Newsletter (June 18, 2009)

Dear all, Both of us have had malaria recently.  Like last time, it is quite a mild dose.  However this time the symptoms were very different.  We did not have headaches or fever.  Timothy thought he had flu and cold but then his colleague asked him to check as one of her friends thought she had flu but it turned out to be malaria.  So he finally went to the clinic to have blood slides and the result was positive.  Several days later Zara felt very tired and her arms were very painful.  Timothy thought she might have malaria so she went to the clinic and the test confirmed it.  So we now realise that, even for the same person, the symptoms of malaria can be very different.  We don’t know where we got the malaria from.  It is not likely that we got it at home, so it can be somewhere else.  We have come to know that lots of people are sick, most of them have malaria, so it is a widespread problem at the moment.  Another possibility is that we still have some parasites lying dormant in our body from last time and they will be reactivated and cause problems from time to time.

There is still lots of confusion as to who is on strike and who is not.  The Government has struck a deal with the various civil servant unions and given them a 15 percent increase in their salaries.  Both parties have signed the deal but some members of the unions are still refusing to resume work.  We know most teachers have resumed work but many nurses are still on strike.  Last week some secondary students in many places were rioting and protesting about not able to learn.  We went out one day around lunch time and when we came back not long after we noticed the roads near our house were full of rocks.  We thought maybe they came off from a truck.  Then we saw a Land Rover drive past slowly with a man in helmet standing up with a gun in his hand.  The vehicle was unmarked and we were very puzzled as to who he could be.  When Timothy went back to the office, people told him that the students in the nearby high school were rioting and the police had to fire tear gas to disperse them.  The man with a gun we saw earlier was from the police.  It seems that student riots are not uncommon in Zambia and from time to time we will hear about them.  The one we just missed was apparently a very small scale one and the local daily newspaper even chose not to report it.

The annual TCCA Graduate Enrichment Seminar was held last week.  The theme of this year’s seminar was “The Minister and a Ministry approved by God”, and the main speaker was from Lusaka.  He had four messages and his preaching was very good and helpful.  This year about 50 graduates came back (compared with over 70 last year) and they have had a very good time catching up with one another, with good sharing and fellowship.  Last year when we attended, shortly after we arrived, it was totally confusing.  At that time everyone looked the same to us and all the names are strange and difficult to remember and as soon as someone told us his/her name we straightaway forgot it.  This year Zara only attended one or two sessions as she had to go to the orphanage and the rest home.  Timothy attended half the sessions as he was struck down by malaria later in the week, but at least he could recognise some people and remember some names.

Last week at the orphanage some Australians came to help and one of them was a physiotherapist specialising in babies and young toddlers.  She was very good and nice and showed Zara how to help the very young cerebral palsy children as the younger they are, the better the chance that they can be helped.  With Christian love.

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