Sunday, April 11, 2010

Peter's Class Project -

Every Grade 5 class at the school participates in an Exhibition - I think of it as a thesis before they graduate from primary school! This year's topic was: Find The Balance: together we can find the balance between earth and man and make the world a better place today, tomorrow and forever.

The purpose of the Exhibition is to gain skills, knowledge and attitudes to prepare for this transdicisiplinary unit. Kids invite guest speakers to talk about local issues that connect to world issues; write their central idea; choose topics based on personal interest; gather research; summarize the research, make conclusions and prepare for their presentations; share their learnings with others; reflect and take action!

Peter worked with two other classmates - Jurgen and Nick - on recycling and efforts that are being done in Lusaka to use recycled materials.

One day, as part of their research, they went to Mercy Ministries - the school and ministry of our friends the Phiris where they are making glass beads out of recycled glass bottles.

The bottles are collected, cleaned and sorted.

Widows from the community clean the bottles.

Bottles are sorted by color and broken into small pieces (to make it easier to melt).

People in the community were trained by a Ghanian glass maker.

He built this kiln for them to use.

The re-hot kiln baking the beads

The glass pieces are put into the molds.

After the beads are fired - they have to smooth out the rough spots - which they do by rubbing the beads with mud on a flat stone...the finished product is in front.

Jurgen, Nick and Peter made their own beads.

Finished beads.


The evening of the exhibition display, the grade 5 kids had an amazing performance before people walked around to see the exhibits. There was singing and dancing and speeches. We all walked away amazed and impressed with what 10 and 11 year olds can do.

Peter (standing on the box) - had a dancing part! Imagine our surprise when we saw him dancing! He was great!

Peter showing his materials for some parents.

Some of the displays on the stage...most kids worked in groups of 2-3 and both the displays and their knowledge of their subject was impressive. Some of the other topics kids picked:

- Animal Conservation

- Deforestation

- Poaching and Illegal Fishing

- Water Shortage and Water Pollution

- Energy

- Import and Export vs. Local Business

- Illegal Charcoaling

Water Lily

Took a fun trip to a lake/resevoir about 3 hours north of Lusaka with the Wilkinsons and Mike V. While we were on the lake, we "picked" a water lily... and I had each person pose, in their own unique way, with that lily, then created a collage. VERY FUN!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Break Road Trip to Lake Malawi

The roads were good for driving - the scenery was fantastic and we didn't have any car problems (like last year's trip to Namibia and Botswana)!!

Along the roadside, we saw lots of used clothing for sale.

We took another road trip for the kids' spring break and headed east to Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa (behind Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika). The drive from Lusaka to Lilongwe, Malawi (the capital) took 8 hours. Malawi is about a sixth the size of Zambia, with the same population (approx.12 million).

The lake is so big it looks like the ocean! And, there were even small waves that crashed on the shore. We enjoyed hanging out on the beach, walking and picking up beautiful round stones that were smooth and cool to the touch.

Every day the cattle took their walk along the water. Thankfully, they didn't poop in the water right in front of us...of course, that doesn't mean they didn't do it elsewhere along the lake!

We saw the most amazing sight - this bright orange-red moon rising over the horizon.

These boys came out each evening as the sun was setting with their makeshift fishing net. The fish they caught were tiny, but at least they were successful.

Carrying their net, walking down the beach in their little undies!! Notice the younger brother is the one who has to carry their clothes and the bucket for the fish!!

Visiting Skezipe, our World Vision sponsored child

The day before we left, we realized that one of our sponsored children lives in Malawi, in the northern part of the country, which is where we were headed. A quick visit to the World Vision Malawi office got us permission to visit her three days later.

John, serving as the official Kautz family spokesperson. I was warned by the WV staff that the man is the one who is supposed to speak!

Curious girls. Peter was complaining how everyone at the event was staring at him. I told him they were just curious. But at a grocery store, one of the cashiers asked me if Peter was a boy or a girl, so I told him that the village may have been staring at him wondering the same thing.

Walking to Skezipe's house - along with 50 other villagers, mostly kids

I had been to the World Vision Area Development Program (ADP) five years ago with a donor group - and had met Skezipe for the first time. For our trip, the staff had arranged for a community gathering and so I anxiously scanned the crowd wondering if I would be able to recognize her - and if she would recognize me.

I saw her, looked at her and smiled...she looked at me, then broke out into a huge grin! It was such a great feeling to know that she recognized me!! She had gotten bigger, but her face was the same and thankfully, each year World Vision sends out an annual progress report with a photo!

In Skezipe's home - we were served a HUGE lunch and presented gifts of wooden hand tools and food from the garden. The home was very small for six people (2 adults and 4 children). The father got a small room to himself and the mother slept in a room with all the children. I'm thinking the father got more rest than the mother!! :-)

With Skezipe's mother and father. Her father is a farmer and the mother stays home and takes care of the children and the house.

The kids said that visiting with Skezipe was one of the highlights of our trip. It's a rare opportunity for donors to be able to see their sponsored children, but a joy to know that they are REAL and are thriving, through the work of World Vision.

Sophie sleeping as we drive...

Ha ha ha...she was just faking it!