Well the teaching team from the U.S. finally made it to Zambia and has had an action packed two days!
Friday, we went to visit both Grace Community School and Destiny Community School. The students were incredibly excited to see us, and we caused quite a distraction in the classrooms. There was lots of giggling, games, and singing! The afternoon had a much different feel as we headed into Buseko market. Buseko market is one of the poorest neighborhoods in which most families are living in homes that are really just tarps held up by wood. We were welcomed with open arms into the home of one of Arise Africa's sponsored children. "Though it is not much, my home is your home. We are all family," is what the mother told us, and what was only big enough for us to go in two at a time, slept 10 members of their family.
Today, we spent most of the morning planning the week of activities for our Zambian teachers. It is going to be hard to tell who is more excited- the Americans or the Zambians?
In the afternoon, we had the great pleasure of getting to visit the Greenhill School. The students gathered together and welcomed us with songs of thanks and praise to Arise Africa. The students proudly showed off their classrooms, dormitories, and farm land. It was apparently evident as they showed us around how intelligent they were, how much pride they took in their home and their school, and how open they were to loving everyone who came to visit. Mrs. Tembo runs a tight ship, and I feel certain I have a lot to learn from her. One of the highlights was an impromptu dance party with all the students and Americans (man I knew I should not have mentioned I like to dance!) followed by a game of football (soccer).
One thing that caught me off guard upon my arrival in Africa was the amount of affection and love shown toward everyone. Everywhere we go we are greeted with welcoming hugs, hands holding, and such warmth that you feel as though you have known these people all of your life!
I am certainly looking forward to going to church tomorrow morning. We are fortunate enough to attend the church of Florence's husband. (Florence is part of the Arise Africa staff.) I know the experience will be much different than church in the U.S. However, I also know that we are all grateful to be here doing God's work and getting the opportunity to thank him. Be sure to look for an update for later.