Zanzibar: Stone Town

Stone Town is an ancient trade hub of Eastern Africa with beautiful buildings, winding narrow streets, and spice, fish and fruit market.

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Stone Town played a central role in the East African slave trade, which Dr. David Livingstone worked to abolish. After mobilizing the British to stop slavery through Zanzibar, Livingstone started building a church at the slave market before moving on through Africa. He spent his last days in Northern Zambia where he passed away from malaria. The Scottish wanted to bring his body back to Scotland, but the locals believed that he belonged in Zambia. He had lived and died for Africa. The disagreement was resolved when a local cut out his heart, burying it in Zambian soil, and allowing his body to be shipped back to Scotland. A tree was planted over his heart and 30 years later a branch was cut from the tree, from which a cross was carved and sent to Zanzibar where it has been placed in the church Livingstone built. The ancient slave market is full of symbols that remind us of suffering and oppression but also of bravery and great deeds in service of freedom.

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Rural Zambia

Misaka is a poor rural area, where our friends Malene and Andreas run a sponsor programme. The kids in this area typically only eat once a day and struggle to pay school fees. In fact the teachers at the school had not been paid their salary for three months as the parents have not paid the fees. The sponsor programme ensures both school fees and uniforms for sponsor kids but also provides breakfast for the entire school.

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One of the teachers, Given, a wonderful lady, has adopted several children which she supports on her own.

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Another impressive lady is Margaret, who was our maid in my childhood home. She works full time at the farm and her husband works as a psycho-social worker at the clinic. In addition to this the run a small farm, where they grow vegetables and maize and raise chickens including layers. They are struggling to build their own home, so as to live close by their fields and chickens.

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If you wish to support kids in rural Zambia, klik on www.misaka.dk

 

VICTORIA FALLS

Victoria Falls, also called Mosi o Tunya, ‘the smoke that thunders’, spans 1708 metres and falls 108 metres making it the worlds largest waterfall. Wandering along the paths across the gorge, awed by the tremendous pounding of the water, and laughing, being caught up in the fun of being soaked by the spray, I was, as I am every time I stand on the cliffs gazing at the falls, struck by a feeling of smallness. Not small in the sense of insignificant. Perhaps in fact there is a very real significance in this particular sense of smallness. There is something majestic about these falls that throws my attention out of myself, and makes it clear how large, how overwhelmingly large, this world we live in is, and how small I am. In day-to-day life I am the centre of my world, the point from which I experience all around me, the first person narrator in my story. But standing in front of this staggeringly stunning thunderous sheet of water, I am drawn out of this centre and for a few brief moments my body is soaked with a tangible sense of smallness and the spectacular beauty and immensity of our world is crystallized, not as an abstract piece of knowledge but as a concrete embodied sense of being brought to my knees.

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