Last Day in Shamiyoyo
Today was my last day in Shamiyoyo. I started by going with Charles to the preschool latrines for one last dig. It was just the two of us but we were determined to finish it before I leave. After a few more grueling hours, we heaved the last shovelfuls over our heads. We reached over 10 ft deep at long last. Few things have brought me more satisfaction. I really hope the preschool students appreciate this latrine. But one last step - I had to get out. Taking a mini jump off the wall, I had to basically do a muscle up to lift myself out, but I did it. Charles remarked, 'Wow! Are you a cat?’
We went straight to Chipango's to pick up the knives but he wasn't quite done and assured us he'd be done by 5PM. More on this later
For dinner, I made a big batch of chicken soup for the piggery beneficiaries. They offered to slaughter an entire pig for me but I said that was too much. I accepted to take a few kg's to bring back to Lusaka for Andy to try as his birthday gift. He arrives on Tuesday and I'm excited to see him. When I brought the chicken soup to the beneficiaries gathered at the piggery, Charles gave a small speech on behalf of the beneficiaries. In summary, they thanked me for coming and leaving my American family and friends and the comforts of the first world to visit them. They appreciated me helping with the piggery and the preschool and vowed to continue working hard to ensure their success. I was touched and reciprocated by giving my own speech thanking them for their hospitality, applauded their hard work, and expressed my hope that they enjoy the chicken soup. I explained that I made it close to the way my mom makes it and the soup makes me feel at home. Then, they demanded that I dance for them. Those who know me know I'm not a dancer. I had no choice. They began to dance a circle around me and sang a song. I obliged and convulsed my body to their cheers while they sang. The lyrics translated roughly to: 'Thank you Mr. Benja! We wish you a safe journey. Tell the others at Day by De we say hello. We won't forget you. Please don't forget us.’ They shouldn't worry. I'll never forget them or this experience.
Charles and I had to hurry to Chipango's to pick up the knives. We arrived at 8:00PM and he wasn't quite done so I've written most of this blog while sitting in his workshop hut. He eventually finished and they look great though they're much larger than the template he originally showed me.
I ended my night by the fire with Wana. We talked about how we've both enjoyed the last month. He was a little sad because he's about to be living alone after his sisters Mary and Priska move out next week to go work in Kaoma and Lusaka, respectively. I cheered him up with a Snickers and, per his request, I sang one of our favorite songs, Don McLean's American Pie. 'So bye bye Mr. American Pie.’