From the Sky to the Sea

After a flight in the small planes from Lusaka, we landed on the rough airstrip in Zambezi. As we land and pull off the runway, we are instantly surrounded by a crowd of children all eagerly waiting. As the door opens, they grabbed our hands with a happy grin, and everywhere I look I see a sea of young children surrounding the plane. Some of the children even wrestle one another to grasp our hands. Around us, I see dirt and dust filling the air and covering every surface. The childrenโ€™s happiness seems to contradict the dirty and worn conditions of everything else around. As we walk towards the convent hand in hand with children, I question what happiness means to me.

-Charlie Rogers, Class of 2015

This picture is from lunch today:
Lunch on Friday

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14 Responses to From the Sky to the Sea

  1. Theo Andre Chad House says:

    So glad to hear you all arrived safely in Zambezi! looking forward to the posts, and the many reflections to come. It must feel wonderful to you all to have such a loving welcome reception so far from home. Charlie, Contradictions and questioning your happiness is something all of you will surely experience in the coming days and weeks. Hopefully the work you and your fellow Zags, that have devoted this period of your lives to, will help smooth some of those emotional hills and valleys. Conner, miss you already, and maybe you should stay off the basketball court this year!
    love, Dad

    P.S. nice picture but man you all look really tired, understandably.

  2. Katie McCann says:

    Finally! A post! Yay!
    Charlie, I remember that day all too well. Nothing can prepare you for that amount of instant love chucked your way. I’m sure you all felt so overwhelmed, excited, overjoyed, surprised, and like you said, happy. While your reflection was short, you captured the moment so well for those of us who’ve experienced it before. I want to thank you for that; your post was truly beautiful and a gift to read!
    While I agree with conners dad, (you all look exhausted!), I have no doubt you’ve enjoyed your first couple of days in Zambezi and that you’re embracing every child’s hand that reaches eagerly for yours. Soak in the singing kids outside the convent and SAY YES to every goofy game or dance they ask you to participate in. Don’t be too nervous for your first days of teaching, your presence in that wonderful village id like to call home is what truly matters in the end.
    Also… How in love with mama kawatu are you all? Is she not the most fantastic woman you’ve ever met? I miss that lady. Please send my love to her and to mama Catherine (if you haven’t met her yet, I hope you do. Especially the chilenga teachers! Her house makes for a nice detour on your walk home).
    Hi to Mark, Conner, and Matt, it’s so nice to see your smiling faces at that make shift dining table! Hope you’ve enjoyed your first few meals ๐Ÿ™‚ and ALL MY LOVE to Cecilia!! You look absolutely stunning front and center ๐Ÿ™‚
    Keep cherishing the little moments, good and bad. Thanks again for the reflection Charlie!
    Kisu mwane,
    Katie McCann

  3. The Ngan Family says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for the post, Charlie. Very thoughtful insight. Makes you want to question your own priorities. Glad you are all safe and enjoying the journey. Immerse yourself in this amazing trip and learn all you can and make their world a better place. Tinster, Mom and Dad and Ate loves you. Stay safe. Please post more pictures.

    Henry & Precy

  4. Lynda McCann says:

    “‘Sometimes,’ said Pooh, ‘the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.'”
    Being able to see first hand how much happiness and love the people of Zambezi offer when they have so little is truly a gift in itself! Thank you for the reminder Charlie…Your post makes us here at home realize it really is not the things we own that make us happy. Take it all in and keep searching for all the powerful messages that community will teach you and in return you will share with us! Happy day to each of you! ~ Lynda ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Jason Ewwloreta says:

    Yes, the first post! Charlie, thank you for capturing the incomprehensible amount of love that pours out upon the first greeting. I bet everyone is still trying to process what just happened these past few days, let alone that amazing greeting of unconditional love. You all are about to experience the kind of love that seems missing in the Western mindset. Don’t be afraid of it. Embrace it all with the most awkward of dance moves, the little hands that fit into yours, in all the failed attempts of trying to speak lunda or luvale, be present when your stopped on the sandy roads during a morning run/walk/waddle. I remember a little boy named John who stuck is hand through the bush plane window, asked for my name, and then grabbed ahold of my heart (he hasn’t given it back, but let him know he can keep it).

    Contradicting, yes. Then again, that’s the beauty of it. Continue asking questions everyone. Never stop reflecting.

    Also, Mark?! Last time I was on Facebook (you know that one social media site in America where everyone spends there quality time with there 1,000+ friends?).. a post from you, Mark, announced that you were NOT going to Zambezi. Not sure if that was a joke or things ended up working out, but I’m so pumped that you’re there man! Enjoy the sunsets and show the kids a couple of soccer, I mean Football moves.

    Helen- I’m sure it don’t smell like hamsters there & and thankfully Josh won’t be in sleeping in the same building. Like you did on East LA, keep asking questions without expecting to find an answer.

    Christine- Remember that time I kept calling Charlie, Parker? Anyways, as uncomfortable as things may be sit with it and be okay that it is. Also, dried fish? So filipino too, am I right?

    Savannah- Keep spreading that kind, loving heart of yours. Feel it be full of things you never thought were possible.

    Susan!- It’s good to see you! The new ZamFam is lucky to have you there! Soak up her knowledge Healthcare Group.

    Leadership Team- Good luck on your first days of teaching. Learn from the regular students, Julius (older) and Julius (younger).

    HOUSE!- Hope you didn’t have to clean throw up anytime soon. Just remember dirt cleans up liquid quite well.

  6. Lucy Baldwin says:

    You Guys. You don’t know how long I have been refreshing this page, waiting for the post. So glad to hear that all of you are safe and in Zambezi! Thank you for capturing that amazing landing moment, Charlie. I know that the first few days can be crazy and overwhelming, but take the time that you need to settle in. Take deep breaths and get excited for the adventure ahead. I am so joyful to be able to read this each day, and see all of your victories, triumphs, as well as your hardships, and long days, as each of you grow and learn and makes best friends with everyone and everything in Zambia.

    Happy happy happy happy happy birthday Paxton! Hope none will compare to this special day spent in Zambia! I will bake you a very late cake when I see you again!

    Also, I think a sure sign that I miss all of you guys is the fact the I keep seeing doppelgangers of all of you around Spokane. EVERYWHERE. The best one was where I was at the farmer’s market yesterday, and I was convinced that I saw Conner, and followed him for about ten minutes, ready with some strong words about what he was doing, and why the heck he was not on a plane. Good thing I saw the guy’s face before I got started, or that might have been a little awkward.

    Sending blessings and joy across the sea to you all for these first few days! Hope everyone settles in well!

    Kisu Kisu Mwane

  7. Donna M. Clark says:

    Happy to see you Shannon!!

    Hope to see a reflection soon about your return to Africa.

    Much Love


  8. Sara Wendland says:


    A little different than Hemmingson’s private jet huh? : )


    Work that downward angle chin tilt guuurlll. Work it.



    *****close your eyes and hear thousands of your biggest fans cheering in the background accompanied by the sound of elephants whaling and tribal music blaring******


    PS- Wow, that actually gave me the energy I needed to get out of bed and begin my long and tiresome trek downstairs to get some cereal.

  9. Saba Mateos says:

    It is a warm feeling to see your post, to read that you guys are with the people! Missing all of you so much, you guys are in every thought and prayer I have. Charlie, thank you for bringing us into Zambezi, even for a moment, with your words. They are beautiful and inspiring, making me ask my own questions. You guys are with a wonderful group, I’m glad I have a habit of stalking the blog already! Can’t wait to read more of your thoughts and experiences. You guys are beautiful people, in a beautiful place. Love wildly, live passionately, everything else will fall into place. Seriously missing you all so much!!

    Hel- missing you more and more everyday. I’m so excited for this part of your adventure. Can’t stop thinkin’ about you. I keep looking at that moon though. <3


  10. Andre House says:

    Thank you for letting us know you made it safely after landing on the rough airstrip in Zambezi, Charlie! I’m certain it’s only the beginning of questioning life as you know it! What a GREAT group of smiling faces in the above photo!!! Even though you look a bit tired, your batteries will re-charge- enjoy every moment! Love you, Conner House!

  11. Nancy beck says:

    So happy to see you! What an arrival you had. This surely was only one of the many blessings God has in store for you! Sending our love to Mark!

  12. Hanna Edens says:

    WAAAAAAAWHOOOO!!! You guys have finally made it to the place that will change and touch each of your hearts forever. I am so excited for each and every one you to experience the purest happiness, those hard times, and making some of the deepest connections you will ever have. I found a quote I want to share with you all “We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.” My hope is that you all to get to know you own horizon here, your peers around you and the wonderful people of Zambezi. Enjoy those Zambian sunsets and fall in love with everything around you.

    Kisu Kisu Mwane and lots of love,


  13. melissa reinecke says:

    Nothing more heartwarming than holding a child’s hand, what a welcoming! Keeping you all in our prayers. I have been looking at the moon every night Helen.

  14. Tom Rogers says:

    We are so glad you arrived safe and sound in Zambezi, what an Amazing experience for all of you. Charlie we all miss you, especially Pumpkin. We are very proud, be safe, have fun and take lots of pictures.

    Tom, Jennifer, Whitney and Brooke

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