Newsletter (September 11, 2008)

Dear all, We had a very good trip down to Livingstone and visited the famous Victoria Falls last week.  At this time of the year there is not as much water as the rainy season, but the sight is impressive enough. The waterfall is at least a mile wide and at the height of the rainy season, columns of spray can be seen miles away.  The good thing at this time of the year is that one can see the Falls quite clearly and remain dry, otherwise during the peak season the spray blocks the view to the Falls itself and everyone gets wet.

The Falls cross the border into Zimbabwe, so we went there the next day.  Unfortunately the border control did not have change.  The visa costs US$30 per person and we only have a US$100 note, so we decided not to go and returned to Zambia.  Many Zimbabweans cross the border to buy provisions in Zambia, as there is an acute food shortage in Zimbabwe.  The situation in Zimbabwe is quite bleak and there is no end in sight yet.

We also went to the Mosi-O-Tunya National Park to see the wildlife.  This park has no lions, tigers, leopards or other predators, so the animals are quite relaxed.  We saw quite a number of elephants, giraffes, zebras, impalas, buffaloes and wild pigs and thoroughly enjoyed our trip.  There was no map provided so our van went round and round and had great difficulty in finding our way out.  The last 80km of the main highway from Lusaka to Livingstone is in a very bad shape and full of potholes, which makes driving very dangerous and tiring.  Zambia just has no money to maintain most secondary roads, so lots of them are full of potholes, but how they could allow such a main route which is used by lots of tourists to get into such a state is beyond our understanding.

Earlier we mentioned that we have stopped taking anti-malarial tablets.  However soon after that we met our neighbour, a missionary couple from the UK.  They were away when we came and they just got back four weeks ago.  The husband was a GP in Britain and we asked him about taking doxycycline.  He said he has been taking it for the past several years and it seems ok.  He has had several malarial attacks before and he said it is something he does not want to experience again, so he and his wife are all taking anti-malarial tablets.  We also asked the SIM Zambia’s field medical officer and he said that there’s actually not much published data on taking any of the anti-malarials long-term though experientially, people have been known to take it for years without much problems.  So we have started to take them again three weeks ago.  Malaria is a serious problem and every week we hear that someone from the TCCA has malaria.

Timothy has also had a malarial attack this week.  On Sunday he did not feel well and had a slight temperature.  The temperature persisted till yesterday.  He went to the clinic on Monday morning and they took a blood slide but the result was negative.  He thought he had flu but people told him that he might have malaria as flu is not common in Zambia.  Today his joints started to have pain and so he went back to the clinic and this time they said he had malaria, but not very serious.  Possibly the doxycycline that we took has helped, yet was not totally effective.  He is now on medication for three days and we hope he will be fine after that.  We thank the Lord that he didn’t feel so very sick.  Please also pray for Timothy’s health as the days are getting hotter now.  Please pray that he will be able to adjust to a hot climate and there will not be any heath problems.

We had a visitor staying with us this week.  She is a missionary sent by SIM Australia and, like us, she is originally from Hong Kong.  She is serving as a registered nurse in Mukinge Hospital and will be in Zambia for two years.

The President was buried on 3 September and the election for a new president will be held on 30 October.  Life in Zambia is getting back to normal now but please continue to pray for stability and peace in this country.  In Christ.

Timothy and Zara Woo

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