Chilling out in Livingstone has been brilliant. We have really enjoyed the laid back nature, meeting the Zambian people and generally just watching the world go by!! After seeing a poster inviting visitors to the local orphanage, we decided to go over and spend some time with the kids.
We met the director when we first arrived, who kindly showed us around the site and explained the history of the place. Most of the children were there due to their parents dying from HIV/AIDS. The orphanage was home to 28 kids, aged from 1 year 8 months up to 17 years old. All the school aged children attend the community school that the director also set up. The school itself takes in 270 students from the surrounding area. They all are extremely poor and usually wouldn't be able to afford the government schools. The community school doesn't have a uniform and provides each student with basic school equipment and a hot meal at lunch time.
Back at the orphanage we met about 10 of the younger boys and girls who had already finished school for the day. To welcome us there, they all congregated in the living area and sang songs to the African drum beat. Some of the girls danced to the music, in the traditional style. They were really keen to talk in English to us and one mention of football from James and the boys were off - they knew more about the English premiership than most boys of that age in England!! One of them had even used a marker pen to write 'Rooney' across the back of his T.Shirt!!!
Naturally, this lead to a game of football for James and the boys. The girls tried to teach me some of their skipping games, with very little success on my part!!! We ended up playing netball, although not quite the same way we would at home - there were no nets and you could run anywhere!!!
What struck us most I think is how local people, and even people from further a field, were helping these kids. The kids were happy, well cared for and healthy. They really acted like one big family, helping each other out. When the older children came home from school, the house mum taught them how to cook and look after the younger ones.
To say we had a good time probably isn't the right thing to say, but we really enjoyed meeting the children and giving just a little bit back to the Zambian people.