Hunter Smith Playground Mission Trip
Dear Family and Friends,
Our family is thrilled to announce that Kathy, Meredith and Seth will be traveling to Zambia this December with Arise Africa to hold an “opening ceremony” for the two playgrounds built in Hunter’s name! We are so thankful for your donation to help make this project a reality and would be honored to have you join us on the Hunter Smith Playground Mission Trip organized by Arise.
We will spend a week in Lusaka with Arise helping with light landscaping and finishing touches on the playgrounds, as well as seeing other projects Arise has on the ground. We will also have the opportunity to see the “Arise Homes” – homes where children live full-time, funded through Kershaw’s Challenge. Finally, we will host an opening ceremony for the playgrounds that will now be open to the children and families of the Arise Christian School.
Hunter fell in love with the children of Zambia during his first mission trip with Arise, and if you feel called, we would love for you to join us and see why. We will have the opportunity to not only finish the playgrounds, but also see the incredible work Arise does in the slums of Zambia.
If interested, there are also opportunities to do “add on” trips after the formal mission trip concludes. Our family plans to visit Victoria Falls (a short flight from Lusaka) and would love for anyone to join us.
Logistical details for the trip are below. We ask that you pray about joining us but keep in mind that only 21 spots are available.
Kathy and The Girls
WHEN: Leave DFW Thursday December 26th 2019 - Monday January 6th, 2020 (end date is tbd if doing an “add on” trip)
Thursday December 26th - Leave on Emirates Airlines on a 15 hour flight to Dubai
Friday morning December 27th - Land in Dubai and have a 20 hour layover. Emirates provides free hotel rooms and meal vouchers. You can choose to stay at the hotel or explore the city.
Sunday, December 29th- Go to the local Zambian church Arise is involved with, souvenir shop, hang out with Arise Homes Children and staff.
Monday December 30th - Thursday January 2nd - Work at the Arise Christian School doing landscaping and finishing touches on the playground sets. Visit other projects Arise Africa is involved with and work with children in their programs. We will host the opening ceremony for the playgrounds and invite the surrounding community for a meal and celebration.
Friday January 3rd - Go to Victoria Falls for one night (NOTE: This is what our family is doing as we are on a tight time constraint because of work for Meredith and Seth. Arise can tailor make any trip for the desired time you wish to spend. Please look at all the add on trip options below because most are longer and have amazing options for safaris etc.)
Saturday, January 4th- Leave Lusaka at 9:30 PM and fly to Dubai on a 7-hour flight. (If you choose to do a longer add on trip, you would not be doing this but be on your trip for the desired amount of time)
Sunday, January 5th - Spend the day in Dubai with a 20-hour layover and fly out Sunday night for America (15 hour flight). Emirates provides free hotel rooms and meal vouchers. You can choose to stay at hotel or explore the city.
Monday, January 6th - Land at DFW around 9AM
MISSION TRIP WITH ECONOMY CLASS TICKET: $4,000 MISSION TRIP WITH BUSINESS CLASS TICKET: $7,850 - $9,000
NOTE: As of now the cheapest fare for business is not available and we are determining why. Depending on the dates of your trip the cost of it will vary, if you are interested in business, please contact Alissa and she can inform you more, and keep you up to date on costs as Arise works with the airline. However Arise is certain to fly business the cost of your trip would be at least $7,850)
The above prices include airfare, all your travel and activities on the ground in Zambia, lodging, and all meals. The only thing you are responsible for would be for your activities in Dubai if you choose to do any, your visa at the Lusaka airport ($50 per person) and any souvenir shopping you want to do. Unfortunately, airline tickets are a significant amount of the cost. (economy tickets are roughly $2,500 currently, and Business Class is roughly $6,500). All parts of your mission trip are fully tax deductible.
NOTE: the cost for the trip will increase as airfare does, the earlier we can purchase tickets the safer we are. These costs will be evaluated monthly and if the ticket prices increase we will have to adjust accordingly.
FINANCIAL DEADLINES: $500 per person is due when signing up to hold your spot and to purchase your airline ticket. (note, if purchasing business class tickets we ask you to pay for half of your trip upon signing up to cover the ticket costs. If you have to back out of the trip we will reimburse except for the $500 airline penalty per ticket)
October 15th, 2019: Half of your trip is due.
December 1st, 2019: The remaining balance of your trip is due
Many individuals and families enjoy taking add on trips either before or after their mission trip. We strongly suggest doing this. We feel that if you are going to pay to travel to Africa, you might as well try to see all parts of it. There are many options from going on a safari to seeing Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, that is only an hour plane ride away from where we serve in Lusaka. Arise Africa works with highly accredited travel agents to provide multiple trip options you can take leaving from Zambia. We work with the travel agents and plan everything for you. Once you sign up and express interest in these trips, we can send you much more information on them.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the youngest age child you have accepted to go on a mission trip? Our youngest mission trip participant to ever come has been five years old. We suggest your children are ages seven and older for them to get the full experience. However, we can accommodate anyone ages five and older.
What is the youngest age someone can come without an adult? For someone to come alone they must be 18 years of age or older.
Who makes the airline reservations? Can I use airline points for my ticket to Africa and will the cost of my trip go down? Typically, we make your airline reservations for you. However, if you want to do this it is okay with us. You can use airline points for your tickets. Sometimes it is very difficult to get flights into Lusaka, Zambia and you will have to make the ticket reservations yourself. We can adjust the cost of your trip accordingly and only charge you for your time on the ground and planned programs.
If I have a pre-existing illness or medical condition should I go with Arise Africa? We ask that you notify us about your condition before signing up for the trip. Some things are easily managed while other issues we would suggest you not coming. Individuals with extreme nut allergies are asked to talk to us before signing up. Arise Africa will do everything in our power and control to keep everyone safe, but we do believe there are some cases that we do not feel comfortable to try to prepare for in a third world country.
If myself or my child is not vaccinated can we travel to Zambia with Arise Africa? Unfortunately Arise Africa cannot accept individuals to participate on our mission trips unless they are vaccinated and a shot form can be submitted from a board certified medical doctor. We feel the risk is too high and want to make sure you are safe with us. The vaccines that Arise Africa requires for every single mission trip participant are, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), DTap (diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough), polio, PCV (Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) Hepatitis A&B, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae), Vericella (chicken pox), and Menegncocial.
What additional shots do I need to travel to Zambia? You first need to have updated shot records of vaccines that are listed above. We ask you to also receive the shots that the CDC recommends for the country of Zambia. Currently these additional shots are Malaria (which comes in the form of pills), Typhoid, and Diphtheria. We suggest talking to your family doctor about your trip. You do not need a yellow fever, cholera, or rabies shot. The easiest (but not cheapest) place to get your shots is a Passport Health travel clinic where locations are throughout the United States. We recommend that you speak to your general practitioner about your trip to Zambia and additional vaccines they recommend and where to receive them.
What if I get sick or hurt while on a mission trip? We work with multiple hospitals and clinics in Zambia. We have relationships with European and American doctors in Zambia who could treat you. We also suggest every mission trip participant purchase air evacuation insurance.
Where do I stay on the trip? You will stay on our property (the complex) with other individuals on the trip. The complex is very secure and in a safe location. It is comfortable and has everything you might need.
Will I be able to communicate with family members in America while I am in Zambia? Absolutely. You will have limited access to internet but enough to text with family and friends at home to tell them you are ok. You can also use iMessage on your phones and purchase an international calling plan if you wish to make phone calls. Most American cell phones work in Zambia when you arrive; the cost of each call depends on the carrier. We suggest you research your cell phone plan before your trip so that you are not surprised at additional costs when you get home.
What will I eat while on the mission trip? Great food! Many people believe that Africa doesn't have food that we eat in America. When you walk in a grocery store in Zambia, it doesn't look much different than the stores in the United States. You will be eating food that you are very used to and have eaten before. We serve burgers, lasagna, Mexican food, chicken plates, sandwiches and other food to mission trippers. We eat at the complex for most of the time. There are great restaurants in the city that we sometimes take you to as well.
Do the people I will be working with speak English? Yes and no. Our entire staff speaks fluent English and multiple tribal languages. All of the children we work with speak English. Zambia was a British colony before they gained their independence from Great Britain in 1964. Subsequently, children still learn English in the schools. Communicating with Zambians is not an issue, even though some Americans are concerned about this. Once they arrive they realize it is very easy to communicate.