Tears and Dust
This blog post is from late last week and is the last one from Kafue (for this trip at least!). We had internet trouble at the end of the week, so sorry for the delay! Please look forward to regular posts from the AEP Blog Team. On our way to the center, we made a pit stop by one of AYC’s most special students. Clive, 11, had meningitis very soon after he was born which left his legs paralyzed. His family struggled to take him anywhere for years. Each trip to the doctor’s or even a friend’s house would be a difficult task. Almost four years ago, there was an extraordinary donation from one of AEP’s longtime donors- the opportunity to buy a locally made wheelchair with thick bike tires (to make it over any terrain). Clive now scoots around town, singing his favorite song, Ti-ti-ti ma boni.
As we arrived, Enias, an older Amos member and resident guard showed us the garden in the back that grows Chinese Cabbage.
Julien held some more math classes. He confirms that seventh graders in Zambia are not very different from Americans- one quarter are sleeping, one quarter are talking, one quarter are staring with their eyes glazed over, and the final quarter are actually paying attention and getting it.
Karen finished up interviews with new and returning students. Thanks to the big group chipping in, the interviews were completed in record time. This may be Karen’s first trip where she gets several days at the end of the interview process to spend some time with the youth. She can now be found all over the center taking on a range of activities, from goofing around to giving invaluable information to a girl child who finds herself in a tough situation.
Luz Sichalwe and Harold Sinkala, a college student and a prospective college applicant, were busy painting outside the center. Their admirers grew throughout the day.
Kathy was Carly’s acting deputy and blew bubbles and hung out with the youngest members. She then learned how to make Nshima, a right of passage in Zambian that means a woman is ready for marriage.
Meanwhile Ira led a playful march through the front yard.
A very important “Girl Talk” took place as well. The center’s female members came together to talk about important issues like self esteem, the importance of education, and the need to bond as a group and have each others back.
This is our last time as a group at Amos Youth Center and we said our "see you later"s to the incredible friends we made. At the end of the day, tears fell more than once, hitting the red dust below our feet.