Saturday, 24 August 2013

Nkwali Fourth Day

We went to Kwasa village yesterday. Definitely startling. We went into a class room and the class stood up and sang a welcome song. I felt like saying 'Hold on a bit, we are not royalty'. Later they put on dances for us.

Dancers and drummers on the left. I managed to get close ups of all the dancers faces which have worked well.

Children in the classroom. This is about one third of the class. We saw the library - enough to make you weep. I looked through the jotters of two of the girls and I am guessing that they are two years behind the equivalent age in the UK. There are 750 children in the school and about five classrooms so they run a shift system. It must be hard work for the teachers but the teacher who showed us round was very proud of his students. A minimum of 50 per class.

We also saw the health clinic, one doctor plus one nurse for 9000 people. The nearest hospital is 60 miles away over bad roads. An interesting discussion on HIV in which he said that Zambia's effort to educate everyone about AIDS meant that the rate had really gone down and people were no longer afraid to seek help. The hospital verandah and grounds were crammed with people, all waiting for the weekly HIV van to come round and see them. I took no photos as I thought it would be rude.

We were then taken to a traditional medicine woman and, in some respects, it sounded like mumbo-jumbo. But I do wonder because some of the treatments were sheer common sense.

Part of the traditional medecine woman's pharmacy.

Making moonshine!!! We were given some to taste. It was like gin.

And we were given lunch. Corn meal cooked and really like thick corn flour and just as tasteless. Chicken (one of their scraggy bantams) and pumpkin leaves cooked with various herbs and tomatoes. Both of these were delicious.

The kitchen and the cook.

They went to a lot of trouble for us. I rather think this is a more organised chiefdom than many and I think they are out to promote tourism and get money for their facilities. Our safari camp organised this and were at pains to tell us that we could give any money as a donation for the school which would be more appreciated. And we should not go round handing out money to everyone.


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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.