Updates from Zara and Vivi, who may or may not have been bribed into blogging

Building A Home

By Zara Ducker

Today, instead of “mudding” the houses – the process we’ve been doing the past few days – we were building the structure of a new house that Home For AIDS Orphans is starting.

It was a lot of work. We had to carry lots branches over then we have to tie them together against the tall polls, working as a team to make sure the woods and the ties line up. It was very difficult and made me very tired.

We had to do a very good job because the structure of the house is the most Important part. You can’t see the wood part once you mud over it, but it is the most important part.

I thought I was pretty much an expert on making Zambian style mud houses after my first few days here working with the mud part. But I now know that what is on the inside of the house (made out of many tree branches) is way more important then the outside of the house (the mud).

So pretty much what I’m trying to say is the most important things and the strongest things are on the inside of the house. The things that are not obvious about the house when you first see it. I didn’t see that there were many many wood branches until we ourselves were creating the structure of the house today.

I had to learn about the house and the process about how it is made inside first then the outside part. This whole experience has made me realize that sometimes the most important things about people are internal things too.

This whole trip so far has been amazing and made me feel so grateful for everything I have. It is been so fun, and so interesting building a house from beginning to end. For the first two days we help finish a house – the mudding and smoothing and flooring process. Today, we were working on the beginnings of a new house. I am glad we have gotten to do both. We have a few more days here, but it likely won’t be enough time to finish that house that we worked on today.

The house we finished yesterday.

With Margaret, the grandma who will move into the home with her grandkids

I enjoy seeing the children everyday at the site where we build homes. Watching the kids getting so excited is funny to us. They scream “makua” which means “white person” or “foreigner” in English. The children run up to hold her hands and walk with us. And touch our hair and arms and skin. They touch us constantly but at least it is friendly and funny.

We tried to rest but had an audience

We were worried about food but we are eating really well. Every day we go to the same bakery down the street and get these amazing fresh bread rolls and we get these very good sweet fried bread rolls called fritters.

This is the oven where our favorite rolls are baked

I also love going to the preschool and working with the kids.

These are only some of the amazing things that I have enjoyed on the trip so far. Thanks for reading

We need 6 hands in Zambia

By Vivi Ducker

In Zambia there are so many children who are much less fortunate than we are. They get very excited when they see us. They call us “makua” which means white person. They do not mean this to be offensive. They are just saying it because they’re not used to seeing people with lighter skin. We are in a small village and not a big city. And the places where we build homes are way off the road. So we are unusual.

When you see kids here, they like to run up and give you hugs. They also like to put out their pinky with your pinky – kind of like a pinky swear. Here that is what they do to say they want to be friends with us. You say “muriconni” which means that you are friends together.

The kids are so nice and so amazingly friendly. They always love seeing us and they always like holding our hand.

This gets hard because there always about 10 kids gathering around and I have only two hands for them to hold. Sometimes about three kids hold on to each hand!

I need a lot more hands!

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