Happy Christmas from Sebastian and Miriam in Zambia!

Posted on by Sophie Hicks

Family 4 Sebastian and Miriam (1)The heating has been turned up a notch, decorations are up, and the Christmas jumpers are on…at African Revival, we are really beginning to get into the Christmas spirit! With the big day drawing closer, we’ve been having fun finding out how the families at African Revival supported schools will be celebrating this festive season! Today, we talked all things Christmas with grand-father and grand-daughter dream team, Sebastian and Miriam. Fourteen year old Miriam is currently in Grade 9 at Bwacha Basic School- a school situated within the town of Kalomo where our Zambian offices are based. Sadly, her father died this year, so she now lives with Sebastian, her grand-mother Martha and her younger cousin Mono Effemia who is in Grade 4 at the same school. Sebastian, a retired teacher, and Martha have eight grown-up children, all of whom have moved out with the exception of their youngest daughter. As you can imagine, Christmas is a bustling and exciting time in their household!

It has been a tough year for Miriam, but she is looking forward to Christmas because it provides a precious opportunity to celebrate good things with my family”. As the family are Catholic, Sebastian shared that they spend lots of our time at church on Christmas, and then we go home to celebrate once the service has ended”. We were curious to know what these celebrations look like so Sebastian explained that “We usually have a special meal with the whole family- the whole family comes, and even sometimes the neighbours join us“. The family’s festive feast consists of “all the usual foods, but then some special items like rice and fish and chicken. Of course, we don’t leave out the vegetables, and our traditional Zambian dish of Chiwawa which is pumpkin leaves, prepared with pounded ground-nuts.” Miriam tells us that her favourite item on the Christmas dinner table is the chicken! As Miriam always helps her grandmother sweep the house before guests arrive, and washes the pots and plates after the last mouthful of Chiwawa has been eaten, we think Miriam deserves a very big piece of chicken!

school surroundings

Once the family has celebrated Christmas in style, they have plenty of exciting projects up their sleeve for the coming year; Sebastian shared their up-coming plans with us: as a family, we have decided that we wanted to go back to farming. In the next coming year, we will have two homes- in town and one at the farm, where we want to grow crops- we tend to grow maize, and cassava and also ground-nuts. So, we would like to at least see some harvest, and then sell part of it and then keep some of it for family consumption. Miriam also has a significant year ahead, because she will be taking her Grade 9 exams which will determine whether she can progress with secondary school, so her wish this Christmas is to pass her exams because school is very important to me, as it will help me in my future”.

We wish Sebastian, Miriam and their whole family a very happy Christmas and we hope that 2016 brings them a plentiful harvest and exam results which are even better than Miriam wishes for!