Tasks shared with friends are always more fun. So when preparing to pack supplies to take to the projects supported by the accommodations we would visit on our trip to Zambia, we were delighted to have the assistance of friends.
We will be staying at 3 different camps in the Luangwa Valley, Kafunta River Lodge, Three Rivers Camp and Kaingo, all of which support Project Luangwa.
We are also going to two Wilderness Safaris camps in Busanga Plains, Busanga Bush Camp and Shumba. They support four primary schools which educate approximately 2000 children from the ages of 4 through 12 years old. Because of our limited luggage allowance, we were able to arrange for supplies for those camps to be purchased locally in Zambia. We will receive a picture of the supplies once they are delivered and include it in our post-Zambia blog.
My generous and caring neighbor Karen, her talented granddaughter Niyah, Jack a current intern, and Megan, a former intern who now volunteers her time, made for the perfect team.
We provided a pizza lunch to prepare for the task ahead, and we were ready to work. Jack and Niyah being the youngest, volunteered for floor duty and began packing the 44 soccer uniforms we had collected from the Uniform Project in Atlanta. They needed to cut off the tags from the new shorts and socks and prepare them for the suitcases.
In another room, Karen, Megan, and I started preparing the school supplies and reading glasses requested by Project Luangwa. First, we removed tags and unnecessary packaging and then filled the pencil cases with pencils, protractors, compasses, glue sticks, small packs of crayons, flashcards, and individual pencil sharpeners. Then we placed the reading glasses in individual cases to protect them on their journey.
My husband, Scott, was designated as the official photographer for the occasion.
Jack and Niyah then helped us move the supplies to the living room for the final packing. Having owned a business of her own, Karen was the consummate packing guru. Under her direction, we made short work of packing the suitcases for maximum protection of supplies for the journey across an ocean and several continents.
Monies for the supplies were generously donated by friends who wish to remain anonymous, Janice and Dean Turner, and Karen, who has always donated supplies when Scott and I go on Pack for a Purpose trips.
In addition to the school supplies and soccer kits for teams, we also received funding for one of the Project Luangwa focuses that is especially dear to my heart.
That project provides young girls entering womanhood access to the sanitary supplies that allow them to stay in school without missing several days a month. These are called Ufulu pads and are locally made and sourced in Zambia. Each pack of five reusable pads costs $2.60. With generous contributions, we collected $800 to purchase these pads for girls in Zambia. We will be meeting with the director of project Luangwa Ian Macallan when we arrive, knowing that over 300 girls will benefit from the funds we raised.
I want to thank my dentist Brent A Meekins, DDS, who made a significant donation in honor of the birth of his first daughter Lula. Lula is named in memory of both her grandmothers. In this family, Lula will learn kindness and how vital caring for others is.
I also want to thank my fantastic hairstylist Alexandra Krikava at the Samuel Cole Salon who not only makes my hair look beautiful every week but has a beautiful heart as well. When I mentioned what I was doing in passing for the trip, she immediately said she wanted to contribute. Lastly, I want to thank my dear friend from childhood Regina and her husband, Buddy, for their generous contribution. With two granddaughters, this is a project they wholeheartedly believe in.
Scott and I are thrilled to be returning to Zambia! However, what makes all our trips more meaningful is our choice to Pack for a Purpose, taking needed and requested supplies for projects in the local communities we are visiting. We know the trip we take will go much farther than the miles we travel.