• The Magic (Mujika) Kingdom – HIV Education and Girl Power in Zambia

    November 15th, 2009

    This past week we were lucky enough to be invited to the beautiful, albeit remote, village of Mujika. This village consists of about 10,000 Zambians scattered throughout the bush and rolling hills some 20 miles or so from Monze (my home base). As part of our commitment to the Zambia Project and BSI (our local partner), we committed to extended visits to rural sites to teach coaches and teachers, as well as the local children, as travel to our regular sessions was too distant. Upon arriving at the Malomo School and meeting the family with which we would stay, Sam and I knew we were in good hands. Over the next five days we conducted training sessions for the peer coaches and leaders of the community on how to use sport to teach the children. In the afternoons to the cusp of darkness, we taught the local children numbering close to 200. With great success we shared our techniques and lessons. The teachers were most pleased with the numerous fun games we shared on HIV/AIDS as they find it a difficult topic to discuss and with these games, they felt they could now approach that difficult but prevalent topic. Additionally, the female teachers really enjoyed our “Nguzu Musimbi” session – Girl Power to those not yet fluent in Tonga. At night we slept soundly having worked hard throughout the day.

    Mujika Hut

    On our last night in Mujika, the village prepared for the soccer tournament we would be holding the next day. With all the children coming, some ladies from the village generously offered to make some Chibwaantu, a corn meal based energy drink. I was later informed it translates to Sweet Beer but I can tell you there was no alcohol involved! Since we brought on the idea of capping our stay with a soccer tournament, I decided it would be good form to assist these lovely ladies with the task at hand. For two hours, in the dark, we sifted corn, and then rinsed it, and then brew it, and then mixed it. The strength of the ladies was fierce, or I am getting weaker by the day. Please reserve comments until I return home as I can’t adequately retort. When done, we let it sit in a drum overnight and then shocked the kids with it the next day. I say shocked because when the children found out I helped make it, there was stunned silence and then applause. I was shocked most of all as it tasted relatively good. It was like a watered down creamed corn soup with a smoky aftertaste. I don’t think Gatorade has any worries but the Mujika children thought it was magical!