There’s a nasty sting in this tale

Retired Honiton GP attacked by bees in Zambia.

There is a sting in the tale when retired Honiton GP Jeremy Gibson recounts his most recent visit to impoverished Zambia.

The Honiton Community Church member was stung multiple times by bees after offering to sort out a hive.

“Just before I’d finished, they chose to go on the attack and I got a pasting,” he said.

However, he was pleased to note there was honey in the hive - something that will benefit Zambians next year.

Dr Gibson, together with fellow Honiton resident and church member Norman Amey, was visiting projects set up through church network New Frontiers in Livingstone and the village of Sikaunzwe.

They discovered three micro-finance loans, given to new businesses, had all been successful.

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Loans had been repaid and a drugs store, carpentry business and secondhand clothes merchant were all doing well. New loans were approved to support a charcoal and grocery business and a man selling air time for mobile phones.

Honiton resident Martin Ryder, who has been in Zambia for the past nine months, assisted the visitors during their stay.

New Frontiers has bought a plot of land in Livingstone for a new church building, which will eventually be used as a children’s centre.

The foundations are being dug and Honiton Community Church has provided a grant to ensure the groundworks can be completed.

Dr Gibson said: “They were all feeling very heartened by that and everyone was upbeat.”

In the village, an animal husbandry project set up by Honiton Community Church is yielding results.

“More and more families will be getting livestock as a result,” said Dr Gibson.

He gave a Foundations for Farming seminar, which attracted 40 enthusiastic people, and was pleased to see farmers preparing soil.

As a result, the community church has provided more seed - for maize.

However, the trip, part of an on-going link between Honiton and Livingstone, threw up some more challenges.

“We were hit by a heat that was very, very hot,” said Dr Gibson.

“Some were having to travel seven kilometres to get water, twice a day.

“Our long term goal now is to research how we can help.

“It was 40 degrees and even the Zambians were complaining.

“They call it Suicide Month.”

Water pumps in the village were in good working order, but had run dry.

Representatives from Honiton Community Church will be returning to Zambia in April next year.