A sixteen strong party of Strathaven Explorer Scouts and their leaders returned to Zambia this summer, repeating the successful visit a similar team from the Unit made in 2008, again undertaking work on behalf of the Charity, Health Help International.
It was always going to be difficult to repeat the success of the Explorers' previous memorable visit but this year's team did just that and achieved everything they had set out to do.
The Explorers were based at HHI's HQ in the town of Monze where they camped in an adjacent play park but their activities took them further afield to camp in the more challenging environments of the rural Ntambo Community and the Lochinvar Game Park. There was a reward for all the hard work they had put in, with a final two days in the relative luxury of the Fawlty Towers Camp Site in Livingstone.
The main purpose of the visit was to build a Hammer Mill House and Shop for the disabled members of the community of Ntambo. This they did over five working days, while camping nearby with a minimum of facilities. The inauguration ceremony carried out by a Government representative was a memorable event, enlivened by the singing and dancing of the Zambian women and it was a great moment when the Hammer Mill, paid for also by the Strathaven Scout s, started up and produced its first batch of meal.
Other work carried out by the Explorers for one of the schools they visited included re-glazing of broken windows in the classrooms and painting of one of the school buildings. The reality of the conditions and life of the children of a third world country was brought home to the Explorers in seeing the basic lack of facilities for the 700 pupils of this school - no running water and no electricity and limited educational materials - but despite that their great enthusiasm to be educated.
Apart from the work they carried out, the Explorers enjoyed two days camping in the Lochinvar Game park beside the Chonga Lagoon where they enjoyed seeing a Hippopotamus emerging from the water at breakfast one morning just 200 metres from where they were camped and a final two days spend at Livingstone including a visit to the Victoria Falls and a sunset cruise on the Zambezi river.
You can view some of the pictures from their Zambia trip on our Facebook page.