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Maya’s Thoughts on the final day at Malambu

Today was the best day yet since we have been camping on the farm near the Malambu School. I enjoyed switching groups from 1st grade to 7th grade in the morning. I could connect with the kids more because they were older and could speak English better. We played Simon Says (which I won against Sam in the finals) and Hangman. We made bookshelves with Mr. Kelvin Hamatowa in our carpentry lesson. This was a long but fun process. The kids watched Mr. Kelvin demonstrate how to build the bookshelves, and afterwards, they sanded the wood so that he could build the shelves. We also had a saw dust and  sand paper fight with the 6th and 7th graders. It was all in our hair and clothes. It was a great experience because they, as well as I, learned hands on skills. KP even built his own bench that he was very proud of. The 5th grade did the same in the afternoon. I also helped Aiyana complete the finishing touches on the mural. It was stressful trying to neatly cover the letters for the labels of the continents and oceans on the mural.

Then, there was a closing cermony since it was the last day in Monze. It was so precious! These girls recited these poems about education and AIDS. The girl that was about 9 years old talked about how AIDS took all of her family, but it won’t take her. The 7th grade performed a song for us. I loved the way they entered and exited. I wish I could remember what they did. The headmaster spoke about the past 3 days, and you could tell how grateful he was for our presence and teaching the kids. We gave gifts to the headmaster, teachers (Audrey, Loveness, Patrick, and Kennedy), Mr. Kelvin, and his assistant, Orbit. Each person was so appreciative of their teacher packs and t-shirts. I realized how much of a difference our presence makes. Saying goodbye was a struggle for some people (aka Bryon who cried), but it was touching.

Later on, Niani, KP, and I went to a homestay at Omega’s house. We prepared the food and ate Nshima, pumpkin leaves, onions, tomatoes, and ground nuts. It was muy delicioso. It was a spinach dip remix. I know my mom would have loved it! She gave us pumpkin leaves to take with us that looked like marijuana. Omega was such a nice lady. Their house was so small inside, but it was decorated very fancy-like. It felt like such a  community. We ate outside and when each person that walked by, Omega would say hi and they would come to the house and converse for long periods of time. It was so inspiring to know that they are such a family and care so much about one another. America is nothing like that. So many people can live in their homes for years and not know their neighbors.

The community feel is what I love about Zambia as a nation. For dinner, we had beef-a-roni hamburger helper (as Nadja called it). SO GOOD…SO SO GOOD! And apple strussel cake (as Bryon called it) for dessert. The Malambu School headmaster and teachers had dinner with us, and the goodbyes were so sad. Being on the farm made me a better person and helped me to appreciate the life I have and the things I have (so cliche but soooo true)! I am going to miss the people, the campsite, and those CATS (Little Anya and Little Africa), but I am excited that outdoors camping is finally over.
(Maya Whitlow)


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