Zambezi Kiwi

Living in Zimbabwe

Books for (children in) Africa

July 5, 2018

If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to dangle a 20 foot container over your landlord’s house without permission I can tell you.

It’s a real giggle. A nervous giggle. In fact I captured that nervous giggle in a little video I made recently.

At least if the container had come crashing down on my brother and sister-in-law’s house, it would have been for a good cause.

The container, you see, wasn’t just to get our personal possessions across the other side of the world.

Three quarters of it was to be filled with books for the Zimbabwe Rural Schools Libraries Trust. These guys get together as many second-hand educational books as they can and send them over to poorer schools in Zimbabwe.

(By the way, these guys want to send uniforms over to Zimbabwe next. You can donate here)

In a coincidence of divine proportions, they happened to be sending a container about when we needed our things sent to Zimbabwe. The trust was more than happy to have us pay for a bit of space, and donate to help out with the rest of the costs.

Given that it was such a good cause, we also got busy helping to find books for the container.

We ended up sourcing so many that the container was parked where we were living at my brother Jared and his wife Jess’s house. We didn’t tell Jared about it going on the driveway because, like any good trady, he would instantly condemn anyone doing anything practical without his help as having “no idea what they’re doing”.

When Jared did find out, he pointed out that getting a container full of books out of the driveway might not be as easy as getting it in…we checked with the moving company and it turns out Jared was right. Trady 1, Nerds 0.

So the container was shifted onto the sidewalk (illegal), and the packing began. And honestly, this is where we need to do the biggest shout outs of our life.

We would NOT have had that container packed full of 500 banana boxes of awesome books without the help of the Cambridge community, the entire library Dave Firth found, and the good people of Raleigh St Christian Centre.

But most of all, it would not have been filled without the tireless work of Glenys Bichan, who was herself about to head to India, and Cam Ludemann and Samira Salomé van Hunen. These guys put the word out to friends and colleagues, and were there at all hours of the day, night or weekend, dropping off boxes of books and packing them.

THANK YOU!! And thanks to Waikato Regional Council for donating so much to Samira to send our way. THANKS to Faustinah Ndlovu for the hours of work packing with us. THANKS Southwell School for the AMAZING 20 boxes of resources you sent our way, and to the other schools around Cambridge for chipping in. THANKS Waipa District Council for ignoring the one complaint you had about the container being parked on the sidewalk and letting us keep it there a week longer because it was “for a good cause”. THANKS to Cambridge Hire for letting us have $300 worth of time with three cones for free -also because this was a good cause – so the complainant to council could walk safely around the side of our container…parked in a lethal cul-de-sac.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Now to get the container safely to the other side of the world…

One thought on “Books for (children in) Africa

  1. Andy Freeman says:

    Great to see this initiative on the go.


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