In late July 2019, Katherine and I flew out to Kitwe for a week's visit.
My second visit, Katherine's first!
It's a 24 hour trip involving 3 flights.
We stayed with Stephen and the Kainga family. Strange for me as this time there was no Judy.
It was truly a welcome home!
We were laden with luggage packed with as many useful things as we could carry, including a couple of laptops, sports equipment, toys and books.
Seeing the school for the first time was very emotional. Having spent all these years raising money to buy a plot of land, suddenly a fully operational school was waiting for us!
We were welcomed like VIPs! All our gifts were displayed for the staff and pupils to see and we sat at the top table and were treated to a full ceremony of prayer, speeches, song, poetry, drama and dance. What a treat, and as a teacher myself, I could appreciate the endless hours of preparation by everyone!
During the week, Katherine taught PE outside to all the classes, passing on ideas and skills that they hadn't seen before. The bibs and markers that we took came in extremely useful.
The teachers asked me to teach each class. They were interested to see my English teaching style. It was a pleasure to do so and such a privilege to get to know some of the children and staff.
Every child wore the same uniform and every child ate the same meals. To start with, it was difficult to spot the orphans. This was Judy's idea, that everyone would be treated the same. No distinction. But on closer examination, you could see the 'Judes'. It was their tatty shoes and threadbare socks and their overly-used uniform (provided by British sponsors) that told us these were possibly the only good clothes they had.
On the Wednesday we had an appointment with the Mayor of Kitwe. This was a special honour. He thanked us and all our fundraisers back in the UK for helping the orphans of Kitwe. A special moment!
Also today, we visited Judy's grave. A terribly emotional moment. On my first visit, I had been presented with an artificial red rose when I worshipped at her church. Today, I sang 'May the choirs of angels' and placed the same rose on her grave.
May she rest in peace!
On the Thursday evening we were the honoured guests at a special Zambia Evening.
We joined invited parents (of the fee paying pupils) staff and other guests involved with the school. It was an evening of amazing music, dance, local food, speeches and friendship! Quite unforgettable!
Friday brought the first ever Jude School trip! We were told that we were going to the zoo. But it wasn't the kind we were expecting. Basically it was the wide outdoors! Children and staff were packed into several minibuses and we drove through something akin to a safari park, though the animals were living in the wild. The children then had fun at the massive play park. Such memories!
Enjoy the pictures!