Today, we did some touring around the area of Victoria Falls, visiting some awesome places, learning a lot and making some new friends in a cool place.
We began our day by getting into the car and driving to a local village and meeting locals, where we would meet the headman, Mpisi (pronounced “empisi”).
Mpisi was an awesome man and an amazing leader with tons of charisma. He really inspired me, and all of us, to be better people and leaders in our own home town talking with energy about things like respecting nature, protecting your own culture and customs but learning about new things, about reusing and recycling, about equal rights for women in his village (women can be village leaders too), about everyone getting a vote, everyone taking responsibility for themselves and their families, about protecting nature and all the animals and also about how to live in a corrupt country. He was awesome!
In the village, there are 5000 people total throughout the tribe. There are 450 households that make up the village. One household contains 4-5 buildings per plot of land. Each household is surrounded by crops and animal pens made by everything nearby. Everyone had to gather all of the materials for making everything, which sounds like fun to me. Boys and girls that are above eight move out of their parents hut and move into a hut with other kids of the same gender, anyone under has to share one with adults. All of the entrances to the huts face west, so they don’t have to have dust and wind from the east blowing into your house. All of the houses had very beautiful decorations on them, but we could see where the dust had chipped away at the decorations.
In the household, everyone has to carry their own weight, if you don’t work you die. Even though everyone was working hard, they were all happy and enjoying their jobs. Every family member plays an important role helping the community. In the household, there is no running water or electricity. They only have outlets for charging phones, and solar powered lights. They get water by going and looking for a watering hole. I think that it would be nice if everyone in the world wasn’t constantly looking down at their phones, and went without electronics. Everyone in the tribe must lived in harmony with nature. Living near god is living near nature. If they were to harm nature, it would be a sin to them. Mpisi is a healer, which means he finds herbs and natural resources to heal people in his group. Children are taught from the age of three how to live and survive, and must perfect everything by the age of 13. The greatest crime in their tribe is losing their culture, not living in harmony with nature, or not living the traditional way of life. In Mpisi’s household, there are 19 people living there, 13 houses, 38 cows, 65 goats, 100+ chickens, 25 sheep and 13 mules.
In their household, they don’t carry guns, they may only use spears. In the household, everyone is happy. There are many celebrations and dances and parties. We had a great time visiting Mpisi’s household. Everyone in the small area that we visited was so happy, and Mpisi seemed like a very wise and thoughtful leader.
Our next destination was the Chamabondo school. Before visiting the school, we visited a small vegetable market and learned what the people can buy off what they earn. We learned that the average person makes $230 a month. They spend the money on vegetables, meats clothes and schoolbooks and uniforms. After buying all of the essential products, they family would be left with maybe $15-20 to save for something else, and barely enough to get school supplies for kids.
We walked across from the street and walked into the school. In the school there were 1800 kids. That is about 120 times more than how many kids were in Creekside! There are about 50 teachers and sometimes there could be 90 kids in a classroom. The school didn’t have enough classrooms, so some of the kids had to sit outside under a tree and study. The teachers have to teach 12 subjects. They even teach about AIDS and local diseases, and they have devoted bible study time, because it is a Christian school. The pass rate of their test is 20-30%, but the goal is 80%… Uh Oh.
All the kids seemed very happy and joyful, and definitely enjoyed lacrosse when we showed it to them. We stayed and all of the kids came out to the playground to take turns playing lacrosse with me and laughing and giggling. It was awesome! They also loved Brooke and me, and all wanted to either high-five or shake hands, which was fun smiling with all of them.
Our final activity of the day was a helicopter tour of Victoria falls. We all piled in, and then took off. We soared high and came to Victoria Falls after a few minutes of circling. We had an incredible view of the falls from our viewpoint way up high. We circled many times, before flying through the gorges where the old locations of the falls were. We had a great time flying high over Victoria Falls.
We had an amazing day touring the area around Victoria Falls.