How do we measure success as teachers? Not so easy. A friend, Dr Phil Thuma from Macha Mission hospital explained that to me years ago like this: I feel sorry for you teachers. Yes as doctor I see patients dying, but I also have “success” every day. Like this morning, a four year old is admitted with celebral malaria and I am sure that I can send this kid home, healthy again. You teachers may sometimes not see for years what you actually have accomplished.
We had such a success story recently which is just too nice not to share with you. We had Tony and Machiel, the two shareholders of Aquaperm Company in Johannesburg here for a visit. Recently we bought the pumps and pipes for our new wells and they always come once a year to visit their customers in Zambia.
At the end of their visit Tony, the senior of the two whom we have known for over 25 years, says to me: Klaus you are doing such a good job for young people in Africa. I hope you will continue to do so. I was a bit surprised at such a statement from Tony, so he explained:
About six months ago we had a project in Eastern Zimbabwe, which was a bit surprising, as Zimbabwe is really struggling economically. But we had some inquiries and eventually an order for a well and irrigation project outside the town of Mutare. When we visited there we found a young man, who trains small scale farmers, who obviously was the brain behind this irrigation project, who had organized the people, who had managed to get some funding from a nongovernment organisation. We were so impressed with this man, that I asked him where he got the vision for such a project and the agricultural knowledge. He answered that he had been to Twin Fountain Agricultural School in Kalomo Zambia. He then proceeded to explain to Tony where Kalomo was, but Tony assured him that he did not only know where Kalomo was, but that he knew Twin Fountain Farm quite well.
Independent of this very encouraging story we are actually trying to contact our ex-student John Dube for some weeks. The tropical storm that had brought such devastation to Mozambique a few months ago also dumped lots of rain on Eastern Zimbabwe and so we wanted to find out how John was doing. We have not succeeded yet with the telephone so we hope that during our next school holiday in August we can send one of our teachers to Mutare to find John Dube and look at this irrigation project.
As expected we have a four hour electricity interruption every day now. That is the result of the very low water table in the water reservoirs of our electric generator works. It could actually be worse, but the Mozambique authorities are sending some electricity to Zambia and Zimbabwe right now, because they have so much water after this tropical storm a few months ago that they want to turn their turbines at Cabora Bassa Dam at top speed and offered the extra electricity to their two neighbours who are suffering from low water tables. Wonderful, that the regional cooperation some times works well. This way the water in Kariba Dam will last a bit longer.
Yours Klaus and Christiane