Each day I have spent in Zambia brings a new surprise, or several new surprises. We found out yesterday that there would be a luncheon banquet today at the State House with President Banda and his wife! Pictured here are Judith (matron or head of nursing at Beit Cure hospital), me, President Banda, and Dr. Joe Clawson. We spent several hours eating delicious Zambian food, including Nshima (?spelling), listening to and dancing to Zambian music and visiting with one another. President and Mrs. Banda were very personable and gracious. The President asked how Suzan is doing after surgery and would like to see her again to thank her for the flower and to see how she is doing. His children and grandchildren were there and it was very enjoyable. There are monkeys and peacocks on the grounds and it was quite lovely. Several members of the Cure team were there and we are all so pleased that the hospital is being recognized for it's good work. This is Good Friday and although Dr Clawson and I understand the importance of the day, we were initially disappointed that the staff did not want to schedule surgery today. As is always the case, we didn't understand the bigger plan. This luncheon and the new relationship with President Banda and Beit Cure hospital will allow many more children to be helped over the years than the several that we might have helped today. Like the many we hope to serve when we return next April.
And, then there is tomorrow…when President Banda will have his helicopter fly us to see wild life and a bird sanctuary! I have been a little sad that I have traveled all the way to Africa and would not have time to see the spectacular wildlife. But, I reconciled myself to that fact as I am here to help the patients first and foremost, and I hope to return many times in the future. I'm still planning to return again next year, but couldn't possibly say no to this invitation. My oh my, what will tomorrow bring?