Africa: Twachiyanda Part 1

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

Twachiyanda…if we were ever out in the bush in Africa, this was the place. A long paved road, and then a paved road that had lots of rough areas, and then a dirt road, and then a bumpier dirt road. It was truly in the middle of nowhere. This was the day that ended with a soccer match that put everything into perspective for me. It was an incredible day…I saw so much, learned so much and really got an idea of what Hoops of Hope, World Vision and Intel are doing out there to help.

The day began at our hotel in Choma. We stayed here overnight after leaving Sinazongwe. Before we headed to the school though we dropped off some food for a family going through some painful stuff. I’ll show the pictures of that further down.

Before we left, JP of course had to climb the water tower. He supposedly has scaled a 1,000 foot cliff buck-naked. Dude is a legend.

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Here we meet Charles (grey jacket) who is the head of the ADP in Twachiyanda. What a guy. Infectious smile. He reminded me of Chris Tucker 🙂

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We stopped real quick at a Spar for food to bring to a family. I snapped some photos of the random things I saw. Like the hair extensions. And all the cooking oil in the next photo.

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This was the other side of a normal Coke can. Why don’t we have stuff like this in America???

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So this is Kenneth. He is a driver for World Vision and was supposed to take us to Twachiyanda but he couldn’t. His daughter, who has been sick for a lot of her life, was in hospital. We dropped by his house to bring food, which is a tradition in their culture. Any home who has someone real sick, the community brings them food. What a beautiful idea.  And what an amazing smile by Kenneth.

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Kenneth and his son.

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Kenneth’s boys…this guy with the ears, sooooo cute!

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Austin loves this man. Kenneth was there on Austin’s first trip to Africa in 2007. He’s like a brother to Austin. When we got back into the truck, Austin had tears streaming down his face. It was hard for him knowing how painful things were for Kenneth and his family.

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On the way to Twachiyanda…

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This girl in the orange is Happiness. I love the names that some of the Zambians have. She was indeed happiness. She cooked the most amazing food.

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Here Kelly Sim got to see one of her sponsored children again. The girl was so cute and so shy, it was fun to watch!

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This is George, a young man that Austin and his family sponsor.

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This is the Chief of Twachiyanda…an honor to meet him.

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Back in 2007 when Austin came to Africa for the first time, he had an entourage of CBS Sports and NBC to film the entire thing. Here you can see the CBS Sports video that aired before the Final Four one year.  Ashley Judd narrated it! Here the Chief is watching it for the first time…and he actually appears in it.

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So the school in Twachiyanda is called Jonathan Sim High School. It was named after Kelly’s husband. When he passed away, she knew she wanted to do something for the kids in Zambia because it was such a passion for her husband who worked for World Vision. She ended up joining efforts with Austin and Hoops of Hope to help build the school. On the way to the school they reminisced on that whole story…it was fun to hear!

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A lot of our time at this school was to tour the new buildings and all the stuff being constructed. The school is growing!

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They cook meals for all the kids everyday from this little covered area. Was crazy.

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Of course we found some little kids nearby.

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This dude was the best. He just followed us everywhere. You’ll see.

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I started a little game of frisbee with a lid of a paint can, and then got some shots of Austin playing too.

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A few moments after taking this photo, she started crying. Scary white man!

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There he is again!

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And again!

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Well, you get the idea…

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Denise was playing with them, they loved it 🙂

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Austin and George looking pretty snazzy.

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Love these kids.

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This is the computer lab that Intel installed there a few years ago. It’s insane. Solar powered. Fans. Wood doors. All made out of a cargo container.

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Austin doing some introductions in a meeting with the teachers.

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So as I’ve said before, Austin is pretty amazing. They wanted him to speak to the students of the school, so he just walked in to this massive group of children and encouraged them, inspired them and it was incredible to witness.

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More beautiful kids and beautiful faces.

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See, there’s that boy again! I love him!

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Thanks to Denise for getting them all organized for a group shot!

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Okay…this little guy…I mean…look at him. He’s like an old man. Hands in his pocket…menacing.

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Ah…but then he smiles 🙂

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Back at the ADP offices, we had been waiting for others to show up, so I started kicking the soccer ball around with some neighborhood kids. After awhile more showed up and then Dan popped out saying it’s time for a game.

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We walked over to a nearby field and magic happened.

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I posted this before but it’s still one of my favorites from the trip.

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Thank you to Denise for getting a few of me playing!

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Around this time I stopped for a few minutes and just soaked it all in. I was standing on a field playing soccer with kids in Africa. In the middle of nowhere. And the sunset was beautiful. And the kids were joyful. And I had no phone, internet or anything to distract me.

It was a perfect moment.

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