Dorothy Daka was born a month ago back at her grandmother's home in Chongwe.
Dorothy is the daughter of Jackson Daka, the day guard at the mission home. I told Jackson when he was ready to go get his wife Precious and his new born daughter, I could take him and bring them back.
Chongwe is only 45 km from the mission home so I thought it would just take a couple of hours.
It turns out they live in Chongwe "district" and we went another 30 km beyond the town.
Then it was time to turn off the tarmac and wind around for about 6 or 7 more km. passing many family compounds.
The roads became trails and finally Jackson had me drive across this maze field to his mother's home.
As you can see Jackson was all dressed up with a blue shirt and tie. The first to greet us was his sister-in-law and niece. That is their home behind them. The one on the left is sort of a community family-room.
Next his mother appeared and I got a photo of Jackson with his mother in front of her bedroom.
Mrs. Daka was very happy to see her son but there was no outward show of affection.
My truck seems out of place here in this clean swept yard. On the left side of the photo below is the kitchen when it is dark or the weather bad, otherwise they cook out of doors.
Before we left I asked if I could take a photo of the kitchen. You can see three bags. One has maize, another ground nuts, and the third charcoal. There are also a couple of other plastic bags and baskets, a mat and a tin wash tub.
On the other side are buckets and bags of mealie meal.
You can see the bench doesn't go all the way around. There is a separate one for the oil and water and pots that still have food in them. The fire is in the middle. This is looking straight in from the door. This seems pretty typical of what I have observed before. The bedrooms have mats, maybe a thin cushion and blankets. Perhaps a suitcase open for clothes and sometimes
2 or 3 pieces of clothing on a hanger and stuck on the wall.
Mom Daka was anxious to show me what a good year they had. She uncovered the maize crib and insisted I take a look. Notice the old one had collapsed and there it lay.
Inside was maize drying up off the ground where the chickens couldn't get at it.
Underneath she stored the pumpkins that had grown within the rows of corn.
Water must be carried up the hill to their place about one kilometer. I am a little slow and asked where that water came from and what it was for. It is a section of tire tread and the water is for the chickens. It seemed strange it was just out in the middle of the yard instead of under a tree or on the shady side of the house. That ax is the most common tool for working fields and around the yard.
Jackson put two small plastic bags in the back seat when I picked him up. He got them out and gave them to his mother. They contained cooking oil and sugar. I also noticed that he gave her some money. These gifts were given when I wasn't supposed to be paying attention.
I kept wondering where Precious and Dorothy were.
Then Mom Daka hopped in the back seat and we were off to find Precious and that "bush baby".
On the way I had to stop as there were all these school kids walking up my trail/road. They had pots of food they were carrying. Jackson said they were on their way to a funeral house to help mourn.
Precious was at her mother's house and that house is a fifty minute walk down a gully and up the other side. We needed to go back to the tarmac road and then head down another road if we were driving.
Along the way grandma saw a granddaughter and we stopped and she hopped in too.
Finally, we arrived at Precious' home by driving down even narrower paths.
I stopped just short of the clothesline and Jackson did not move. Finally, I asked "Aren't you going to get out?" He seemed a little embarrassed but he said he was waiting for his mother-in-law. No one came, we waited, no one came.
It wasn't like they didn't know a diesel truck was sitting outside. After at least ten minutes Jackson went and sat at the back of the hut where he knew everyone was inside. I didn't want to miss out so I went and sat by him in the sunshine leaning against the wall.
Then a lady came and sat near me and I took out my camera and sneaked a photo of her feet.
Then I realized she was never going to look at us so I took her photo while she was holding this little boy who was plenty interested in the mzungu.
I am thinking, "I really only signed up to make a quick trip and bring this new daughter home, I have plenty to do back at the office." So I took a photo of the chickens.
The next thing I know, the mother-in-law is kneeling in front of me and presents me with a chicken.
Now I know chickens don't come cheap, and there aren't a lot of them around so I am very honored and try to accept as gracefully as I can. When she left, I asked Jackson to take my photo.
Next Precious finally appeared with little Dorothy, the "bush baby" as I call her.
You could tell they were very happy to see each other but there was no real outward display of emotion
Then the photo taking took place in earnest.
That is Jonathan, Precious' brother, Jackson, Precious' mother with Dorothy, Jackson's niece, some boys, Jackson's mother and the neighbor.
Zambian babies will never get cold.
I noticed while we were sitting at the back of the house that people were putting many things in the back of the truck. This is what it looked like as we were preparing to leave. Two bags of charcoal, a bag of mealie meal (too heavy for me to lift), a bag of ground nuts, various buckets and pots, a pumpkin, a suitcase and my chicken trying to hide. (The chicken got moved to the back seat for the ride.)
Jackson wanted their photo taken by the truck with his mother and mother-in-law.
Then the mothers wanted their photo taken with me! I was feeling younger by the minute.
Of course Dorothy got uncovered just a little so I could take her photo.
As we pulled out I noticed this young girl making peanut butter and then putting it into a jar.
That is a little different than what my kids had to do after school for a snack.
Precious' father was nowhere around, but on the way out she saw him down the road and we stopped and he said good-bye.
Finally, the little family was home with all their presents, and Dorothy. The new little attraction will keep them busy and perhaps give them a few sleepless nights ahead.