Going beyond the market

Our crew helped coach a Sports for Life festival featuring a host of individual sports
and a health talk for a few hundred local youth.

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:

Quick brekky.

“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 me with the Saviye family: Kelly, Janet, Mwana, Fatima, and little Ben (clockwise from left).

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

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8 Responses to Going beyond the market

  1. Miya Mukai says:

    Soccer coach Ky! I can’t wait to hear more about your adventures when you’re back, though you’re a great writer! I will send the link to mom… don’t worry 😉

    Love you, sis!

  2. Alyson says:

    Love you Kylie, so proud of you and hope you continue to have a fabulous time. Can’t wait to hear all your adventures and see pictures

    love, Auntie & Koby

  3. Mackenzie Flesch says:

    KYLIE! What a fantastic post! I don’t think I can adequately articulate how thrilled I am that you had Janet and Kelly as your homestay, who were also my homestay last year! My time with them was one of the most memorable and impactful experiences while in Zambezi. At the time I was feeling quite homesick, but their hospitality offered me a unique sense of home. This further taught me the importance of accompaniment and presenting my authentic self to others. Keep embracing every conversation, walk, reading (even if they are long sometimes) and dishwashing jam session! The blog has been making me miss those moments a lot more recently. Proud of you and excited to keep reading more about all of your experiences and insights!

    Kisu mwane,
    Mackenzie Flesch
    ZamFam ‘22

    P.S: not only did we have the same host family but I also wrote the blog post for that day too! <3

  4. Brandy Featherstone says:

    I’m so proud of you, Kylie! I loved reading about your experiences and can’t wait to hear more!

  5. Kevin Ford says:

    Maddie – you coached volleyball? Brendan wants to see a video of one of your famous spikes, or awesome blocks. I’m sure you have created a whole new generation of enthusiasts.

    Speaking of awesome – YOU ARE AWESOME! I love what you and your whole crew are doing. So proud of you.

    Don’t forget – Set the world on fire. Just remember to do it when you’re outside your tent.

    Love you much,


  6. Genesis Middlebos says:

    Wow, Kylie, you’re making me tear up over here ♡ love you guys so much and so proud of the journey you all are continuing with courage and open hearts to all of the beautiful experiences before you. Your homestay dinner sounded incredible and I know you all will put MANY miles on that dictionary. I’m thinking of you all every step of the way and can’t wait to find you again sometime on the flip side of this gorgeous record.
    All the love and support in the world from your guys’s biggest fan!!!

  7. Dugan Watts says:

    These posts continue to give me energy and bring me back to small moments that have become so special to me since last years trip. Thank you for sharing and for bringing everyone that’s reading from home a little closer to you all.

    Dugan Watts ZamFam’22

  8. Annie Fowle says:

    So so so good to hear your voice Ky! Even if it is in writing. I’m living vicariously through you guys, and I can’t wait to hear ALL the little details of your adventures. Love you and miss you lots 🙂

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