Searching for the Moon

Zambia is a country of great beauty, but that beauty can get covered up, drowned out, glossed over, and forgotten.  I get caught up in the hard days.  I get caught up in the eyes of my students who haven’t eaten.  I get caught up in the bruises that they try to hide.  I get…

A Feathery Surprise

Today I walked into my bedroom in my new home, and knew that something was off.  I started walking around the room, and depending on where I walked, depended on the volume of a noise that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.  I kept circling my room in search of the source, and it’s…

My Bright Side

Living in Zambia isn’t always easy.  I have my good days, but I also have my bad days.  There are days when I jump out of bed and am ready to face whatever challenges come my way, but also days when I hit snooze on my alarm five times and am still reluctant to climb…

Merry Christmas!

This Christmas has been a little different than I am used to,  and even though I am not with my biological family, I am still home for Christmas. So as I sit here and celebrate with my host family in Zambia, and wait patiently to Skype with my family back home in New York, I…

Because You Can

Why do you smile? Do you smile because you are proud? Do you smile to be silly? Do you smile because you love and are loved? Do you smile to show appreciation? Do you smile to show kindness? Do you smile because you are happy? Do you know why you smile? What makes you happy?…

Why Am I Here?

I have had a really rough week.  I have been kind of down on myself, nothing has really felt like it has been going right, and I have encountered numerous obstacles that felt steeper than I wanted to overcome. Today was no different.  I had a rough morning teaching, and I was becoming discouraged. Right…

I Am Not Teaching You

This is my third week in my classroom, and to be honest, I have been struggling.  I have been confused about the curriculum, or lack thereof, and don’t feel as though I have had a concrete direction to take my students in.  It has been difficult to understand what my students actually understand, and what…

Welcome to the Family!

I am one week in to my time in the Kanyama community where I will be spending the remainder of my time in Zambia as a YAV.  The Banda family has graciously welcomed me into their home with open arms and loving hearts.  I am now living with two new parents, an aunt, four new…

Mzungu!

I have always prided myself on my ability to fit in when I want.  I have gotten quite good at blending in and going with the flow in different environments, but that’s going to be a harder task here. When I studied abroad in Fiji, they were used to seeing travelers and foreigners.  It wasn’t…

Life in a Nut Shell

I have now been in Zambia for about a week and a half, and I feel like a ground nut (peanut).  I have lived my life protected from what’s around me, and now my shell is starting to break away, and I couldn’t be more confused, exhausted, frustrated, and excited. My first 6 days in…

A Talented Bunch

  Orientation, or disorientation as the YAV staff liked to call it, is over.  Now I am sitting here reflecting on and trying to understand all of the information and advice that I have been entrusted with these last few days.  Honestly, it was all a little overwhelming. On Saturday night, all the YAVs, YAVAs…

You’ve gotten me this far…

With only 16 days left, I have been trying to pack in as many visits and meaningful time at home as possible.  I have been trying to pack everything that I need.  I have been trying to make sure I have crossed all my t’s and dotted my i’s. I feel like I have been…