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Rest and a Nice American Meal

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Hi Friends! It’s been a slow and restful weekend, so there’s not too much news on my end! I’d been feeling a bit under the weather lately, but a trip to the doctor and some antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection should have me all cleared up in no time. I spent the weekend for the most part trying to fight the infection with just an embarrassing amount of sleep, but I think it’s been working. As a  very nice treat after the doctor’s visit, the North Park students staying at the Mulandos’ made dinner, which is part of every North Park trip so that the host families who work so hard to feed and care for all the visitors get a night off and a chance to enjoy a nice American meal.

The North Park students staying at the Mulandos’ made cheeseburgers (with bacon), baked beans (with bacon) and french fries (…no bacon). Tyler, one of the students, got an amazing picture of Sombo, Uncle J and Mama Lillian’s granddaughter, with her eyes open absurdly wide, trying to take a bite of the hamburger that was basically as big as her head. It was a really lovely meal, and the hit for the evening was the Kool-Aid, which does not seem to have made its way to Zambia yet. Even the adults at the table couldn’t get enough of it! (Though I’m sure they weren’t too fond of the fact that Sombo and Nkhongono had a ridiculous amount of sugar-powered energy for the rest of the evening.) The dinner was topped off with a classic American dessert: Jello-O, which is pretty much what all of our stomachs looked like by the end of such a huge and delicious meal.

This morning I got up early to do a brief visit to Mwabombeni Basic School, a government primary school very near Hope Community School, to observe the first-day routine and process. I was glad to see that for the most part Hope was doing much of what the government schools were doing, and I picked up a few good tips and tricks that I’m looking forward to sharing with the staff at Hope Community School.

A bit more rest and observation at the school, and it brings me here at the office where I’ll be working this afternoon on training some of the office staff as well as the heads of each of Hope’s departments (i.e., school, orphanage, construction) on a new reporting system to help them better track and assess their performance. It’s always fun to work with the staff here, so I’m excited to get their feedback on the templates I’ve created.

You should be hearing a lot from me this week since I’ll be in the office almost the entire day every day. I’m looking forward to updating you on the progress!

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