July 16, 2019

Day 7 - Visiting Mwase and Dancing

Discover & Learn Zambia HANDS Team:

Wow. I do not know where to begin. The words are failing me as I try to come up with ways to describe what we have experienced. How will I convey today to you when there are few English words that would be sufficient? I will do my best though as I tell you.

I will start off true Canadian style – by talking about the weather. The day started off cloudy. It has been a week since we have seen a cloud in the vast Zambian sky, so seeing them today unsettled a few of us, but alas, it did not stop us from hopping into the vehicles to head to Mwase primary and secondary school, 45 minutes away. We were looking forward to driving untravelled roads, as we were getting too familiar with the bumps on the other well-travelled roads. We were introduced to these bumps graciously by our drivers, and before we knew it, we were at the school.

Before stepping foot out of the vehicles, the excitement in the air was palpable. There were enthusiastic students everywhere, streaming out of classrooms, down the paths, from behind the trees to welcome us. If one of us pulled out a camera, or gave a high-five to one of the children, the group of children would grow from 7 to 52 before you could say “Zambia”. It was overwhelming yet wonderful.

We split up into groups and visited the classrooms, where the average number of students in a class would be 45.  Although English is not taught until Gr. 5 here, the children’s smiles and bright eyes communicated to us their joy in having us in their classrooms. After visiting the primary school for a bit, we were brought to the secondary school which was 5 minutes away. There we sat in some classes and took a tour of the dormitories. We then were brought back to the primary school, where we were treated not only to a delicious meal, but by a few presentations of the students, which included poems and singing. It was quite the treat!

There was a village up the road that had invited us to come, as they wanted to welcome us with some of their traditional drumming and dancing. We headed there, and this is where it will be too hard to describe what we witnessed. The dancing by 2 different women’s groups, as well as 2 children left us sitting in awe of their rhythm, creativity and passion. We were humbled by their welcome. This ceremony went on for about an hour and a half; an opportunity for us to enjoy a bit of their culture, and for us to give them much laughter as most of us joined in the dancing, trying to keep up with the rhythm and moves these dancers were doing. There may or may not be a video on YouTube in the near future. We sang to them, choosing "Days of Elijah" as this song inclulded actions - our attempt of dance moves. ;) 

With the ceremony done, and our gifts of cake and 2 chickens from the school collected, we made the journey home in the setting sun with the events of today going through our minds. What a day. It was a long one, but one filled with amazing memories that will never be forgotten.

To see God so evident in the people here in Zambia is humbling and a rich blessing. He is in their speech and actions, as well as in the beautiful, immense land that we travelled over today. We praise our Creator for today and for the people we met. May He continue to bless each of them with Himself and His gifts. We are thankful for safe travels and for the opportunities presented to learn from fellow colleagues. May God bless what we have learned and participated in today, and may it bring glory to Him.

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