Before any big venture can begin, there is a lot of work to be done. The day begins with shopping. So far the team has been together every day (the big exception is that three of our valued members, Steve, Maurine and Kathy, have not yet arrived. We pick them up from the airport on Sunday morning, just in time before the start of the clinic proper , more about that later). We eat together and then we go shopping, together. First stop the pharmacy to pick up all the medicines that were ordered while we were still in Australia. Half the team go in and start checking off boxes and boxes of the drugs and supplies that we will need for the term of the clinic. While the other half head out, change some money to the local currency and then off to the supermarket. When we are picked up we have to fight our way onto the bus to find our seats, climbing over boxes and boxes of pharmaceuticals. we spend the rest of the afternoon fitting out the classroom, turning it in to a community clinic. What a long day we think as we wearily walk home. The reality, however, it is not what we did today to get ready, but the long months planning for this trip, from as early as last year.
Barbara is like our unofficial team leader. Barbara has done nearly all of the organising, booked accommodation, wrote a hundred emails and has held various meetings with staff, now that we are here. This is Barbara’s second visit to Zambia with a medical team, so where does her love for Zambia and the people of the local community come from? A few years ago Barbara was re-evaluating her life and where she can put her skill set to the best use. She was also looking at how she can live a simpler life. Barbara is a humble person. She is not a medic, her skills lie within health education. So in 2013, Barbara and her husband Ken sign up with the medical team and Barbara helped run some education classes for some of the ladies from within the local community. Dealing with issues such as hygiene and diet, preventative actions that can generate a healthier lifestyle. As Barbara says the medical team do a sterling job, for two weeks that are attending to the immediate health needs of the community. Education is something that can be taken away that lasts a life time. On her first trip Barbara was confronted by the sheer poverty. It is well and good to see photographs and hear stories from other people she says, it is only when you are here in the country that their poverty becomes so real. One of the ladies said to Barbara, “what do we do when a pregnant ladies is not able to look after herself as she has no money to buy any food, not even a banana.” As I mentioned before Barbara wants to live simply and the Simple Generous Life that Eagles Wings has embraced are values true to Barbara’s heart.
Barbara’s other skill is organisation. After she had successfully organised Lackson’s complete itinerary when he visited Australia last year her efforts did not go un-noticed. Barbara now sits on the Eagles Wing’s board in Australia. And so we come to Barbara administrating the whole 2015 Team. Barbara’s vision for this year is to continue with her health education and extend it to the wider community, not just the handful of ladies she saw last time. These ladies will now become her support staff. Just today she was sharing with Daniel, the school principle, her plans and he applauded her as this is one of his visions, to empower the local community with skills such as the ones Barbara will be teaching. And while we also applaud Barbara for her vision and efforts, she will quietly go about her business and ask that we do not make any fuss about her. Her business is to honour God and her love is for the poverty stricken people here in Zambia.