Saturday, September 3, 2016

Zambia - Monday and Tuesday

Monday, June 27th
Monday was our first day in the schools.  This year we were at Chawama Legacy Academy.  A new school will eventually be built on the property, but for now, the classes are in modulars.

Kids running into school! :) 
They are actually very nice.  They have wood floors that they are able to sweep clean each day, and each classroom has a white board.  Many of the classrooms that our educators were in did not have desks. They are working hard to make sure the classrooms have desks as soon as possible, however they are being handmade in Zambia, so it can only go so fast.

One thing I love about the Family Legacy schools is that they try very hard to employ Zambians whenever possible.  The education staff are all Zambians, and they have things made, such as the desks, by local dealers so that they can employ people there. Often times it would be much easier to turn to Americans to donate or send things over, but in the long-run, sustainability is key, and anywhere we can help create jobs is so beneficial.

I met my teacher, Teacher Wilson Mulongo.  He was very young, fun, and very personable.  I observed him as he taught math and science with Grade 5.  I didn't know he was departmentalized until I showed up, so that required some flexibility, but it worked out great.       

During Wilson's lessons, I took notes and watched for things that I could help him with during the week.  I had moments of feeling very incompetent, but I reminded myself to trust God and not rely on my own strength.  When it was my turn to jump in, I repeated the lesson I saw him do but added my own flair.  I showed him how to have them talk with a partner to keep them engaged, how to have them manage materials better, and how to break up/chunk the word problems they were working on.  We met after school and reviewed those things, and he was very receptive.  I shared our attribute of God, faithfulness, and prayed for us.  It was a great first day!!

Kenly, Alicia, and Kathryn were able to join us for dinner, and it is always good to see them.  We gave them each a gift after dinner.  We brought our "favorite things for our favorite people"  It's fun to spoil them a little since they work so hard all the time.  Love them!

Tuesday, June 28th
I taught math in the morning, let Wilson teach and implement what I modeled, then did the same thing with the afternoon group.  I think it worked out pretty well!  The topic was money and calculating rates.  Luckily, Zambian money is not too different from ours! :)  I noticed that the kids did not know their multiplication facts at all, and they really struggle with division, so I noted that as something to help him with throughout the week.  One game I taught him that week was simply skip counting around in a circle.  We counted by 2s, and each time someone landed on 10, they had to sit down.  They loved it!

I also used strategies like "turn and talk" to show him how to engage them in talking.  The strategies we show them seem simple, and they come so naturally for us as teachers, but the impact they make with these teachers is huge.  After school, we met to discuss the lesson.  He was so receptive and happy to learn.  He said he noticed how they liked it more and seemed to understand the problems better than yesterday. 

Another thing I noted to work on was encouraging efforts and praising the kids for trying.  This is definitely not something that comes naturally to the teachers in their culture.  It is not that they don't love the kids or want to encourage them, they just typically praise the correct answers only.  Sometimes, the kids even laugh at each other when they are wrong, and many students are afraid to answer.   Overall, I was pleased with how Wilson incorporated what I modeled.

Two of my favorite parts of the day are break time and lunch time.  The kids play games with their classes during break, and during lunch time, they eat a meal and just hang out with each other.  I loved getting lots of hugs during these times!!

After school, we came back to rest, eat dinner, shower, and get ready for the next day.  One of our funny "This is Africa" moments for the night was the water going off and on.  Even though we stayed in one of the nicest hotels around, when I turned on the water that night in the shower, it started coming out of the bathtub instead!!  We could only laugh and say, "This is STILL Africa!"

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Zambia - Saturday and Sunday

Saturday, June 25th 
This year we stayed at a hotel called Latitude 15.  Camp Life was so full that there was not room for us at the Villas on the Family Legacy property.  We were so blessed to be able to stay in such a cute, fun little boutique hotel.  I loved all of the decorations, and the staff was so sweet to us!

After we unpacked a little, we headed down to dinner.  We had a special room with a long table where we could all eat together.  The food was really good all week, too.

At dinner, we discussed a little bit about what the week would look like, and Tia gave us each a word associated with an attribute of God.  She asked us to share the word with our teacher this week and to be looking together for ways we see God demonstrating that attribute.  My word was "faithful".  The verse was, "The faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease.  Great is his faithfulness, his mercies begin afresh each morning."  Lamentations 3:22 - 23  After dinner, we crawled into bed exhausted from traveling but excited about the week ahead.   

Sunday, June 26th 
On Sunday, we went to the Tree of Life for church.  It is always great to hear their beautiful voices as they worship Jesus, singing in Nyanja.  Their service is full of singing, dancing, and praising Jesus.  It is vibrant and full of joy!

After church, we had lunch and went shopping at the market.  I bought a few things and had a chance to see Teacher Edna (from 2013) who was selling things at her booth at the market.

I also saw several of my students from 2013.  It was a great feeling to hear that they recognized me, and it was so good to give them hugs! 

 We left the Tree of Life around 2:00 and headed back to our hotel to have a meeting and prepare for our first day of teaching.  We then had a delicious dinner, which Amanda and Kathryn got to join us for.  It was so good to see them!  After most of the group left, Diana, Tia, Allison, Kathryn, Amanda, and I ordered ice cream and sat out on the couch in the lobby talking and laughing.  I even ended up showing Amanda the Bumble dating app.  We laughed at the few Zambian men on it and then were surprised to find a few to "swipe right" on who were living in Lusaka or visiting.  (I nearly died laughing the next day when my phone buzzed and it showed a match with Shaun, one of the guys we swiped right on.  Unfortunately, he never responded to my message, but we had a good laugh about it.)  I loved spending time with the girls.  It brought my heart so much joy!  I love those girls so much!

Traveling to Zambia

We left DFW around noon on Wednesday, June 23rd.  I flew with Amy Pratt, her daughter (Meredith), Lizzie Oliphint, her daughter (Katie), and her daughter's friend (Callie).

The flight was about 14 hours to Dubai.  It wasn't too bad except for the poor screaming child.  He screamed for several hours straight, but it seemed as though he may have had special needs.  I felt bad for the parents as they could find nothing to calm him down!  I still managed to sleep a little and watch a couple of movies to pass the time, though.  We landed safely in Dubai and made it to the airport hotel for our 20 hour layover.  We rested for an hour, ate at the hotel, then went to the Dubai mall to walk around and kill time to make ourselves stay awake.

We saw the Burj Khalifa from afar.   Last year we went to the top, but we decided we did not need feel the need to do it again, so we enjoyed taking pictures in front of it from afar.  

We traveled during Ramadan, so we couldn't eat as all of the restaurants were closed, so we just walked around and looked at the shops and people watched until the fountain show about 7:30.

After that, we made our way back to the hotel, fell asleep around 9:00pm Dubai time and had a great night's rest.  Our flight left Dubai at 9:25am on Friday morning.  We were about an hour late taking off because the stairs were "stuck" to the plane.  Haha!  The 6 hour flight seemed so short compared to the one the night before! 

Once we landed in Zambia, we had to wait forever in a really long line for our Visa.  We chose the line with 2 workers thinking it would go faster.  We should have known...TIA (This is Africa).  It was the longest line because the 2 workers just talked the whole time!  We ended up being one of the last few to get our Visas.  The positive was that we didn't have to search for our luggage because there were only a few lonely suitcases sitting there! :)  Tia and some of the education girls were there to greet us, and it was SO good to see their smiling faces!  I was so excited to be there!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Going back to Zambia!

I have officially decided to go back to Zambia this summer!  I will be working alongside other Teach ONE teachers in the Family Legacy schools to train and develop Zambian teachers.  This trip will be a little bit shorter than the ones I have done in the past, but the timing works out perfectly with other commitments I already had for the summer.  I am so excited to go back and love on those sweet kiddos!  Please join me in praying for the teachers there, the Teach ONE team, our travel, and the students we will get to work with while we are there.  My trip will be June 23rd - July 3rd.

If you feel led to give to the funding for my trip, my donation link is: 

If you would like to read about my trip to Zambia with Teach ONE in 2014, click the links below.

Thank you for your prayers!

Sunday, January 17, 2016


I love our annual tradition of Friendsmas!  I love hosting, and I was excited to host for the first time in my house this year!  It was nice to have a little more room! :)

I made ham sandwiches, and we had chips and dip, hummus, queso, and of course, crockpot hot chocolate!

We do an annual Secret Santa exchange, and this time, April drew my name.  She got me the cutest picture holder that is already hanging up in my office.  I love it!

I'm so thankful for these sweet friends and our holiday traditions!