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An offer you can't refuse...

If you wanted, could you refuse:

an offer of tea and a snack? What if you’d already eaten a big breakfast an hour before?

an offer of a home-cooked meal made especially for you? What if you already had plans to eat elsewhere?

an offer of an extra plate of food? What if you already ate a full plate and are stuffed from lots of food throughout the day?

an invitation to spend the night in someone’s home? What if you had already arranged to stay elsewhere in a lodge that promised to be an oasis with hot water, a working shower, comfortable bed plus satellite TV—not to mention privacy—after very full & exhausting days of work? What if it was for a whole week?

an invitation to preach? What if was to preach the next day, which was a major holy day? 

Did your original answers change after considering the “what if”s? These are all offers and situations which we have faced in Zambia. Regularly. Most all of them in the past week, in fact!

Click to read the rest of Molly's reflection...

Posted April 22, 2011
Football in Kitwe Our friend Jenny is doing a project in Kamatipa--a very poor compound in Kitwe. She is working with the community to create a play center for kids with volunteers offering organized play every day. Kamatipa also has a football pitch (soccer for us Americans), where Kitwe's Afro-Eagles team plays (in green). This day they were playing the Parmalat team (in blue). Parmalat is a company which produces boxed milk and juice products. These pictures were from last season, which ended before the rainy season. We used to tag along for games every Sunday afternoon that Jenny was going. Sometimes the game is late because teams walk to the game from accross town, or from the neighboring town--what a warm-up!

The Afro-Eagles have been promoted to the all-Copperbelt league this season, and reportedly haven't won as many games so far, being in a better league now. We hope to go to another game soon. The kids in the compound are really great, and very curious about "muzungus."

The Smiths--Jason, Peter & Brendan--watch with interest

This kid made a had out of leaves!

lots of excited kids

Afro-Eagles vs. Parmalat

at half-time, all the kids rush the field and play with a ball made of plastic bags

Jason joins in the game

Posted April 19, 2011
How do you deal with the hiccups?

I (Molly) am not literally talking about the hiccups—though I do get those too, and mine tend to be intense and even a bit painful, and only sometimes cured by Ryan's attempts to scare the bejezzes out of me.I’m talking about the small problems and issues that inevitably arise in daily life in Zambia, especially when we are on the road, conducting trainings with TEEZ.

Often on the first day of training, lunch can be delayed until 2pm, 3pm, even later! This is often due to fact that most participants bring their registration fees and contribution for meals on the first day when they arrive—only then can the women go to the market to buy the vegetables, cooking oil, salt, and chicken…which they then must slaughter, pluck and cook the chicken and everything else. So it is not unusual for us on the first day to continue with all the lessons for the afternoon while waiting on the lunch, then finish the day with lunch at 3:30pm or so. We make sure to eat a good breakfast with some sort of peanut butter or eggs or other protein. And usually we are given something as a “tea break” in the morning, though sometimes it is simply tea and bread.

Other hiccups we experience often are schedule changes.Once, when we arrived in the morning, ready to start a double training (2 running concurrently), we found hardly any students at the place.Instead, the organizing committee asked to talk with us.They explained they had had significant set-backs in preparation for the trainings, especially that some participants were waiting for their church treasurer to release their registration funds.They requested to postpone the program for sometime in the near future, and suggested we could just go back home to Kitwe! Well, we sat down and discussed between ourselves (Molly, Ryan & the Training Officer).We knew if we went home, it would mean no training for this group this year, because we couldn’t really postpone as the program for 2011 is already VERY packed.It also seemed to us that if there were already people selected and planning to attend the trainings, it would be a shame to let the financial hold-up cause the whole thing to be canceled.In the end, we suggested the organizing committee take the rest of the day to gather all the people, and work out the financials during the week.We started the following day, went through till Saturday, but had a VERY good week.The participants were enthusiastic, hard-working, and it was a thoroughly diverse and ecumenical group with 13 congregations represented from 5 denominations.So despite the initial hiccup, it was quite a successful week, and we were very glad we found a solution.

click here for the rest of the stories and pictures from our trainings!

Posted April 16, 2011
Welcome to the world, Daniel Dalitso!
Daniel Dalitso, at 3 weeks old.
Align CenterCharity, Ryan, and Dalitso

Our friend and "house-help," Charity, has recently had couple new additions to her household. Her husband, Harry's niece, Naomi, came to live with them after her parents died in Malawi. She was pregnant, and gave birth on March 10 to a beautiful baby boy. We were away in Ndola at the time, but when we returned, Charity informed us that the family wanted us to name the baby! It is customary in Zambian culture for friends or family to name a newborn, rather than the parents. We were incredibly honored. We chose to give him a Biblical name and an African name: Daniel Dalitso (dalitso means “blessing” in Chewa, the language Naomi spoke in Malawi). 


We didn't have our camera along the first time we met him & gave him his name. Molly also got to give him a bath that evening. So these pictures are from last week, before we departed for Kabwe. Dalitso came to see us off at the filling station! He has very long fingers and big feet--we predict he will be very tall. He also has lots of soft, curly hair. He is already growing very fast and looks like he will soon be growing out of his 0-3 months clothes. 


Please keep Dalitso and the whole family in your prayers.

Charity, Molly, Dalitso, and Naomi (Dalitso's mother)



Posted April 11, 2011
Pix from the Tutors' Course Graduation Ceremony at Kamfinsa Prison

Last week, we had a great little graduation ceremony for the 21 new TEEZ Tutors at Kamfinsa State Prison.  Here are some pictures from the celebration afterwards:










Posted April 2, 2011
Molly & Ryan Dowell Baum

Author: Molly & Ryan Dowell Baum
Created: July 26, 2010

"We are the scatterlings of Africa/On a journey to the stars/Far below, we leave forever/Dreams of what we were ..." -Johnny Clegg

Where are we?
The Dowell Baum Team is at home in Kitwe.
© 2014