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Day Three - Volunteer House & New Year's Eve

In the morning, six of us were picked up at the lodge and driven to the African Impact volunteer house by the project manager. We held an induction meeting and were given some details about the various projects we'd participate in, as well as receiving our room assignments. I would be sharing a room with three guys, two from France and one from Australia, all great guys. We met many of the other volunteers, all serving various lengths of time. Everyone was very welcoming and nice and I met many great people in just a short week.

Each day there would be a morning project and an afternoon project. Being afternoon already, my first project would be a visit to the Maramba Old People’s Home. Established in 1965, the home is for the care and support of older persons aged 60 and greater, who are in destitute circumstances and have no relatives to look after them.

At first it was a bit depressing as I witnessed the conditions these unfortunate people have to live in. There were dirty mattresses on the floor and the rooms were dark and bare. Many of the residents had tattered and torn clothing and decaying shoes, if any at all. It took us a while to round everyone up to come to the dining and activity room, but they eventually, slowly filed in.

We brought many books and games and most of the residents started by reading through the books. One man named Patrick wanted to play Velcro darts and he and I spent about an hour doing that, with a few short breaks. Then, the balloons broke out and that was a very popular activity. We would bat the balloons around to each other and this lasted until it was time to leave. They absolutely loved the balloons and wanted to hit them over and over again. Although it was sad to witness the home overall, it was enjoyable to spend time with them and we could tell the residents appreciated the company and games. It's good that African Impact includes them in the projects. They are visited three times a week, two for social activities and the other for medical.

Although it didn't quite seem like it at the time, this was New Year's Eve and shortly after dinner, the festivities began. African Impact shares the facility with Livingstone Backpackers and therefore has some nice added features such as a pool and a bar. We had some drinks at the bar and enjoyed the hot summer night. Some of the girls did something called "The Bomb Squad," where you had to drink 7 Jäger Bombs in under 30 seconds. I was quite impressed with the speed that this was acccomplished, with one girl finishing them in 17 seconds.

My Room
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The Pool & Bar & Tiffany & Stevie
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NYE Festivities
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At about 11:00pm, some of us went to a local place called the Fezbar where we did many shots, danced, and talked until about 2:00am. I was convinced to go to another party by a girl I met, but after a few minutes I decided to call it a night as I was getting quite tired. It was a unique and fest NYE in Zambia!


Day Four

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