June 22nd and 23rd
After we got settled into the hotel, we went to visit the Tree of Life. Each house has a name, usually named in honor of someone or connected to a special meaning. 12 children who were rescued and brought in to full-time care live together with 2 house mommies in each house. The kids run around and play between all of the houses. It is safe for them to run and around and be kids!
We went to Heart House which is where Paulina lives, Allison's sponsored child. Her birthday was a couple of weeks ago, so Allison wanted the house to celebrate! Paulina gathered up all of the children who live in her house, and they had brownies, sang Happy Birthday, and Allison taught them how to play Twister.
This was the first time I had seen any of the children, so when they started singing Happy Birthday, I started crying. It was when I realized I was really in Zambia! They also sing 2 extra verses to Happy Birthday. The 2nd verse says "How old are you now?" instead of happy birthday, and the 3rd verse says "May the Lord God bless you". It was so sweet!
Once we left Heart House, we went to the Legacy Center at the top of the hill for dinner. Family Legacy built the center as a place to house Camp LIFE activities. It is a great building that gets a lot of use. We had a great dinner of chicken casserole, corn, and cookies for dessert. Cynthia is our cook, and she is wonderful! She is a teacher in the States, and her husband works for the ministry. Their whole family spends their entire summer in Zambia. She has such a servant's heart!
We got to go to church at the Tree of Life. We sat amongst the children we had met yesterday.
Church was such a blessing! The children's praise team sang and led the worship, and tears rolled down my face. To see such happy, joyful kids praising God despite all they have gone through in their little lives was amazing. They sang so loudly and danced around joyfully. They even pulled us up on stage with them! It was a beautiful morning of worship.
After church, we had a catered meal from a Mexican food restaurant. I had to take a picture because my dad had joked that I wouldn't be eating Mexican food while I was there. While it was no true Tex-Mex, it was actually pretty good! We ate lunch outside at the Legacy Center, which is built up on a hill. The view is amazing!!
After lunch, we were able to shop at the market and buy items that Zambians have made. I bought a traditional African wrap skirt called a chitenge. I also bought a necklace, a really neat nativity set, and several gifts for people.
After the market, we went to Kathryn's house in the "American Compund". They call it "AmCom". Kathryn lives here full-time, so she lives in a house with 2 other girls. There are 5 houses together where the American staff live. They have a gate and a guard, and it is in a pretty nice area.
We had a meeting there with all of the Teach ONE girls and went over logistics. I had no idea what to expect at the school, but I was excited and looking forward to helping. After only 2 days, Zambia had already started taking a piece of my heart!