Africa: Sinazongwe Part 2

(you can see all my blogs about Africa by clicking here)

The first evening in Sinazongwe was amazing, but it was nothing compared to the first day at the Makonkoto school. In recent years the student attendance has gone from 500 kids to over 700. And a lot of that is due to the to work these organizations do there. Especially when they added computer lab.

We stopped by the World Vision ADP offices first thing in the morning and met Fred plus his team of amazing people. We had a brief devotion and hymn singing, which was absolutely awesome. I have to say, the singing voices of these Zambian people was mesmerizing.

The goal of the school visit was to talk to the teachers, learn what they are dealing with, their struggles, how the computer lab was doing, and also to install some solar lights that we brought along. Later in the day Austin was to meet the Chief of Sinazongwe, but he ended up being in Lusaka. We also visited a clinic that Hoops of Hope helped build plus a new machine that tests for AIDS/HIV.

I have comments below talking about the photos…and sorry, this was all one single day and there are A LOT of images. I couldn’t not show them all. And these aren’t even all of them.

Hope you enjoy. If you missed my first blog post on Africa, you can see it here.

The first few images are from the Lakeview Lodge early in the morning. I can’t believe this view was 20 feet from my cabin. It didn’t feel like we were roughing it AT ALL.

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I like this picture of Austin. I’m sure he was just waking up or zoned out cause it was the morning, but it’s also something to be a kid like him and do so much for people…inspiring them, talking to them…always being “on”…it’s gotta be hard. I love this kid.

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That is Fred giving the big hug…such a good guy. He bought us all little gifts that he gave us the next day.

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That is Austin in the right newspaper article from when he was 13 and first visited Africa. Amazing.

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Our first moments at Makonkoto school.

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Love these kids.

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They flocked once they saw me taking pictures. I got Austin to jump into the frame.

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This choir group was singing for us when we walked towards the computer lab. Blew my mind.

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This is the School Head talking to us and the teachers. We had a lot of meetings and did lots of introductions over the course of our time in Zambia.

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These are the awesome laptops that these kids get to use. In the middle of nowhere.

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I friggin’ love this photo haha!

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This boy showed us how he could type his name on the computer. Amazing.

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Austin visiting some classrooms.

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One of our travel companions, Kelly Sim, was talking to these girls…I love their reaction to whatever she’s saying. Sooooo much joy on their faces.

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This girl really wanted a photo and when I held up the camera, she put her hand on her chin cause she thought it was some model pose. I love it!

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Kids were always wanting to follow or chase us in the car.

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Here we are visiting a medical clinic where they can now test for HIV. This was donated by Hoops of Hope. Was amazing to hear the stories by the medical staff.

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This machine tests for AIDS/HIV and cost nearly $75,000. All donated by Hoops of Hope. Because they have this simple machine, the cases of HIV have gone down and the people who have it are being treated. Unbelievable.

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As I said before, Austin was supposed to meet the Chief of Sinazongwe, but he got busy at the last minute. One of this aids though was so amazingly kind to everyone and especially to Austin…at one point he just said, “I have to give you a hug.” and up he jumped to grab Austin. Was a cool moment.

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Hey that’s me! Thanks Dan for taking a photo. I love these trees!

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We pulled over at little village to wait for other people, and so Austin, Denise and I jumped out to hang with some local kids.

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Denise always packs some bubbles and the kids love ’em.

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This dude…was trouble. He made fun of my shoes and my glasses! I love him though.

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OMG.

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We had some time to spare so we went BACK to the school to hang with the kids. Dan pulled out a soccer ball and it was chaos. So much fun.

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Everybody running after the ball.

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We organized a line to hang out lollypops.

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This beautiful girl is an albino and was sponsored by Sisley, one of the team from Intel. It was awesome to see this little girl later surrounded by friends from the school…you could tell they love and protect her. Bad things can happen to albino children out in the bush by old “witch doctor” practices.

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The kids gathered for a quick talk from Austin.

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This girl kept looking back at me and I finally caught a shot of her. I think she knew what she was doing 🙂

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A giant Austin amidst all the Zambian children.

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Ummmmm…this little girl in the yellow shirt spoke perfect English and was the cutest thing I’d ever seen…except for that little beauty sitting next to her!

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Everytime I pulled out my camera I ended up with a ton of kids running up, so it was nice here at the end of the day that only a few remained. I grabbed them to do some individual portraits and wow, these are some of my favorite images. The light was beautiful, the kids even moreso.

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This last one is a shot that I didn’t even mean to take. And that’s probably why I love it so much. It’s not in focus, and I didn’t know the kid was there. I just wanted the sun against that tree. I took it from a bouncy truck.

I can’t explain why I get moved by this shot but I do. A kid waving at me, holding a homemade soccer ball with a beautiful setting African sun behind him. It was kind of the entire trip wrapped up in a single photograph.

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  • Jimmy Denham

    Mike, Facebook memories reminded me of this post from back in 2013 and I had to go back and see it again. The expressions you captured of those children make me cry! They’re so beautiful and seem so glad to have the attention! Wonderful post.

  • http://www.mikeolbinski.com Mike Olbinski

    Awww, thanks so much man! I love these images still, I really need to share this series again online!