
I was thinking through how little I know about these children when I take their initial profile picture here at CURE Zambia. For the most part, I don’t know their hopes, fears, dreams, and aspirations. I don’t know what they’ve been through or all that much about their life. There is a lot you can gather from a first impression, but there is so much more that you cannot. Dwelling on this eventually led me to playing with the photography technique of double exposures as an attempt to illustrate these feelings.
But this is my job, to get to know these children. To sit down and ask them what their dreams are, sometimes for the first time in their life. What do they hope for? What are they afraid of? What makes them happy? What makes them sad? And it is through getting to know these children that I have seen Christ.
I have much to learn from these little ones.
Since 2010 CURE Zambia has been in the possession of a mobile ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) clinic truck, gifted to us by Gorta and Irish Aid, and has conducted screenings all around Zambia. Minor procedures and extractions can be done on site, while more serious issues are referred to our permanent hospital in Lusaka. For all the children, the visit is an event and for the ones with hearing issues, it is life changing!
Children arrive in droves after being bussed in from many of the surrounding schools.
Alfred Mwamba, CURE Zambia’s Audiologist and the only Audiologist in Zambia, attempts to organise the children in lines by school year.
Excilda (top) and Gabriel (bottom), CURE employees, conduct preliminary screenings on the children to determine what their complaint is before they see the medical staff.
Children wait outside the temporary ENT clinic.
In this case, a small library was used as the base to see children.
Evelyn sets up equipment before the children arrive.
Charity peers into an ear for any signs of foreign objects. The majority of perpetrators are sticks and stones that were used in an attempt to itch and clean the inner ear. It is also not uncommon to find a cockroach that has crawled in during the night
A child undergoes a hearing test to find out her range of hearing.
Alfred fills a teenager’s ear with earmold impression material in order to cast a hearing aid mold.
A teenager with his freshly casted molds.
Secondary school students wait outside the mobile clinic to see CURE’s ENT surgeon, Dr. Ute Froeschl.
Patson attempts to fix the mobile clinic generator as students wait to be seen.
Dr. Ute removes foreign objects from children’s ears and impresses on them the importance of not cleaning their ears with sticks and stones.
On this outreach, roughly 400 students were seen.
Music is a powerful form of expression and always a popular part of our twice a week chapel gatherings here at CURE Zambia. You can listen to these four songs as a playlist here.
Fwaya ba Yaweh
Search for the Lord
Mwari wa Kanaka
God is Powerful
Yesu Mwamuna wa Mutanda
Jesus, Son of the Cross
God Takes Care of Me
When I first arrived in Lusaka, I saw two men walking down the street holding hands. I though to myself that Zambia must be one of the few African countries that is relatively accepting of homosexuality. It turns out that being gay is actually illegal here and Zambians just like holding hands.
I just got back from my motorcycle trip through Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Swaziland. 22 days, 6 countries, and 5118km. Needless to say, I am happy to be back and it was a fantastic experience. I learned so much about myself, about my bike, and about God on the trip. I also did a lot of reading and writing so there will probably be more than the usual amount of text posts in the coming days. Enjoy!