O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

We bought a Christmas tree this year. As with many things here in Zambia, it was an experience.  There is a nursery across the road that sells quite a lot of different plants so we went there and asked if they had any Christmas trees.  The guy we spoke to said they did.  Brilliant.  So we started on a long walk into the bush, during which time he told us that he had seen in the movies how us ‘Americans’ bring trees inside at Christmas. After a while we came to some very tall and very spindley pine trees and said we could pick which one we liked, they’d chop it down, and then just cut off the top for our tree!  Hahaha!  It was hilarious.  I forgot my phone and camera which was a real shame because it would have produced some funny photos.  Anyhow, we now have a real tree.  It’s fairly thin, but it works.

We tried decorating it by adding lights and ornaments only somehow it looked far worse with the decorations than without.  Perhaps it was the way the branches buckled under the weight of a plastic bauble. So, after adding them, we took them off so it’s more of a natural, minimalist look than perhaps we’re used to.


A few days later Dan found a chameleon on our road and decided to put it in the tree to give it a home in our home.  It made it’s way to the very top and was our tree topper for a while.  It’s not every year that happens!  Sadly said chameleon has since migrated (though I dread to think where he might be lurking about in our house!) so we are back to an ornamentless tree.

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Merry Christmas all!



Three weeks ago I sat in the Head Teacher’s office at Kawama Community School and watched a girl take off her shoes so that we could weigh and measure her.  She wasn’t able to make to it to the interviews we had done several weeks ago so we grabbed her out of class for a few minutes to chat about school and home life, weigh and measure her to track her BMI and take her photo for the child sponsorship programme.

She had canvas type shoes on, lace ups and from the top, they looked like they were in okay condition.  However as she lifted her leg to untie her shoes while standing, I saw that actually bottom of the shoes were totally worn away around the ball of her foot.  Whilst the shoes covered the top of her foot, at least a quarter of the sole of her foot was worn completely away.

This girl needs a new pair of shoes.

Many children at the schools we work with are in desperate need of new school shoes.  Many of them are squeezing their feet into shoes that are one or two sizes too small for them.  I can’t imagine how uncomfortable that must be to do every day.  Other children’s shoes have holes in them.  Some children don’t have any at all.

We’ve recently been assessing the school uniform needs and across the three schools we work with 424 pairs of shoes are needed.  If you haven’t seen already, Beyond Ourselves is raising money to buy these shoes.  Amazingly, about 275 pairs of shoes have been paid for.  We’ve been taken aback by people’s generosity.  We only have 150 to go!

Please would you consider buying a pair of shoes for a child in one of our schools.

The shoes are £13.00 each ($20USD) and can be purchased from our online store here.

Thanks for your help.