Monday, August 23, 2010

God's Gift of Hope

It didn't take long for the girls, Donna included, and I to know we needed to do some serious talking and praying as a family. With the prospect of Ana leaving us after her first birthday we were all pretty burdened and anxious. The idea of adopting Ana had not been talked about before. In fact if we thought about it, it was private. The thought of losing Ana, not necessarily to her father, but to the village, was very frightening. Most people will never understand what life in the Southern Province of Zambia can be like. There is no rain for eight months and the land becomes as hard as concrete. If the rains fail then the people die, it is that simple. There are no markets or grocery stores in the bush. The markets are miles and miles away.

With the certainty that we wanted adopt Ana we knew that the next step was to travel out to the Chavuna-Chinjawa area and visit her extended family. It would be no small task as it would take Donna and I most of an entire day to get there and back, even though it is only about fifty miles. With the decision made to visit her village I arranged for the day off and Donna, Ana and I headed off into the really unknown. We drove for two hours to the nearest town and then a two track that ended at the base of some really big boulders. We were stuck in the fact that we didn't know in what direction to start walking in. We were close to turning around and heading back.

As we sat in the truck a young man ventured our way, coming across an open field. He walked right up to the truck and greeted us in Tonga. After we explained to him what we wanted to do he told us that he could take us to the village. He told us it was about ten kilometers and we would have to leave the truck and walk. Donna put Ana in her chitangi and off we headed. For the most part we walked across barren ground with a few trees and an occasional trail. As we walked down a trail I noticed the young man looking into the trees. When we sat for a really needed break, needed by us not him, I asked him about looking into the trees. His reply was simple and to the point. In fact was so simple he used one word- snakes.

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