For the past two months we’ve had two lads from the UK come and stay with us and volunteer with Beyond Ourselves. They graduated from secondary school last July and as part of their gap year, before heading to University, they’re here with us in Zambia for three months.

Admittedly I was a little apprehensive about having them here during this season of our lives. Having just welcomed Ben into the family, I wasn’t sure about adding two teenage boys into the mix as well. Thankfully they are very flexible and really easy to be around and, actually, the blend of a young family and these gentlemen has been quite a nice mix. It helps that Jacob loves them and they are happy to kick a ball around with him for ages. This has been a big help as we juggle Ben and other life and work tasks. Somehow they managed to get Jacob to call them by their real names rather than just ‘daddy’ – the title he bestows upon nearly everyone else. Even I haven’t managed that yet, although he has started calling me Auntie Melissa which is a step in the right direction at least!

Much of what they’ve been during their time here has been preparing for teams that are currently out working with Beyond Ourselves for the next couple of weeks. They’ve been building an early years, outdoor learning area at one schools, and preparing for the building of a similar area that a team is currently building. They’ve done loads of practical labour but have also spent time in the classrooms being assistants and helping specifically with improving literacy.

For the next two weeks they will be in Kitwe staying with the visiting teams and then they will be travelling until they head home to the UK. Our days of being a family of six are sadly over. We will miss them, and all the laughs they bring.



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