Saturday, June 3rd.
Peeling away the safety of our trusty mosquito nets to journey to the convent’s jack-and-jill bathroom and the intensely cold showers.
Breakfast, seemingly more and more extravagant every day, prepared by our pals and shared family-style around a makeshift collection of wooden tables and chairs.
The monotonous sound of running water accompanied by the hard work of Bella’s JBL as it supplements our dishwashing with pumpin’ jams.
And the hustle and bustle of preparation for the day’s work: the health team organizing lessons and pamphlets, the business and leadership team putting on their name tags and practicing their lessons, and the education team preparing their hearts to observe the students at both Chilenga School and the Zambezi Secondary Boarding School.
These are glimpses into the simple morning routine that we have quickly grown fond of and found comfort in. These daily occurrences are quite homey and contribute to the overall greatness that is Zambezi, Zambia.
This morning, however, disrupted our routine. For the first time in Zambezi, we weren’t working on our projects or exploring the market.
We woke up this morning with 1/13th of our heart travelling to Solwezi as Genesis makes the trip back home to Spokane. We will miss her insightful commentary, her vast knowledge on what seems like everything under the sun, and her zealous heart for adrenaline. Our group has been forever impacted by Genesis’s positive influence, and we will be thinking of her every day.
Things are not the same without you, Genesis. We love you!
In contrary to our typical Zambezi morning routine, our Saturday looked like this:
“What’s the time?” says Jeff grumpily?
“It’s 8:00 AM”
“Let’s go! We are supposed to be there at 8:00 AM.” Yes, grumpy.
Soccer, rugby, and volleyballs
Frisbees, the JBL, water bottles, fanny packs
and fourteen sleepy Zags piled into the back and the bed of Father David’s trusty white Toyota Hilux.
Kris in the driver’s seat, obvi.
Hundreds of kids, 12 sports stations, controlled chaos.
I revisited one of my first loves, soccer, as a ZamCity football coach! I am certainly out of practice, but it was an incredible experience kicking the ball around and playing 5v5 games with young athletes. We worked alongside Zambian athletes to help coach a variety of sports. While Hattie and I coached football (soccer), Dee coached martial arts, Kendall coached rugby, Sierra and Megan coached yoga, Clare and Lauren coached XC running, Grace E. and Maddie coached volleyball, Grace S. coached ultimate frisbee, and Bella coached dance. We are quite the athletic bunch!
Following our long morning with ZamCity, we nervously prepared to leave for the night for homestays. It is hard to encapsulate the individual experience of each of my peers as we all traveled to different homestay families. But I will say that after our Sunday lunch debrief, each and every one of us has a fabulous time.
Lauren and I visited the home of Kelly and Janet Saviye (also the home of Audrey, Fatima, Mwana, and Ben), and after our 5pm pickup, we walked to the Zambezi river to watch the sunset. When we returned home, we were given a quick house tour and were served a literal silver platter of tea and all the fixins. For dinner, we assisted Mwana as she prepared chicken (fresh from the coop, eek!), chicken soup, nshima, cabbage, rice, and sweet potato fries; it was quite the delicious spread. Through thoughtful conversations with Kelly and his family, I left feeling welcome and inspired by their ambition and hospitality and challenged to think more deeply about my world view. Lauren and I both left this morning with full tummies, chitenge, a Lunda dictionary, and even four meat pies made by Mama Janet. Lauren and I are so excited to get our chitenge tailored so we can show Kelly and Janet our fits.
To my family and friends at home, I love you so much and I am excited to tell you EVERYTHING! If you know my mom, please text her to make sure that she knows how to find this post; you might even need to give her a little Facetime tutorial, whoopie! Thank you for reading. Happy birthday in heaven, Brooks.
<3 Kylie Mukai, ’25