Closing Ceremony

Trip Start Jun 30, 2006
Trip End Jul 20, 2006

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

I don't even know where to begin for this message to you all. It has been a pretty amazing 24 hours!

Currently I am writing from an internet cafe in Livingston, home to Victoria Falls, the world's largest waterfall. Yesterday was our last day of building. We finally got our shipment of blocks, but sadly for us, were not able to complete our house. Alot of us were frustrated about the delay in supplies, but the comforting thought is that our donation and fundraising pays for the house to be completed whether we are physically there or not. So, two houses will be built over the summer (their winter) and our team and all of you supporters will be connected to them.

Despite not being able to finish our house, we continued to work a half day yesterday and then had the traditional closing and dedication ceremony with our village. The ladies of the village put on a sale of their handmade tie & dye fabrics (one of the beautiful skills that alot of Zambian women have where they make gorgeous, brite designs in fabric and then make things out of the fabric), clothes, and beadwork. I bought a cute tie & dye bag, and some handmade dolls.

After the sale was where it really got celebratory! The village chairman invited the United Church of Zambia's chorus to perform for us! They are so spectacular. They brought all 40 or so members, and the 5 drummers. They danced and sang for us, and then the children of the village did a customary kid's line dance (which was oddly sexual to us, but I don't think they saw it that way). We were asked to perform, so our group sang Amazing Grace and lead a group prayer for the whole vilage. One of our teamates brought his fiddle out and we all danced to that too. Finally we presented our cooks and security and builders (who are now our friends and we all exchanged addresses) with bags of groceries as thank you presents. We also left all our tools, shoes, and some clothes for members of the village. That was a really awesome feeling. The looks on their faces when we gave them the groceries was spectacular. I can't wait to share pictures with you all.

So, this morning we left in the dark for the 7 hour ride to Livingston. We were on the most hysterical cramped little rickety bus, but we got here safe and sound. This is a really lovely town, and we are over-joyed to be sleeping in beds and having access to real showers! Tomorrow we go on a group jeep safari of the National Game Park here, and then spend the afternoon exploring the magnificent Falls....which I haven't seen yet. On Tuesday we have a free day to do what we want. My friend Denise and I will be taking a Microflight over Victoria Falls in the morning, and then a riding elephant safari in the afternoon! This has been such a spectacular experience. Will right more later!
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