Newsletter (May 15, 2008)

Hi, just a short note to tell all of you that we have arrived at Ndola, Zambia safely.  At the moment we still have not got an internet connection, so we are unable to check and reply to your mail.

We went to Hong Kong for two weeks and had a very good time with our parents, relatives and friends. The weather in Hong Kong was surprisingly good, not too hot and not much rain.

We left Hong Kong on 6 May and arrived Lusaka, Zambia at around midday, 7 May.  Contrary to what has been printed on the official websites, passing through immigration and customs was straightforward and easy and our luggage was not inspected at all.  Gilbert Nigh, director of SIM Zambia, was at the airport to greet us.  He took us to the guesthouse which belongs to the Evangelical Church of Zambia.

We spent three nights in Lusaka and we had a hectic three days of orientation and shopping.  We were still having jet lag then, so we were not very alert at all.  Once we arrived Lusaka, we experienced what is a now common phenomenon in Zambia which is power cuts.  We had power cuts everyday, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the evening, sometimes both morning and evening.  Each time the power would go off for two to three hours.  The problem will remain for more or less this year and perhaps things will be better next year.

The economy in Zambia has improved recently, due to the high prices of copper.  Two big shopping malls have opened in Lusaka and one can find big department stores and supermarkets in these malls.  You won’t find them in provincial towns, that’s why people brought us there to shop and try to get as much stuff as possible before heading north to Ndola.

We are instant millionaires in Zambia as one New Zealand dollar is worth about 2900 Kwacha.  The biggest banknote is 50,000 Kwacha, and many things cost hundred of thousands Kwacha.  So we have to carry a large pile of banknotes of various denominations with us.  As we are having jet lag counting money or paying money is totally confusing.

We were driven to Ndola on Saturday morning.  Ndola is about 320km from Lusaka and the trip takes about four and a half hours.  The road conditions are very good (but many side-streets in Lusaka have potholes which makes driving quite hazardous).  It is quite an eye-opener for us.  There are many stalls selling all sorts of goods, mostly charcoal, fruits and vegetables.  There are also many young men standing close to the road with things attached to a string for sale.  We could see parrots, chickens and even mice!  The American driver was born in Zambia so he knows the country very well and told us many useful and interesting things.

Perhaps we can leave Ndola till the next message as we are running out of time as we are trying to send this from a friend’s place.

Please pray earnestly for us as we settle in Ndola.

  • That we will be kept safe.  The house we are in has quite an open section and not many fences around and people can get into the section easily.  At the moment we do not have any dog or worker, so please pray that our Lord will protect us and keep us safe from all dangers.
  • That we will have good health.  Malaria is a serious problem in this part of Africa.  No medication is 100 percent effective.  Please pray that we won’t have the disease and our health will be good in general.
  • That our parcels from New Zealand and Hong Kong will arrive safely.  We sent eight parcels to Ndola, but many people told us stories that lots of them just got lost, or if they turned up it would be more than six months before receiving them.  So please pray that we will receive our parcels soon and none will be lost.  We do need some of the stuff that we sent.

May God bless all of you abundantly and remember us in your prayers.  In Christ.

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