Here’s an excerpt from a recent message from Marylee Banyard, who is now in Southern Zambia. For the last few years, Malambo Grassroots has used a white mini-bus for all their errands. The mini-bus is indispensable. Just one of its uses is to transport the women from the Malambo Women’s Group and the Lusumpuko group to Lusaka for the monthly craft market. Here Marylee updates us on its fate:

“Our bus is now defunct. A friend from Choma very generously has lent me one of his. A Suzuki…4-wheel drive. Little. Tough. I came back with it on Sunday, hauling it around corners with no power steering and very heavy.  We went through an enormous, pounding rain with wind and hail. Couldn’t see the lines on the road. But all OK and we got home in one piece.

“On Monday I set off for Monze in the mini-bus. Our mechanic Rabson said it would make it to Lusaka with Sipriano driving, and a cargo of Mrs Jonah, Mrs Mweetwa with a bag of maize, our young secretary Tiswani and another woman. By the time we got half way to Monze (about 5 km) the bus was juddering badly, so we decided to come home. 

“We jettisoned the ladies by the side of the road and turned back. However, by the time we got to the turnoff [to the Moorings farm], the old bus had recovered, so we turned round again, found our passengers still by the side of the road, and the rest of the trip was fine.

“Sipriano picked the old thing up this morning at 5 am and drove very slowly and carefully up to Lusaka. He brought Lasco along for support. He called us on his cell from the turnpike [about halfway to Lusaka] to say he was slow, but OK. He said he would make Maranouchi Motors [just outside Lusaka] by 9 am. The trip usually takes three hours.”

It looks like we’ll now be fundraising for a new bus!