By Alia Hammerstone
There have been so many experiences that have impacted me from the moment I stepped off of the plane and onto the tarmac at Lusaka’s airport, it is hard to narrow them down into a list, but I thought I would give it a try.
1. Watching the sunset: There is nothing quite like watching the sun set over the grassy plains in Zambia.
2. Shaking hands with Zambians: Typically accompanied by an enthusiastic smile, they are yet another example of Zambian hospitality.
3. Walking to school with the kids: Having students from the village run to greet you and grab your hand as you walk to school makes the trip that much better.
4. Playing with kids: Seeing the creativity of kids daily, and the companionship they exhibit while playing with one another is heartwarming.
5. Hearing people sing: On the way to school, while doing chores, in classrooms- hearing people sing fills my heart.
6. Eating Zambian foods: From nshima to kapenta, there is no shortage of phenomenal foods to try.
7. Spending the day touring Zambia with a teacher: Getting to see where her family’s land is, picking corn, and being welcomed into her home was a humbling experience.
8. Watching great teaching: Being inspired by teachers who use their creativity and talents to engage and empower students is beyond measure.
9. Talking with students: From their lives outside of school to their career aspirations, it is evident that so many universalities abound between Zambian and American students.
10. Taking things slow: Zambian time; where hospitality and relationships take precedence over rushing or sticking to firm timetables.