Wednesday, June 22, 2011

update on the Sakeji Copperbelt 'Tour'

I tried to write this post on my laptop in the car on the way home from Chingola as it was all still fresh in my mind. after about 10 minutes, however, I realized it was just too frustrating as i couldn't read the screen properly and the bounces were making my usually bad typing even worse! So i've finally found some time to sit down and write about our little trip.

We, the grade 7-9 students, Phil Towse, Janette Young and myself, left Sakeji shortly after breakfast on Saturday morning. It was quite an excited crowd both in the vehicles and waving goodbye as this type of trip hasn't been done at Sakeji before. Janette and I had a truck full of very excited pre-teen/teenage girls who sang or chattered like magpies for the first hour or so. Then the car became nice and quiet as they got bored and decided to nap. The drive to Chingola was pretty uneventful; we stopped once for a bag lunch and a few times for a bush 'pit stop' and once at NoNo's for some soft serve icecream. Once we arrived in Chingola our time was planned out fairly well. We had plenty to keep up busy, but not so busy that it wore us out. The first evening we relaxed, the kids swam in our host’s pool and we had a bbq supper. We finished off our day with a video. It was quite a long day and we stayed up quite late so we were all happy when it was time to trundle off to bed. We were all looking forward to sleeping in the next day!

What we weren’t expecting was to wake up bright and early to the sound of traffic! Not something we hear at Sakeji. The sun streaming through the windows was another annoyance for those of us who wanted to sleep in past 6am! Despite all that our day started off nicely and leisurely as we didn’t have to be at the Sunday service until 10am.
The girls enjoyed a breakfast of hot toast and a selection of cereals. (HOT toast is special treat in itself!) We spent much of our day at Amano Christian School. First for the morning service, and then lunch and ‘siesta’. The kids had a netball practice to get them warmed up and used to the court as it is twice the size of ours. After which the girls took themselves off to the dorm to find their new-found friends to ‘hang’ with. The boys were challenged to a football (soccer) match by the Amano boys. As we only had 3 boys and male staff members the teams were mixed up a bit to even it out. Running around in the sun for an hour or so is quite sweaty work, so we took the students back to their host houses for a swim (not enough time for everyone to shower) to try and reduce the smell before supper!

Monday morning the girls were quite nervous about the ‘tournament’ that was taking place that afternoon. We started our day with a tour of Amano, after which the students joined a PE class to play floor hockey. While this was going on Janette and I headed back into town to do a rather hurried grocery shopping. We met up with some old friends, the Campbells, for tea and a quick catch up then booted it back for lunch at Amano. The tournament began around 1:30 once the other team had arrived. There were only 3 schools involved but both Amano and Nchanga had 2 teams worth plus lots of subs to our one team with one sub. Despite that our girls played very well and didn’t lose a match! We tied one game though (although we disagree as they didn’t count 2 of our baskets!). They even beat the Amano mixed team which had some highschool kids on it! We’re quite proud of them. :)

After the tournament we went out for some more ice cream to celebrate and then back to our host’s house for a pizza party. It was a great way to end the weekend. By this point I was beginning to feel pretty exhausted and I’m sure the kids were running on adrenaline!

The next morning we had to get up early and pack up the car to go. We discovered once again that once you open a suitcase there’s no way to get everything back in! we had 8 girls, 2 staff and all our gear + groceries stuff in and on top of the Patrol as we made our way over to the boys house. Thankfully we were able to offload some of the stuff into their vehicle (as well as a few passengers) which made it a much more comfortable drive! The girls were much more subdued for a good portion of the trip but then they started to get silly. I was really feeling the affects of the cold I’ve been battling and finally gave in and had a snooze most of the way home. We arrived back at Sakeji around 4:30 pm, interrupting the staff vs student soccer game by singing “when the saints go marching in” at the top of our lungs while tooting the horn. We had to make a ‘grand’ entrance :) the juniors came running with smiles, giving hugs and shouting ‘we missed you SO much’! you’d think we were gone a month, not just 4 days!
All said, it was a good time. Now if only I can catch up on some sleep and get rid of this horrible cold!!

There were 5 teams competing in the tournament but only 2 schools as both Nchanga and Amano had 2 teams and lots of subs. Our girls, despite being nervous about competing for the first time, did VERY well. We’re not sure of the exact scores as the score keepers had different numbers but basically our girls were undefeated. At the very end they faced an Amano team that was made up of both elementary and highschool students and they beat them! We’re SO proud of them. While the games were taking place 2 of our boys got to go golfing with Phil’s brother, Jonathon and they had a blast doing so. After it was all over we loaded up into the cars and drove back for some well deserved icecream.

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