Musana Mwane blog readers!
Yesterday was a hard day for many, so we woke up today with hope for more positivity in this beautiful Friday! Clare, Dee, Grace S., and I woke up early to go for a run. While we ran, Sierra, Grace E., and Bella cooked up some eggs, oats apples/oranges/bananas, and French toast. It was DELICIOUS!! This fueled us and got us prepared for the day.
The vibes continued to be good as the dishes were washed and Taylor Swift was played all throughout (friends and family at home please keep me updated on the Eras tour). Today is also our 13th day of this trip, which is Taylor’s lucky number so things are bound to go right.
Next on the schedule was the business class led by Megan, Bella, Kendall, and Dee. They talked about core values and everyone was very engaged and excited about all of the discussions. They also took some personality tests and talked about social styles. While they taught, Kylie, Genesis, Hattie, Maddie, and I all went to the market to pick up some skirts that Genesis had made and to buy some chitenge (fabric). At 12:00 Mama Josephine came to teach us Luvale/Lunda. We learned a lot of common phrases and two songs. Mama Josephine is a great teacher and did a wonderful job of being patient and elegantly explaining the pronunciation of words. Once class was done, Clare, Bella, Kylie, and Kendall immediately broke into improv song and dance performances that were so good you would think they were actually choreographed.
For lunch, we had a quinoa salad and a fruit salad that was so lovingly prepared by Mama Katendi and Mama Violet. We were all silent because it was so good. The Mamas never miss.
After lunch it was time for dishes once again and the playlist for this dance/cleaning party was 80s music. We heard songs like Super Trouper, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and One Way or Another. Is there a better way to bond than to boogy? The answer is no. By now it was 2:30 and it was time for Kris, Jeff, Hattie, Maddie, Kylie, and me to head to the Zambezi boarding school and for Grace E, Clare, Genesis, Sierra, and Grace S to teach their health class. We had so much fun at the school observing a spelling class, drama class, and a debate class. Getting to see how Zambians run their school system was really cool and all of the teachers that we met were incredibly passionate about education. At the same time, the health class had 14 attendees today and their focus for their lesson was sutures.
Once we were all back together we played fun games like Slap Jack, drew, and danced some more (because duh) while we waited for dinner. We had a dish with potatoes in eggs (like a french-fry quiche) alongside rice, apples, oranges, and leftover quinoa with a newly purchased and very popular chip seasoning sprinkled all over.
Today was overall very good, but we did find out some pretty sad news. Genesis will be leaving us tomorrow to head back home due to a family emergency. We will miss her so, so much and wish she could stay, but also wish her the safest journey home. We were able to say goodbye to her by getting all sappy and partaking in a very sweet group hug. We spent a lot of time together as a group today and I think that it was really nice after having such a hard day yesterday. One recurring theme that I have noticed with this group is that no matter what any of us are going through, we are there for each other. We check in with one another and allow ourselves to be unapologetically vulnerable. This to me, is a very rare and special group of women (+Jeff) and experience that we get to share with one another.
To my family/friends and boyfriend at home. I miss you all terribly and can’t wait to show you all 1000000000 pictures when I get back. Please prepare yourselves. I’m thinking of making a slideshow. Attendance is mandatory. I love you all!!
Lauren Benham, WSU class of ’25
PS for those following us from afar. Tomorrow night we will be away for our homestays, so check back on Sunday for the next update!