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Report on St John's/Holy Rosary Habitat Trip to Zambia July 2007


The joint party of 20 from St Johns and Holy Rosary arrived back in Belfast to a warm welcome on Sunday 12th August having achieved their aim in building two houses in the village of Nkwazi in Zambia. It is impossible to convey the emotions and the experience of this wonderful trip in a short article and probably impossible to fully explain it to anyone who was not there. What I thought I would do is to record one of our evening reflections which took place after our sharing of a meal and a short devotion at the end of a days work. One evening we each decided to try to describe a photograph which would encapsulate what the trip had meant to them. Here are a few of these photographic memories which I hope the reader can relate to.


  • The ladies of the village wielding picks to build the foundations for their own house and seeming to be stronger than any of the men in our party

  • A brick chain of people, black and white passing freshly made mud bricks to be put in a neat pile of 100 for the next persons house, singing as they passed songs in English and Bemba

  • A small black hand so keen to hold on to a large white hand

  • A choir of angels welcoming our arrival and leading our minibus for half a mile singing and waving palms in front of us

  • The tears on the new homeowner at the dedication of her house as she was presented with a wall hanging made for her by people from the Churches in Ireland

  • A white face in the middle of a sea of small black faces posing for a photograph

  • The ladies of the village washing the hair of the ladies of our team using a basin and a cup of warm water

  • The smile and the thank you from a two year old child with full thickness burns on her buttocks whose wound we dressed

  • The very many email and postal addresses pressed into our hands all just asking us not to forget them

    As Habitat had said we would, we worked alongside these people who had nothing but seemed happier than those at home who had everything. Habitat said we would learn from them and we did. We will never forget them.




     Photographs from Zambia