I’ve been to Zambia.
Twice now. Once to be part of a
team that administered health exams to 350 students, and the second time to be
the team leader on delivering a few Kindles.
Both trips were to the same school. I’m neither a medical professional (my job
was to chart height and weight) or educator (my job was to explain how to use a
Kindle, not teach literature.) The
trips involved service and yes, a safari – but that’s not what made them
great. They were great because they came
with an invitation. And of course, Africa is pretty awesome too.
Anyone can helicopter in to a place of need and do a feel-good project. Only friends invite you back. Good friends even slaughter a goat and prepare a community celebration on par with a wedding every single time you come back. And they do it for friends of your friends too. As amazing as Paris was (my previous post) and the beaches of Greece will be (tomorrow!), it’s hard to beat a trip where you are greeted with a ceremonial dance. In Africa, relationship runs supreme.
My friends liked the Kindles. Here's the video we made about it. It took some mutual trust to say “Yes” to this crazy idea about bringing an electronic library to the bush and putting their life on film. It also took some vulnerability to say, “Thank you – we are so grateful that you are here teaching us about the Kindles, but our students are also hungry at this time of year – can you help with that?” Yes, yes we can. Let's do that first.
People are helping, and new friends are jumping on board. Tomorrow a group of 7 people – educators! from
Seattle and World Reader – will be making another trip to Zambia with 50 more
Kindles, 600 school backpacks, and One World Futbols. They will be there from June 21 – July 2 on a
focused Education trip. A little mustard
seed that just keeps growing. My super
organized sister, Beth MacLean, will be making her fourth trip to lead the
team. She’ll also be delivering my
personal hugs and kisses. I would tell her to score a goal for me with the new futbols, but they already know I can't play futbol.
Here’s a link to the team’s blog. You may want to follow it. Not only because it’s a good cause and the guy writing it knows how to write, but
because if you’re reading this – you’re my friend – and I’d like you to meet and hear more about my
friends in Zambia.
I know I've just hyper-linked this post to death, but if you haven't heard me talk about Dwankhozi Hope before -- check out this 5 minute video that captures a day in a Boy's Life in rural Zambia. If you already know about Dwankhozi (pronounced "do you want a cozy" for those in the know), then skip my blog for the rest of the month and head to the team's blog. Or, simply like Dwankhozi Hope on Facebook. Okay. Enough with the instructions. I'm getting all teachery.