July 7, 2013. Today was quite eventful, simple, yet educational. I started my day off with a cup of tea, and a morning reflection. I thought about my time here thus far, and how much more appreciation that I have built for life and the healthy relationships that I have. I feel honored to have had the experience of bonding with so many children and learning the different aspects of the Zambian culture. I appreciate the opportunity and will never forget it. Today our LearnServe team walked to the market to get gifts, and souvenirs. I found great gifts, and became really good at negotiating prices very quickly.
After lunch we visited a organization named Africa Directions. Africa Directions is a community outreach organization and youth center located in a “compound” (or low income neighborhood). Their community outreach efforts are geared towards youth awareness on subjects such as healthy relationships, HIV/AIDS, and safe sex education. The main vehicle for this awareness is through theatre where local teenagers are trained in singing, dancing and drama and perform skits about safe sex, HIV/AIDS etc. The show was so entertaining! Everyone in the community gathered around to see, and while they had everyone’s attention, they shared information that could help the community to grow and remain healthy. I found that in this community, the use of arts was an excellent way to educate. I had a great time, met many students, and watched people use their skills and talents for a cause. It made me ponder about how many of us actually live our lives with a purpose. Are we using our gifts to bless the lives of others or are we just trying to get personal gain? At the end of the day, I believe that everyday has meaning. We are given the choice to decide if we want to be a part of that meaning or not.
Africa Directions also offers a safe place for kids in the compound to “hang out” rather than stay on the streets. They run activities such as karate, basketball, dancing, and pool. This programming was so inspirational because students in the community voluntarily visit this center to hang out. The center provides counseling sessions, testing centers, and classes.