I have been out of the country for 4 months. I returned on Friday, May 2 at 11:12 p.m. and got to see my family at 11:22 p.m.. People have said and asked me "you look so tan," "is it good to be home?", "what was it like?", "would you go back?", and of course the ever popular "are you over jet lag yet?" For any of you reading this, let me answer these questions for you.
You look so tan. - I was in the African sun for a while, so yes I did get a nice tan.
Is it good to be home?- It is good to see my family and friends.
What was it like?- In short, it was challenging and made me examine my life and how I live it, gave me opportunities I have never had before, and gave me the opportunity to meet some of the nicest people I've ever known. It was an incredible journey and one I will always cary with me.
Would you go back?- In a word, yes.
Are you over jet lag yet?- I can't tell. I'm a person that's usually tired all the time, so I think I am, just not 100% sure.
There are a million stories I could tell, but I'm sure you don't want to read a blog a mile long. Instead, I will put a mile long of pictures and short descriptions of some of the highlights of my time in Zambia, Africa.
This map shows where my different flights took me, along with my specific location in Zambia, Africa.
I had to go to the doctor while I was in Africa and get my finger poked, so obviously I had someone take a picture of me and I chose to make it dramatic. I mean, who wouldn't want to do that?
I taught the kids a drama called The Redeemer. The show had no words, but was motions to music. This is one of the first rehearsals where I was teaching the character of "God" to create the heavens and the earth.
I caught more frogs then I can count during my stay, and sometimes the kids liked to hold them and make up stories about the frogs with me.
The picture collage shows me in the traditional shirt, or ccitangi (I very well could have misspelled this) of Zambia, and several of the different ways women use them aside from just using them as a skirt. Looking at it left to right and reading it like a book we have:
-mat for ground
-traditional rap around skirt
-around the waist (this was done by locals while dancing to emphasize the hips)
-wipe noses and drool
-baby carrier (both on the back and in the front)
We were constantly blowing up balloons and decorating for birthday parties. Fun times, but as I discovered, you can get very light headed from blowing up too many balloons.
Got to visit one of the 7 Wonders of the World, Victory Falls.
This is after I got harnessed up and before I jumped and did the gorge swinging over a canyon. It was such an enjoyable experience.
I wrote a Murder Mystery Dinner Party script, and everyone came dressed as their career. There ended up being 28 people there, Americans and Zambians. This picture shows "Police Officer" and "Hostess" having an intense conversation on safety at the party.
Another Murder Mystery Party picture of Lumber Jane (Left) and Compulsive Liar (Right) doing some impressive yoga moves.
We did some arts and crafts with pipe cleaners, and leaned how to make glasses. We really sport the latest and greatest at New Day Orphanage.
The kids participated in the first "competitive" soccer game against a group from town. This is our killer kids team, The Mighty Ducks.
Got the opportunity to sing in church on my last Sunday at New Day. The challenging part was singing in both English and my new language, Tonga. But thanks to Blu's guidance and assistance, my words sounded pretty great and the people loved it.
Also my final Sunday, we were able to have 34 people get baptized. This boy from the village was one of them, and I was so happy to share in the joy with him. He has the best smile.
On Friday's, I helped with a girls bible study in a neighboring village and this little peanut came to several of our studies.
Muchoni, one of the kids at New Day, and I became very close during my stay.
I got a picture with all of the New Day kids, and the sign they are holding up says "Twalumba" which means "thank you." That goes out to all of you. Thank you for your support, encouragement and love as I have been on this journey. I couldn't have done it without you.
I am home and it doesn't seem to fit me as much as it used to. I go about my "regular" routine and still love seeing people and places, but there is an uncomfortable side to it now that makes me miss my overseas adventures. I am grateful for the memories and time I was able to be there. Thinking about it, what 19 year old get's that opportunity? Not that many.
Gracias, Twalumba, Thank you.