My journey to Zambia, Africa, has been like a rollercoaster so far. It has had a lot of ups and downs over the last couple days but I have already experienced something so different here in Zambia over one and a half days than I have in America over my whole life. The second I stepped into the Poetice camp, people were cheering and welcoming us to Zambia with open arms and pure happiness. I had never even met these people and as soon as I stepped out into Zambia I was greeted with many hugs and smiles from people I had never met.
I almost wasn’t even able to be here in Zambia in time because of the last-second misunderstanding from the Philadelphia airport staff that almost made me not be able to make it here in Zambia in time. Now I’m pretty sure you’ve heard the entire story about this in a previous blog, but in a summary for me it was just a last second mess that could have easily been avoided. Besides this situation, the way here to Zambia was very long but easy and a fun experience with everyone in the group.
Once I did arrive in Zambia, I was greeted by everyone here at Poetice. From the people that work here like Jeremy and Courtney (my aunt and uncle), the other church group with us, the Poetice interns, and many other people that greeted us, I worshiped and celebrated with everyone like I had know each other for years. We had basically just been thrown right into the Zambian “family” and every had accepted us here with no question and were so happy to see us. I had never felt more welcome somewhere besides my own church and my home than I did here when I arrived in Zambia.
The next day I woke up ready to learn even more about Zambia and it started with a good breakfast of frosted flakes in warm milk and was followed by more worship, singing, and dancing. I learned African songs and the dances to them we spent time learning about the many differences between Zambian culture and American culture. I also played soccer with a local Zambian intern here named Christopher and also our leader Caleb (I beat both of them). Jude, my cousin, had also just gotten an American football as a gift and we were throwing that around in our free time. Eventually, another teen from the other church and I had wanted to play a game of football. This ended up in us teaching two Zambians named Justin and Edward how to play. Edward was actually surprisingly very good while Justin still had a tough time understanding how to play.
Lastly, we had ended the night eating the classic food here in Zambia, Shima. This was what I had heard was the best food here in Zambia and many of the locals raved about it. Once it came time to eat it, it was strictly only eating it with your hands. Now, if you don’t know what Shima is, it is basically like very hot mashed potatoes that are clumps you can dip in boiled cabbage, beans , okra, and many other foods. I knew it was delicious but it was very hot and hard to handle at first. Although, after it had cooled down a bit I dipped it mostly in the beans and it was very good. It “lived up to the hype”.
So far my time here in Zambia has been great and I can’t wait for more to come