Ready to take flight

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Hello Zags in Zambia followers,

While we will begin the reflections in earnest when we arrive in Zambezi tomorrow, we wanted you to know about our time in Lusaka. We began our day at the University of Zambia, meeting with a number of university dignitaries including the Dean of the School of Education and his faculty. In proper Zambian fashion, the gathering was both formal and relational. It provided us with a history of higher education in Zambia and the strategic plan for the future of the University of Zambia. We were grateful for the time spent together. We also toured a residence hall and spoke with a few university students.

After a schawarma lunch with camp missionary Kelly Huckaby at a new Zambian mall, our Zags went to hear about the long and fascinating history of the Jesuits in Zambia. Fr. McGloin joined the Jesuits while a student at Gonzaga. He’s been working in Zambia since 1969. He was able to share the long view of the order’s history, while also providing a more in-depth and personal recounting of the last 45 years of the 51 years since Zambia became an independent nation.

We also had a wonderful visit with staff at the Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection. As you might guess from the photo, our hosts Mwiinga and Tendei were lively and fun. They brought humor and joy to their work on behalf of the millions of Zambians living in poverty.

Josh was able to confirm that the books for the library at Chilena Basic School are on the way to Zambezi and should be there by Monday. This will be cause for an immense celebration, and we are overjoyed to be present for the culmination of many years’ partnership through Zambia Gold.

So, we are on our way at dawn. We’ve tried to assure that our internet connection will be reliable. But this is Zambia, so be patient. We will be eager to share our first experiences in Zambezi as soon as we can.

Josh Armstrong, Jennifer Akins, and Jeff Dodd

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11 Responses to Ready to take flight

  1. Eve Knudtsen says:

    Safe travels to Zambezi. You have quite a following, so keep writing.

  2. Hayley Medeiros says:

    Yay! It’s blog time. This is no joke my favorite part of summer. I am so excited for you all and the adventure that is to come! Keep your eyes up and open and take in every second. Love you all so much and can’t wait for the updates! Kisu Kisu mwane!!

    Hayley Medeiros

  3. Zack Rosse says:

    I already miss so many of you so much!! Have fun!!

  4. Carla Walls says:

    You may already be doing this but journal every day if possible. It looks amazing, enjoy the ride!

  5. Conner House says:

    Books in Zambezi by Monday? See you all by Tuesday to help unload.
    Enjoy your flight and touchdown in Zambezi!!
    Kisu Mwane

  6. Cecilia says:

    I’m with Conner on that one…get ready to welcome me with open arms come Tuesday because believe me, all I want to do is be a’coming! Sounds like you all had quite the fruitful time in Lusaka–I’m so happy you all soaked up your time there and made the most of your recourses and opportunities! I didn’t really think twice about the Jesuit/Zambia history, so I am jazzed on your behalf that you were able to learn more.

    Still thinking of you always. Dodd, ily, & ttyl y’all.


  7. Mary says:

    Looks like the fun has started! Keep us in the loop.

  8. Lynda McCann says:

    Hi Josh and hello again all you beautiful Zags…this morning I went to Starbucks, you’re not missing out…who really needs coffee? It’s a little overrated or so I want to believe and way overpriced…$5 a coffee…think about all the $ you’re saving! I’ve told myself a zillion and one times “tomorrow I’m quitting!” When I got home, there was flyer tucked into my door. Normally, I don’t give junk mail my time, but today I was wide awake (thank you starbucks) and read it…
    “People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: they hold the unshakeable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they’re satisfied with small changes. Over time though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world.”
    As I read this, I thought of each of you…this is each of you! Every time you see one of those smiles, or a little hand reaches to hold yours, think about the difference you are making and know that you are that small (in my eyes huge) change in the world…thank you! THANK YOU! Soak it all in, take pictures…your adventures are just beginning… have fun while making the difference! (((Hugs))) ~Lynda McCann

  9. Lili Ramos says:


    What an incredible way to kickstart your time in Zambia! It’s so cool to see how immersed you are all becoming already! Zambian culture is deeply rooted in faith and especially in education. Teachers, keep an eye out for that. You will learn just how much education means to not only the teachers and children at Chilenga but also the entire Zambian community. Just wait till those books arrive!!
    I can’t wait to keep reading on how each of you takes in this experience!
    Josh, Jeff, and Hannah send my love and many hugs to Mrs. Melody and little Joe (who may not be so little this time)!
    Kisu Mwane,

  10. Katie McCann, Swendy, Julie Klotz, & Ally Crha says:

    Hi Zamfam,

    Because of your adventurous first blog post, you inspired us to cross boarders as well. We planned an impulsive trip to Nelson, Canada for the evening!! We all read your post out loud and are thinking of you always. We are sending our love from Canada aye.


    Katie McCann, Julie Klotz, Swendy and Ally Crha

  11. Carla Walls says:

    Happy 19th Birthday LaShantay!!! How awesome that you are spending it in Africa. I love and miss you. I’m praying for your health and safety every day but I know God has your back. I’m excited to see you in Tacoma when you get back and hearing all the stories of your experiences while there. I am so proud of you. Love grandma

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