Newsletter (January 17, 2013)

Dear all, Happy New Year to all of you. This probably will be our last newsletter before we return to Dunedin. We will be home in less than three weeks’ time and we are looking forward to seeing all of you again, after two and a half years, and meeting new friends such as the Stoltes.

We spent a few days in Namibia at the end of December, visiting the deserts. It is very different from Zambia and is much more affluent. However at this time of the year it is very hot and we are quite glad that we came back home which is much cooler in the rainy season. We have lots of rain lately so everything is green and the air is fresh.

Zara was still quite busy for the first two weeks of January, but should be better from this week onwards. TCCA has eleven new first-year students and two students coming back to do the BTh upgrade. So altogether we have 37 students this year which is much better than when we first arrived. We also have eight Korean missionaries coming to take an English course. Quite a number of Korean missionaries have come to Ndola in the past two years. They are trying to improve their English before starting their ministries.

Timothy is still busy receiving new books. He bought quite a lot of books for the library as a friend donated a large sum of money for books related to the Masters programme. Unfortunately there were huge mail delays somewhere and some never arrived. So he needs to claim for refunds and reorder something else. Hope he will get more books in the coming two weeks.

We are trying to sort out what to bring back, what to bring to Lusaka and what to give away. We will not have time to pack everything, but at least we could make a start. After nearly five years staying in this place, we feel sad that we have to leave. We also feel very sad that we have to say good bye to our worker Ba Shindamba who has been working for us loyally for the past three years. It is very difficult to find a good and honest worker here, but he is extremely trustworthy and good. So when people came to know we will be leaving, a number of them approached him to see if he would want to work for them. One job was actually quite good with a big jump in salary but he turned them down saying he did not want to leave while we are still around. We will continue to employ him until we return in May. We hope to find a way to help him learn some skills so that in future he could have more opportunities to find a job, rather than just working for people as a domestic worker. The wage of a domestic worker is quite low but a skilled worker or tradesman can earn more.

The kwacha [currency unit] has been rebased and three zeros have been taken out, so K1000=KR1. The Government also resurrected the ngwees and 100 ngwees = 1 kwacha. There are now coins of 5, 10 and 50 ngwees and 1 kwacha. We can still use the old bank notes until 30 June 2013. Most people find this confusing but hopefully we all will be getting used to all these changes very soon. This probably is a good thing but our time as millionaires finally came to an end. With Christian love.

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