Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Last day

This is a shot leaving Solwezi on my last day. Rod and Eric have made great progress since I left. I have been trying to get caught up on work  and family since I got back. Will post more later and then turn the blog over to Rod.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Home again

Man was it good to see the family again. Four in the morning ,but couldn't sleep,body said it's time to go to work. Will post again later.

Still on a jet plane

This is Heathrow airport in london.I'm in Dallas waiting for the flight to Rapid can't wait.I'm wiped out now ,is going to take a few days to recover.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I'm on a jet plane

Arrived in Lusaka saftly. Fly out tomarrow @ 9:10 LeeRays Africa adventure is coming to a close. Hopfully Rod will have time to write on the blog from time to time to keep everyone informed.
  This is the Solwezi airport.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Health center

This is the health center. It is across the road from the proprosed orphanage. They had a thatch hut at on time,but it blew away. When they can get a doctor to come in now they put a mattress under the tree for their clinic. It was a great day and a heartbreaking day. There is so much to be done here.

Jito childrens institution

Meet a wonderful lady today Isabel Kayumba who has a heart for helping orphans and young unwed mothers. This is a goup of pictures that we took at here place the house in the background is about 14'x14' and divided into two rooms. Right now she has a caretaker and one young unmarried girl who has a little girl staying here,she is the girl to my right. She looked to be somewhere around 14 or 15 ,she asked us if we would take her to the US. The ophans are staying with different families now but it is a strain for the to feed them. Isabel's goal is to start an orphanage and home for unwed mothers. The picture with Rod and the yellow bucket is their borehole or well,the bucket is used to draw the water it is then boiled and clorinated to make it safe to drink. The thached hut is like most Africans kitchens. The picture of Rod with the little boy was funny were we the first white people that he had ever seen and he didn't know what to think of us.
  Jito is a Kaonde name which means aplace of safety or hiding place.

World out side the gates

I asked the guards at the gate to our lodge if I could take their pictures , they were happy to have someone to talk to for a while. This is looking down the road to get to the lodge. Second picture is of the second guard ,he wanted his picture taken also. They were wondering what we were doing here,they are paid very little and are always trying to find a better paying job. Today is lockout day 11,tomarrow we should know what is going on.

More kids and toys

It's highly likely these kids have never seem a toy from the store. Shots taken from handing out toys it's amazing how many people appeared out of the forest after we handed out the first toys.


These kids keep us intertained on the way to work when we can work. Rod brought some toys from the US ,so we went out and handed them out there were some amazing smiles.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Eric and Rod

Yes fedex does deliever to Africa. Eric with a shipment of meds from the US. We were warned about getting drugs here a lot of them are old or counterfit. Second shot is Rod with a new friend at our motel.

Brick kiln

This is how the bricks are fired in Africathey stack them like this and then build a fire under them. I don't know if these are fired or not you see these all over Africa. The amount of labor that went it to making this and then it's just abandoned. Of the hunderds of these I have seen only a hand full that ever seem to have ever to have been used.

Road to Kitwa

There is no way to desribe the terror on the road as I talked about on the way to Kitwe yesterday. One  photo is of one of the semi trucks coving the entire road ,one of sofa store ,one of oxen team pulling charcoal,and one of pushing a car out of hole

Scarier site

This is something that Donna has never seen and probably never see again. Washing clothes in the tub. I don't know if even the machine will take the red out when I get home.

Record load

This is the most charcoal we have seen on one bike so far. Lockout day nine it's amazing that everone here is only looking to see what they can get even if it hurt's every one else . It will take time but things will change here.

Scary site

Thought I should try driving on the wrong side of the road,to see if I could do it in case something  happened to rod and eric and ihad to drive. I made it back in one piece and only gave eric 4or5 mild heart attacks in the process. There is only one stop sign that we have found in the entire city and it was on a side street . Traffic seems to get along fine with the semi organized chaos.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sugar cane

Stopped along the road and brought a stalk of sugar cane. Have seen the kids chewing on sugar cane and wanted to try it out. The three white guys provided a lot of laughs for the locals. Don't know it it was green or if we don't know how to eat it but I'm not ready to trade my M&M for sugar cane just yet. Went to Kitwa today to get parts. You take your life in your hands everytime you drive on Zambian roads. Imagine an asphalt road with just enough room for two cars,put 200 potholes in the road every half mile,put 100 people walking or riding bike along that road every half mile then add atruck broke down in the road every 20miles after that add 10 mine trucks or busses every 15seconds doing 65 miles per hour and finnally top it off with a gully washing rain and you have an idea of our trip today .

Here's looking at you

The peacocks love to check out what everone is up to. Today is lockout day 8 . Unfortantly it looks like this is how things are run in Africa.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Brick making

Rod with abrick making machine and the finished product. You can't compete with the cost of brick they were digging the dirt for the brick right behind the machine they then stack them in large stacks and build a fire inside to cure them. The only problem is it takes forever and a lot of the bricks wash away in the rain.

Solwezi photo shop

Eric getting new pasport photo's taken,Rod is in the back walking into Pep. This man took the photos up against the wall and then had a printer on the sidewalk to print them off,our visas expired and it has turned in to a two day process to get them done,finally found a guy that knew a guy that thinks he can get them done for us.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lockout day six

The guards were happy to see use when I asked if I could take a picture,they all wanted to be in it. They thought it was boring not having us to watch work.  Today is youth day a national holiday here.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Art of Africa

Finally found someone who could capture me in wood. Sitting on the front porch of my motel room listeningto the rain fall and reflecting on this trip as I wait for the time when I can skype my honey. Sitting in my walled off complex with the security people at the gate and walking around the rooms. It is impossible to be able to put everything one is feeling into words. We met a young lady this week who was married for five years and then lost her husband to malaria,she was left with three young daughters to raise by herself,unfourtunatly this is a common story that we hear about losing spouses to aids or other dieseses. There is no running water anywhere in this city of 65000, no gas, the people that have elecrtity have to put up with nightly outages. No one out side the city has any of these things,cooking is done with charcoal that the locals make and sell,you see men on bikes hauling charcoal to the market to sell every day.about the only bikes that you see are used to carry things to and from markets,bikes are rare cars even more so,almost everyone walks.
  Everything is so slow I think that the Lord decided to send me here to give me a lesson in patience. Rod ,Eric and I are used to making things happen in a hurry,that just doesn't happen here,which is frustrating when so many need so much you what to get it done in a hurry.
  The president is trying to stamp out corruption in the country but when that has been the way of life for so long here it wouldn't be done over night.
  My time here is quickly coming to an end I need to get back to my buisness,which has been taken care or so well by Art and Donna. It's so frustrating to have to leave with so much to be done. It will take years and years of work here.It is my hope that what is started here will contine on long after I am dead and gone and impact many lives for good.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lockout day 5

Losing what little mind I had. Internet was down for day and a half so I better blog while I can, could go down again at any time,phones were down also. Need to get Visas extended today. I'm still healthy and thankful for that.


This is from the yummilicious bakery.they sure named the place well . I would love to take the baker home with me.

Blog guest

I had asked Chris Jannou to write a piece for the blog this is part one.
  This morning my partner Hal Wright and I ran into Adrian Hossack,an old-school Zimbabwean who happens to be running the entire show at Kabitaka Hills. He's very close to the mine owners and management.
  First thing out of his mouth when he realized I was with SmartHomes was to compliment our guys,who've earned a reputation as the hardest working,most cometent team on the site. He said the Kabitaka management had been hugely impressed. For that we have to thank Rod,LeeRay and Eric.
  The learning curve has been brutal,but the work-arounds good cheer and camaraderie of the team have been equally impressive. What we are doing is laying the groundwork for what could ultimately be thousands of homes. The leading national newspaper,Zambia's Daily Mail,is writing a substantial piece to tell our story.
  The story is of price and methodology breakthoughs. Rod's innovations,if succssful,will ultimately put homeownership within reach of millions of Africas. It's big important work. Houseing is an enormous business opportunity while improving lives.
  Rod and team are bringing alevel of ethics,purpose and skill that is hard not to be proud of. They're the best kind of ambassadors. They're making adifference and making an impression all at once.

Christopher Jannou CEO

SmartHomes Africa

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mutanda Falls

Small falls that remind me of roughlock falls. We went there yesterday afternoon since we are still locked out of the job site. The basket that rod is holding is a fish trap

Solwezi roads?

The roads? here suck every trip is like getting your kidneys punched every 20seconds