A bit of time to appreciate Father’s Day and families

Taking a canoe across the Zambezi River.

Sunday, June 18th.

Musana Mwane, readers! 

Kylie here, reporting live from… you guessed it: Zambezi, Zambia! In the spirit of spicing up the blog, please bear with me as I do a little reflecting in addition to a short review of our day. Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads and dad figures, and love to those who struggle on this day.

Our day began with you’re-on-your-own-brekky: Some opted for the reliable PB&J while others switched it up with cornflakes or oats. We fueled up before walking over to the church— luckily for us, it’s just a stone’s throw away. Mass started at 8:30 this morning, so it was very on brand of us to parade out of the convent around 8:32. Oh, Zambia time. 

After the service, some of us opted for a quick jaunt around town while others read books. Many sat in on a friendship-bracelet-making lesson from our kind and patient teacher, Maddie. Down time has been rare, so we were not quite sure what to do with ourselves. Nevertheless, it was much needed and revitalizing.

Lunch came and went (grilled cheese!), and then it was time for the real event of the day: volleyball! Upon arriving to Zambezi Day school, we were met with an abundance of excited Zambians eager to bump, set, and spike. Oh, what fun it is to play sports with the Zambezi community. We got to see a new side of our good friend John Mwewa, who—in his role as referee—demonstrated that he has a passion for rules and protocol.

After volleyball, we took a canoe ride across the Zambezi River to watch the sunset and its light shimmer on the water. Our return called for a little extra strength from our rower and a little bit of patience from us. But we at last made it to shore.

As the day came to an end, we made plans for the big dinner to come on Monday. We expect up to 50 people and lots of food. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog post.

In honor of Father’s Day, I would also like to do a little reflecting on the family dynamics that I have observed during my time here. I am both inspired and positively perplexed by the effortless compassion and conscientiousness radiated by every family. It seems like in addition to immediate family members, the home is often accompanied by grandchildren, nieces and nephews, grandparents, and other relatives all living together in harmony. Culturally, women play a crucial role in the home, taking care of all the children—theirs or others—in addition to cooking, cleaning, washing clothes and dishes, selling in the market, carrying water, literally everything. Men farm, tend livestock, hold down jobs in town, serving as the leader and decision-maker of the family. However, there has been pushback in recent years to support women in education and other endeavors. This representation of family has been unfamiliar to me and, at times, uncomfortable to witness. I am missing my family a little extra lately, but I know that it will make our reunion on Saturday even sweeter!

From back: Kendall, Grace E., Bella, Lauren, and Kylie.

Happy Father’s Day, Pops! I can’t help but think about how much you would love it here. The music, the food, and all of spontaneous adventures. I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Kylie Mukai ’25

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3 Responses to A bit of time to appreciate Father’s Day and families

  1. Halle Aparicio says:

    HOW FUN! I am abundantly proud of you for taking this opportunity to live and experience a new culture and leave the comfort of our own. I miss you tons, come back soon!

  2. Miya Mukai says:

    So fun, Ky! Mom, Dad, and I are so excited to hear all about your adventures next weekend. “6 sleeps!!!”

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