Good Afternoon for all of you and Good Evening to us here in Lusaka! We have finally finished our initial journey, so no more planes and airports for at least a few days.
Although, all our travel has already laid the foundation for some new memories. Like when we were waiting at the gate in SeaTac comparing what took priority on the packing list for each of us. For Bella and me, it was lots of plane snacks, while for Genesis it was wilderness survival gear. Pretty similar in importance if you ask me. Boarding the plane was a bit like Christmas morning for Claire, Grace S, and me in row 36. We explored all the games and movies available to us for our 14 hours in the air. I also learned the hard way that when Malaria pills are supposed to be taken with food, a Crunch bar doesn’t really count.
Once we landed in Doha, the group had a luxurious 9 hours in Hamad International Airport consisting of “detox water” and some light stretching led by Hattie. Some of us chose a quiet and restful layover, while others chose the airport-exploring route. Kylie (and Lotto, of course) took a quick nap despite Jeff’s recommendation not to. Maddie and Grace E. enjoyed the indoor playground, though it was definitely designed for children and probably not for a D1 volleyball player.
Then we boarded our final flight and were ready to complete the last leg of today’s travel. Megan, Lauren, and I felt some disappointment when we realized our row on the plane didn’t get a window, so we didn’t get to see all the views we were hoping for. But it was mostly for the best because we all had intentions of trying to squeeze in a few extra hours of rest before landing in Lusaka and packing in a full day of activities.
We were enthusiastically greeted by Dominic, a friend of the program and the former priest in Zambezi, the second we walked out of the airport. He eagerly learned all of our names and quizzed himself as we got on our bus to the hostel. More than one of us made the joke that we were driving on the wrong side of the road as we pulled out of the parking lot. At the hostel Sierra spotted the first spider of the trip as we were setting our bags down. Dee and I shared our hatred for spiders which we will hopefully (and probably need to) overcome within the next few weeks. We all did a quick change into clean clothes and sandals and headed off again for the day.
Our first stop was exchanging currency, which was way easier than I anticipated. I’ve inspected my new Kwacha to see all the different designs on the bills. At lunch, Dominic wasted no time and asked if we could talk politics. We covered all the bases from the 2024 election, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and the impact of colonization on Zambia. I expected these types of conversations to happen at some point but I will admit it caught me by surprise only being here for 4 hours. It was cool to hear Dominic’s perspective on things and begin the process of cultural and social immersion here in Zambia. After telling him that I was a broadcast major, he was very happy to share with me that he has was a guest on GUTV when he visited Spokane. I filled him in on all the updates regarding the Integrated Media department since he’s been there. After lunch, we went to an art gallery and the longer drive exposed us to more parts of the city. We had some solo time to shower and rest once we got back to our temporary home base. Then, we finished off the day with reflection time as a group.
Our ankles are still a bit swollen, our necks are still a bit stiff, and eyelids are getting heavier by the minute. However, we are very excited for what’s to come!
Kendall Adams, 2025
Kendall—thanks for sharing about your travels and first experiences in Zambia. I’m glad you were able to dive right into conversation with Dominic. I hope your time in Lusaka continues to be fruitful!
Megan—enjoy the mochas in Lusaka they are bomb!
So glad you made it to Lusaka. Please give a big hug to my friend Dominic – I’m missing that big toothy grin and deep curiosity about the world. I loved seeing your welcoming smiles in the bus – enjoy each smell, sight, touch, sound and taste of the big city.
Like Audrey said, the Frozen Mochas in Victoria Falls are a must! Jeff will know what we are talking about.
This brings me right back to the hustle and bustle of the first 48 hours our group was in Zambia. I am so thrilled that all of you will be stepping into this new world. It feels like yesterday that I was there…
Don’t take it for granted. Explore, listen, and learn.
Ava P. Herman (Zambezi ‘22)
Kendall so excited to hear that you are on this trip!!! This was such a fun read and I can’t wait to hear more about what adventures await you and the rest of the crew during this incredible adventure!!!
Let’s go!! Happy to read you’ve all made it to Lusaka, and especially happy that you’ve met Dominic! Thanks, Kendall. You’ve brought back a lot of fond memories from our first day just over a year ago. Excited for your future and looking forward to reading more.
~ Brendan McKeegan ‘22
It’s all about the journey, each trip after this one will fly by after this one. Dom is the best, but don’t ask him what he’s going to order at a restaurant, it will take Jeff approximately 12 eye-rolls before he decides what’s good enough to eat. Enjoy the exhaustion, as it won’t go away, but it will make you say some silly things, so laugh lots. Also, the spiders will have to become your friends, as andie says “either name them or kill them”, a good lesson to be learned. I will be sure to follow your journey as it makes me tear up just to remember. Lotssss of love and a little burp just for Jeff <3
Kalie a former gonzambian 2022
YAY!! You guys made it! So happy to read about Dominic’s warm welcome. He always brought the best dinner conversation. I can’t wait to read more about your experiences, challenges, and moments of connection. I am thinking of you all and can’t wait to see where this journey takes you!
Kendall, I am so happy you got on the plane ;). Way to start the blog off strong!
Jeff, I can’t wait to see how you warmly lead these ladies. I do hope you’re finding pockets of joy throughout the day. Sending all my love, hugs, and support your way.
Gonzaga in Zambezi ‘22
So fun to be following along with this blog Kendall! Have a fantastic time.
Very well written Kendall! I love your positive attitudes and open mindsets. The journey has just begun, can’t wait to follow along!
Thank you for sharing this amazing introduction to your impactful experience! I’m feeling nostalgic reading this blog already. I had to smile at Dominic’s immediate dive into genuine conversation. As Nicole said, he is a wonderful conversationalist with lots of wisdom to share. But I hope you continue to find that Dominic is not alone in having this gift. Take from his example and have no fear of having those deep and genuine conversations from the get go. They lead to connections that you couldn’t possibly imagine – and you’ll find that they are deeply appreciated by those around you.
As for the spiders, I feel you. I have a huge fear of them. HUGE. So imagine my surprise to see gigantic ones after Jeff told me there weren’t any spiders where we were going. My fault for being so naive. You may never like them, but you’ll at least learn to tolerate them. Hopefully (;
Jeff, I am excited to see how this amazing group of women challenge you and you them. I can’t wait to hear all about the growth experiences you undertake. Lots of carrot threes your way! <3
Looking forward to reading every bit of this journey y’all are having!!
Zam fam ‘22
What a great write up and I love all the comments too. I am excited for you to continue to learn and grown from this experience.
Ask Grace E. about spiders! Her brother had tarantulas and scorpions as pets, along with other reptiles! lol