Lauren and I playing duck, duck, goose with several children near the convent.

Hello! My name is Maddie and I’m very excited to write to you from Zambezi

Hattie and Kylie rushed off to the secondary school to make it there before school started. The rest of us started off with a lovely breakfast made by Dee, Megan and Lauren.

Afterwards the health team (Sierra, Grace, Grace, Clare, and Genesis) went to visit the local hospital where they got a tour. The business and leadership team (Dee, Bella, Kendall, and Megan) continued to plan their classes.

I had the morning free and, being someone who is not used to Zambia time, I offered to go with Mama Violet to the market to pass some time. Unlike the grocery trips I was used to where I could grab some random shoes and run into one store to grab a few items, going to the market was a full on extravaganza. First, Mama Violet is very known here. We stopped to talk to several of her friends on the way to the market. I mentioned that I barely even knew my neighbors at home and she said it is necessary to stop and talk because that is how communication works here. We had a list of around 10 items to get and we went to several stands to gather what we need. At one end there was bananas and oranges and in another shop we grabbed cereal and hot sauce. We also went on a wild goose chase for eggs due to the shortage in Zambezi. After 5 stands we finally found some. My favorite part of the market was the chickens. Mama Violet bought 2 live chickens and carried them home upside down. I wanted to carry one home but I was afraid I would lose him and Mama Violet would get mad, so I offered to carry the eggs instead. Going to the market with Mama Violet helped me understand Zambia time even better. The market is a boisterous place where everyone knows each other. People take the time to ask about one another and their families rather than bee-lining from shop to shop. It is a major hub where people can continue to grow the relationships that they have.

After I got back, Lauren and I met with the primary school and found out we are helping in 6th grade classrooms. We officially start tomorrow!

Mama Josephine came to teach our first lesson on Zambian culture. She taught us simple phrases and greetings we can use in the markets and around town. She also taught us a beautiful song. It was a call and response song that lifted our spirits and energy.

The electricity in the convent went out this morning. Whereas most people would accept that they are going to eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches until it’s fixed, Mama Katendi and Mama Violet made a delicious lunch over a fire. I am in awe of the way they  can adapt.

After lunch, the health team and business and leadership team promoted their classes by talking to local business owners and hanging up flyers. The education team tagged along and did some shopping as well.  I forgot to buy my usual orange Fanta for the day, so hopefully someone will drink one for me.

The sunset from our spot celebrating Kris’s birthday.

On the way back, Lauren and I got roped into playing duck, duck, goose with some of the children in the neighborhood. We had a blast and a half giggling with all the children.

We ended the night at the Royal Kutachika for Kris’s birthday. We watched the sun set over the captivating Zambezi river. Pictures could not capture the glowing red and orange rays on the horizon that we saw tonight

To my family and friends I love and miss you so much 🙂

Much love,
Maddie Ford, ’23

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5 Responses to

  1. Elizabeth ford says:

    Hello Maddie! What a nice blog! Sounds like you’re having as much fun learning the Zambezi ways as playing childhood games! The sunset looks absolutely beautiful and I’m so happy you get to experience all of this.

    Happy birthday Kris!

    Lol I wouldn’t trust you with the chicken either!
    We all miss you and love you!

    The ford clan

  2. Kevin says:

    Maddie – So glad you are taking it all in. I’m hoping that you all realize that as you are encountering all of these people, we are all God’s children. And you are meeting sisters and brothers you never knew you had. I’m hoping these are all seeds of a lifetime of memories.

    Love you and miss you,


  3. Sam Brendel says:

    I’m glad to hear everyone is getting situated into their respective places in Zambezi! Live Chickens and Duck Duck Goose sounds like the makings of a very crazy and interesting day! I have to admit those sunsets look to rival those great Eastern WA sunsets!
    Maddie – I love hearing all about your time in Zambia, and I hope you keep having fun, more and more each and every day 😉

  4. Audrey Buller says:

    Maddie!! It’s so good to hear your voice through your writing. Your day sounds full and joyful—a typical Zambian day. Trips to the market with Mama Violet are always adventurous and full of opportunity to talk to others and build relationships. She is so wise and I love how you’ve captured that in this blog. It also sounds like a hoot and a toot (that’s a new one I heard the other day) to play duck duck goose. In all seriousness though it sounds like you are thriving and making the most of this experience. I love and miss you tons, but it fills my heart reading about your experiences.

    Until we see each other again, love, peace, and chicken grease 🙂
    Audrey Buller

  5. Nicole Perry says:

    Wow, y’all. I have loved reading your reflections and experiences of Zambezi. Your words bring me right back to the place that means so much to me, and I cannot wait for you all to get to know it deeper. Maddie, I fully respect your passion for orange fanta—a cold beverage is a necessary purchase of any market run. I loved Jasper’s shop and his endless smiles.

    Jeff, your reflection and audio recordings were beautiful. Sending all of my love.

    Kris, Happy belated birthday!!

    Give all my love to Mama Katendi, Violet, and Josephine. You all are in the strongest, most capable hands.

    Nicole Perry

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