Tag: Zambian life

A great 103 miles!

Geoff Cross on a training ride up Mt.Baker

At the end of September, Geoff Cross rode for Malambo Grassroots in the 103 mile Levi’s GranFondo cycling event. Geoff had a great ride finishing 80th out of the thousands of participants! Thank you so much, Geoff, for your support!
Read here his summary of his day:

Typical of the Bay Area, the day started with some fog and cold, making way to beautiful hot sunny skies in the mountains before dropping down into the fog bank hanging over the pacific coast. It didn’t rain thankfully, as the course was even more technically demanding than I had been told- Besides the 7.500 other riders, there were lots cracks and potholes and tree-lined, switch back descents to keep one senses firing all day.

It is a spectacularly well-organized event with rest/food stations just where you need them. I knew that a key to a good performance would be eating and drinking more than you feel like. While not a recipe for day to day diet, I credit the peanut butter and jam sandwiches and coke, combined with the terrifically supportive atmosphere, and getting to share it with friends, that kept unexpected levels of pep in my legs all day.

A bike in Zambia

It was the best road ride that I have ever had the luxury of undertaking. Some/many big rides are Type 2 fun- painful and full of suffering during and only enjoyable after they are done with the sense of accomplishment; however, every so often you do a big ride that is Type 1 fun- huge smile inducing all day long, even though you are breathing hard. I think of it as being in the state of “Flow” that athletics, music, art, and other endeavors can bring when everything comes together in just the right doses.”

Geoff told us that he was happy to have had the opportunity to do the ride and support Malambo, and we are so grateful to Geoff! Thank you!

Dispatches from Zambia: from orphans to photocopiers

 

Monze storefront

 

Here is an excerpt from a message from Marylee Banyard, who is now in Zambia. On a recent trip into the nearby town of Monze, she encounters both old and new, from technology to polygamy to children orphaned by AIDS:

“We have laminating facilities in Monze now. It sort of works, but is a little gimpy. Photocopying too… the page comes out with a dark mass at the top. 

“The man there gave me a big lecture about, “Why is it always women and orphans? What about the MEN!” He said he is a grandfather supporting an orphan at Zimba school. He also said that he was born in a hut, not a hospital, and BaTonga culture has good midwives. We foreigners don’t understand Tonga culture.

“I said we should go have a cup of coffee, as he was continually being interrupted and dealing with all sorts of people with issues while he was arguing with me and trying to laminate.

“He also said women bring it on themselves because they don’t have to be second and third wives. They have choice. [ed: Polygamy is still legal in Zambia.]

“From him I went to see Sister Lontia at the St Vincent de Paul Community School in Monze. We discussed many things. Concerning second and third wives, she pointed out their usual circumstances of poverty and insecurity. The children they bring with them into the marriages are often not accepted by the new husband, and the real father has probably died or vanished. 

“She has 204 children in the school, of which 123 are orphans, and 77 are “vulnerable”. Sometimes the economic pressure is too great for families and children are abandoned. Although the school tries to charge K5,000 ($1.25 Canadian) per term (3 terms a year ) the school accepts all, even if they can’t pay.  They are Catholic Mission funded.”

A student from St Vincent de Paul Community School paints a mural on the school walls. The Zambian flag flies high above.

© 2020 Malambo Grassroots

A Project Member of Rose Charities Canada