In Zambia, more precisely in Masaiti village I had the pleasure to spend five days with Lemmy’s family.
Lemmy is an outstanding man - talk active and intelligent. He impressed me with his ideas: 1) Development in Africa has to be achieved by local people and not brought for foreigners; 2) Hiring people for a job isn’t a waste of money but one way to redistribute it; 3) He wanted to raise the standards of his house to improve the health of his kids (no more dust, toilet inside); 4) He loves to learn – he has his own library full of books that he likes to read in the evening (illuminated by a torch!). I was astonished with this great man, so I challenged him to create a space in his new house for his library with room for people to come and read his books and for children to study – a local library for the whole village!
I also spent some time with his wife mostly helping her fetching water from a well far from her house and in the local market selling impwas (local eggplants) that they grow in their garden farm. It meant a lot that I helped her to sell all the vegetables so she could pay more attention to the little baby she was carrying in her back. This lady was so skinny but so strong – she carries the family in her shoulders. I had to tell her how strong and beautiful she is and also I had to stop her while working to get something to eat. Five children, cooking, selling in the market, fetching litters of water for cooking and cleaning, washing clothes, taking care of the garden since the sun rises till the sun sets. She is a super Woman and I just would like to have half of her courage.
You’ll never read or hear from them how much grateful they are for my presence in their house and in their village. But I want to tell you all how grateful I am and how privileged I feel by keeping in touch with them. There’s no other way to make development besides the possibility that we have every day to show love in deeds because we can have loads of money but we are really far of understanding the real meaning of living in family and of being part of a community.
Natotela Sana – thank you very much by letting me be part of your family!