Putting on our Sunday best

The morning started like the way I believe the rest of our days in Zambezi will, to the sound of very abrasive chickens well before any of our alarms would have actually gone off. As the title states, we all put on our Sunday best as we headed into our first Zambezi mass. We were meet with a warm welcome and a beautiful procession led by Father David. It reminded me much of masses at home, yet the singing was more upbeat and echoed off the walls of the church. The open doors and windows allowed for a light breeze and natural sunlight that bounced off the cracked wooden beams. It was a great start to a new weekly tradition and gave us some roots within the community. It fact, on our way out we got invited to play some soccer and basketball by some of the kids later in the day. Here is a photo of all of us in our Sunday best, though I’m not in it, please trust I looked snazzy as heck. 

After a long service, you can all bet we were hungry and some may even say hangry. Our wonderful breakfast crew, consisting of Brynn, Emily, and Jackson got started right away while Charlie and I worked on some much needed, in fact, necessary coffee. Heating up the brasier, due to lack of electricity, they cheffed up some jungle oats with bananas and LOTS of cinnamon. And if you know me, you know this was not my cup of tea. Though if I did like banana, I’m sure this would have been the best breakfast ever. While everyone enjoyed their breakfast, we talked about the activities of the day, which included a market run, some class prep, dinner plans and now some mandatory soccer. 

Brynn, Julia, Sara and I stayed at the convent to do some class prep for the following week and assembled some Days for Girls period kits. These contained underwear and reusable pads that we will soon be handing out to some of the girls in the community. While we were doing this, the rest of the crew made their way out to the market. There, they handed out more fliers to promote our health, computer and business/leadership classes that will start tomorrow! They also stocked up on some goodies and sweet treats for the convent. 

Soon it was time for our long awaited match up with the local children of Zambezi. When Julia, Brynn and I got there we found that this was not your average US soccer field. Instead, it was our very own version of beach soccer. With the grass being piles of soft sand and the goals being three wooden posts. As a goalie, I knew this would make my job ten times harder. I found that the rules and positions worked a little bit differently, as there were none. The kids were going one way one moment and another the next without rhyme or reason, but it didn’t seem to matter. All that the kids really seemed to care about was getting to laugh and play with peers and the cool new older kids from out of town. Julia and I played with them while Brynn lead some kids in their very own volleyball lesson. We finally were joined by Jackson, Ana, Will, Ellie and Ani which completely raised the stakes. Except, not actually though, because once we started I found that I was playing just as the little kids were, without rhyme or reason and not a care in the world. 

Many of us were exhausted after two long hours of play while others  (Jackson and Ani) powered on and went with Emily, Lucia and Charlie for the other promise, a game of pick up basketball at Zambezi Boarding School, where Will and Ellie will be getting to teach! Though I was not there, I heard it got quite intense and let’s just say some intramural basketball shirts will be won next fall season. For those that retreated home, including me, we got to do some laundry and enjoy some showers while the sun was still out, because if you take one after the sunsets, good luck telling your shampoo from your conditioner. 

Our new friend and trip leader, Jeff Dodd, a Zambian regular, as he has been with this program many times, and a Gonzaga English/Honors professor, joined our Zam Fam of 2024. He will be helping Josh and all of us with the rest of our time here in Zambia. We are all really excited to get to know him and have him with us. After his long three day journey from the US to Zambezi similar to the one all of us made, he arrived just in time for dinner. Since it’s Mama Katendi’s day off basically everyone volunteered to step up and help whip up some dinner. We had a crazy array of chefs including: Head girl (Emily), Sous chef (Julia), Sausage chef (Ana), Flame boy/Mamas Boy (Charlie), Vinaigrette Man (Jeff), and Spice Girl (Lucia).  While we enjoyed our lovely food, everyone loved participating, or better yet, was forced into playing (by an unknown person who will remain unnamed) our favorite new dinner time tradition, rose, bud and thorn. 

Sending lots of love to Chris. We all miss you so much more than you could even know and we are praying and thinking about you everyday. Hoping surgery goes well tomorrow!

I am so excited for what tomorrow brings for everyone with the start of classes and especially happy for the health students as we are being introduced to the hospital and its staff tomorrow as well (if your wondering what my bud was). Missing all of your smiling faces so much and sending love to my fam and friends… you better comment or I’m throwing all your gifts away. This is a threat. 

And on that note, ots of love, 

Katie Harris (KT) ’25

P.S. I’m kidding, I love you guys and I already spent money on your gifts

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10 Responses to Putting on our Sunday best

  1. Dee Leyba says:

    yay jeff!!! you’re all gonna love this guy. i hope at some point he gets the welcome he deserves with all the singing and dancing 😉 iykyk. good luck in zambezi lil zaggies ! breathe in every moment and when things get real stressful, a cadbury chocolate bar from the market never fails.

  2. Kathleen (Proud Zag Mom) says:

    What a great recap of your Sunday in Zambezi. Mass sounded beautiful and peaceful! And, what a blast to play soccer the Zambian way … without rules and totally carefree!
    Best of luck to everyone as you begin your classes tomorrow (today for you) – I can’t wait to hear how they go.
    Enjoy and keep up the great learning!! (Love you KT❤️)

  3. Jackie says:

    Love reading about all your adventures!

  4. Tom says:

    Love the updates and know that all are having a wonderful experience. Best of luck with the classes tomorrow. You guys will be awesome.

  5. Sarah says:

    Commenting to ensure I get a gift. Just kidding…. Ahhh what an amazing day! Sounds like a day full of fun and laughter. Love reading about all the adventures and I can’t wait to hear even more. I hope you all are having a blast and taking in every moment of this experience, which it sounds like you are. Good luck with classes. I’m sure you have already learned so much and the learning is going to continue.

    Love you endlessly sweet Katie. Hope you at least tried the banana.

  6. Maddie Bautista says:

    Oh yeahhh spice girl Lucia! Miss and love you bunches loosh!!

  7. Trig says:


  8. Carolyn says:

    I’m excited for all of you as you start this week. Stay curious! @Charlie- love you mucho

  9. Anuncia says:

    Thanks for your postings, full of details and love. What a great experience you are all having! We wish you the best for this week.
    @ Ana <3

  10. Emily's Mom says:

    You all clean up beautifully! Thank you for sharing your adventures! Praying for you all!

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