How Much?

Well this is a turn up for the books… Mobile Internet Access in Africa that actually works and isn’t prohibitively expensive – that doesn’t mean cheap however. I’m sat here with my notebook and phone happily conversing with the outside world. Brilliant!

That nicely leads me onto the topic for today’s post, namely that Zambia isn’t cheap. Now a few months ago, someone in my Church made a cheap shot about how come Dignity (my charity) spends so much money mounting missions in Zambia and elsewhere. Well Mr ************* let me explain.

Africa is not cheap! Zambia in fact is one of the most expensive countries in Africa, although Angola is more so. Fuel is only slightly behind the UK, vehicles are in fact more expensive due to the 120% import duty imposed on most types. If you eat out, be prepared to pay…

It amazes me how people survive to be honest. Even with a burgeoning middle class in Zambia, most people cannot afford a lot of things, yet this afternoon I went to the only bowling alley in the country with the kids and it was full of people. Clearly, some people are making some money.

However, that same money doesn’t find it’s way to the poor in the rural areas, or in fact the poor in urban areas. So you get this ‘expensive’ situation, you pay top dollar for commodities that you need to mount an operation, yet you get no income from those you are supporting. This fact alone makes mounting a sustainable operation nigh on impossible. However, by approaching things simply, we can try.

That’s what we are trying to do with the “Life!” Initiative, find ways of helping the Kingdom of God to grow in the bush, despite the harsh economic climate. Challenging? You bet! Maybe you want to give us some money. I’m serious – there are many things that you could spend your money on, I bet none of them offer the rewards that an investment in our ministry programme would make. Be part of it! Have a look at http://www.justgiving.com/dignity/donate for more details.

We head up to our main mission area on Monday, however, today it was time for some shopping for stuff and fun! This morning was great as I was behind the wheel of a Subaru Impretza for a little while. It’s owned by Rammy Singh (ex Zambian Naional Rally Champion) who has been kindly putting us up for the last few days. That thing went like stink when the turbo kicked in. I took the kids along as well – all good fun!

I’d also forgotten just how long things take to get done (the guys coming in a week or so read this and take note!). I spent all day meeting one person and finding out some ways of connecting to the internet. Most of it spent sitting in front of someone on the phone before they could be bothered serving me. That’s usually the way here. Then you must act like they have done you a great courtesy in responding o your presence. Remember, I’m the customer!

I’ve prattled enough for now. And Mr ************* REMEMBER – Africa’s expensive….

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