Yesterday Jessica and I were walking to the bus at the Zambia Airport in the back of everyone else. I started a new conversation, expressing to Jess that I was considering asking Elly to start the wheel of jobs in a way where I would write the blog post in a few weeks. I didn’t feel called to write first (probably out of fear, honestly) and I was eager to say something about it. Jess expressed the same, but ultimately told me that my (our) time to write the blog post would come at the right time meant for us. So, hello. Here I am, writing the first student blog post of the trip.
Yesterday we flew to Lusaka from Dubai, exchanged our US dollars to kwacha, and saw the Gonzaga Chamber Choir rehearse a couple of performances with the Sacred Heart Choir. It was really neat to see both choirs in Lusaka. Their hearts were shared as they sang with great power throughout the church. The echoes of their voices and smiles on their faces brought tears to my eyes. Jimmy sang with the choir for one of the songs. He had the biggest smile on his face. That made me emotional too. As the choirs sang together, I witnessed togetherness between my home in Spokane and my new home here in Zambezi. Well, it wasn’t Zambezi being represented in song, but still, Zambia – another community and culture different than my own. I saw that connectedness and love could be shared so easily through sharing oneself with others. I must do this now, too.
I woke up at 4:30 this morning with Mogan and Mack in the Flying Missions Guesthouse. LeBrun and Jimmy were already up – we’ve been a bunch of early risers so far. Three bush planes left as the sun was rising. I, along with eight others were scheduled to leave at noon once two planes had returned from the morning flights. We watched the three planes take off this morning. The planes were a lot smaller than I thought they were going to be.
After the morning group had left for Zambezi, Jess, Elly, and I climbed the water tower right near where the planes takeoff. This is when I have felt most myself on the trip so far – when I was climbing. In climbing pretty consistently this past year, this morning I lead the climb confidently. Danger, risk, and the unknown were nowhere on my mind as I reached the top. It was awesome.
I wouldn’t say I feel in danger, but I have been thinking of risk and the unknown a lot while being here in Zambezi. I fear it. I wonder if my interactions and experience here will feel as easy, liberating, and affirming as climbing did. As I got out of the bush plane, children swarmed to greet me. Quite ruthless, they fought over my hands and arms. I was silent almost all of this time. I want to be louder, or at least, comfortable with the idea of being louder if I desire to be.
Father Baraza has shared an African Proverb with me four times now. It goes like this: Every morning in Africa a Giselle wakes up. It knows it has to run so fast; otherwise it will become the food of somebody. Every morning a lion wakes up and knows that it has to run so fast, otherwise it will die of starvation. And in this case it is not a question of if it is the Giselle or the lion. The fact is that when morning comes, you better start running.
With dirt on my feet, I am ready to run.
Class of 2019
P.S. We are all safe, sound, and doing well here in Zambezi. I am really excited to experience these next weeks with everyone.
P.P.S. Mom, Dad, Lauren, Erin, and Sean, I hope you are all doing well! I am thinking of you often and am already very excited to share the stories behind the pictures I already have of being only a couple days away. Erin, enjoy every moment of your confirmation weekend – I will be praying for you as you begin another chapter of your spiritual journey. Lauren, congrats on almost being done with finals! Enjoy your last moments at HNA, prom, and graduation. I will be thinking of you this coming week a whole lot. Sean, best of luck as you finalize your role in the play and perform soon. Break a leg! Mom and Dad, thank you for everything, I am so thankful for you. Enjoy all of the celebrations coming soon. I love you all and cannot wait to hear how you are doing. #soon6again
P.P.S. I think everyone is sleeping in the convent right now. I can hear celebration, drums, yelling, song, and voices in the distance. I just got a very strong urge for a dance party. Until next time!