Coming full circle

A mirrored image of the Zambian landscape taken from our small plane.

If you know me well, you know that I love restarts and full-circle moments. I love Mondays, the first of every month, and the greatest of all is New Year’s day. I love the satisfaction of a fresh start especially when a full-circle moment is involved. So, I was so excited to learn that my third and final blog would be today—the day we landed back in Lusaka. This is special because I wrote our first blog of the trip and posted it on the day we landed in Lusaka for the very first time. Now, I’m posting this from the hostel that we started at over four weeks ago. 

Half of us took off from Zambezi at 7 this morning. I was lucky to be on the later flight, so I savored some extra time in my extra cozy convent bed under the protection of my mosquito net. We finalized all of our packing and headed to the the Zambezi airport at 10:30. Being the tallest on my plane, I got a front-row seat to the action. I watched Pilot Colin toggle with all the equipment and press all the fancy buttons. He even offered me a chance to fly the plane, but I told him that I probably shouldn’t be trusted, although I’m definitely regretting not taking the chance to cross something else off my bucket list on this trip. 

We landed at 1:50 p.m. at Flying Mission just outside of Lusaka. Megan, Maddie, and I were welcomed with a generous lunch spread as we waited for the last plane to arrive. We ate sandwiches, watermelon, chips, and cookies with Anna, the wife of one of the pilots. She pointed me out as “the vegetarian” and handed me Everything but the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s to give my sandwich some extra flavor. It was an amazing surprise that I didn’t know I needed today. 

Along with Anna’s incredible hospitality, being back in Lusaka brought a sense of familiarity and material comfort. We’ve been here before; the roads had traffic lights here. There are advertisements along the road and hot water for showering. All these things serve as reminders that we are officially beginning the journey back to the United States. Within 72 hours we will all be home. 

The transition phase we are in is prompting lots of personal introspection. I chose to be a broadcast major because I want to tell stories and capture them in time forever. This blog has been a great manifestation of my love for storytelling. I am so grateful that we have this site to look back on and remember all the days we spent together in Zambia. However, this experience altogether is a story that will be very difficult to fully capture. Kris said the other night that we have experienced some incredibly high highs and extremely low lows. Talking about my experience of coming to Zambia will be filled with joyous memories of feeling the spray of Victoria Falls, camping in the bush of Botswana, being greeted by the most amazing school choir after landing on Zambezi’s dirt tarmac, trying on my handmade skirt for the first time, playing ultimate frisbee with the kids at Zam City, and meeting the most dedicated students like Rickson and Hendrix. Although, those moments could not exist without the extreme homesickness that hits around week two, having to watch chickens get killed as a vegetarian, the constant eyes on me as a white person in a space that is not my own, and the dread of temporariness knowing many of the people I’ve met in the last three weeks will now only be a memory. 

It will be difficult to share the complexity of this story, Most of the positive experiences do outweigh the negative. Not all the relationships have come to and end, especially considering that I’ve already received WhatsApp messages from people in Zambezi. It’s OK to exist within gray space for a bit. 

Dinner in Lusaka–burgers, chicken strips, salad, and noodles.

You reading this most likely means you know someone on this trip. They will have their own account of this experience. As for me, I will stumble over words and forget key details when I recall being in Zambia. It has been a whirlwind of a month, yet a month I am so grateful for. When I tell you about Zambia, I will tell you about the homesickness and the cultural adjustments, but highlight the stories about Julius sharing his opinions in business class and my host family graciously opening their home to me. 

I could ramble forever, but I’ll put this limit on myself and end it here. 

Peace and love one final time,

Kendall Adams ‘25

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One Response to Coming full circle

  1. Craig says:

    All of you did an incredible job with the blogs. It really felt like we were there with you. You are a group of amazing young people and you give me hope that our world will be a better place because of you. I am humbled by your openness, willingness to learn about new cultures and develop relationships with people thousands of miles (not just geographically) from the place you call home. You seem really close as a group and on Sierra’s behalf, I thank you. It seems she could not ask for a better group of friends to share this amazing experience with.

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