Victorious Falls and The End.

Hello for the final time!

I apologize for the long wait, but I have updates!

Since the last post we went to Livingstone and met up with the team from Botswana. We stayed at the Jollyboys backpackers where it was extremely cozy and people from all over the world were traveling (would definitely recommend!) We had the amazing opportunity to see the world’s largest waterfall known as Victoria Falls. We did not anticipate getting wet from the waterfall so everyone was soaked from head to toe, but it was an awesome experience nonetheless.

There is also a marketplace for tourists to shop and we had the chance to bargain with the merchants. They were extremely persistent about making a sale and trying to get as much money out of you as possible. Though, it was fascinating how quickly they would settle for a low price or risk making no sale at all. Bargaining was definitely part of the tourist experience.

Many of the safaris that we wanted to visit were very expensive so we settled with going to the crocodile farm that was nearby. It was more than what we expected. There were over 70 crocodiles in the farm and we had the chance to see them being fed. Immediately as our guide started chopping meat, the crocodiles started moving toward him (pretty scary.)

After getting some rest from traveling back from the trip we got right to painting the wall. We had to place two coats of undercoat; making sure that the actual paint would last longer. Painting doesn’t sound that bad, but I did not expect to sweat so much under the sun; it’s a lot of work! Over the next few days we were able to complete the painting of the wall and it turned out wonderful! Hope you guys like it as much as we do.

We had the chance to go back to the orphanage and play with the little ones a couple times before we had to go back. We were able to give the last of our toys and candies to the kids and they were extremely happy. The day before we left we had our last presentation at Northrise primary school and the group was smaller so it was a lot more manageable. Our presentation was about leadership and responsibility; which was also our first presentation we ever did. We also handed out the twelve backpacks from Backpacks for Africa, it was a nice way to end our last presentation. Lastly, we visited the Mackenzie school to give out character education books, toys, and other school supplies since this area really needed these things.

Zambia was an incredibly humbling and life-changing experience for all of us and we could not have asked for a better guide and home stay. I personally cannot wait to go back to Africa or even other countries to serve as much as I can in the future. We will never forget this amazing experience we had and thank you to all the amazing people we had the opportunity to meet. Lastly, thank you to everyone that supported us and donated to our cause and making it possible to go overseas. We could have not done any of these things without you guys! Thank you so much!

With much love,

Miho and Team ZamFamBam

 

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The Backpacks!

Hey everyone!

Another fill on what has been happening here in Zambia.

Feb 29, Mon
We had our first collaboration with the non-profit organization called Backpacks for Africa at the Suburban Primary School for girls. We were given 18 backpacks to bring with us to Zambia and we decided to bring six to present at the school. A backpack was given to the top two students of three classes to encourage them to continue performing at their best and to also encourage their fellow classmates. The girls were very excited and happy to have received these gifts and we wished them a successful future.

We still have 12 more backpacks to go!

March 1, Tues
We started our day early to go visit a school called Northrise primary school where Nico’s neighbor teaches at. We met very welcoming teachers and discussed what we can offer to the students. They really loved the idea of us presenting about discovering and chasing dreams so we were asked to come in on Thursday to speak with about 100 9th graders. Our biggest group yet!

Later in the day we visited an area called “The Port” where it is the poorer area of Ndola. Our first stop was at the Mackenzie School where they have students from grades 1-4. We met the staff and also had a tour of the area around the school. Many of the houses that we saw were very simple and crowded. As we were walking through, there were many children that greeted us and trailed along behind us. We also met with a few of the students who were very cute and shy! We will definitely be going back to help the school and interact with the children.

March 2, Wed
Really busy day! We started the day with a presentation about being courageous at the Twapia Community School. We talked to a class of 29 sophomores and juniors. They were all very well behaved and were attentive to each speaker. More students were willing to share their thoughts when we started handing out candy to the students who volunteered. We did the balloon activity with them where they wrote who they wanted to become and placed the piece of paper into the balloon. The balloon represented what is stopping them from being who they want to be. During the testimonies of what they learned from the presentation, many of them referred back to the balloon activity and how it was the first action step to becoming who they want to be. We had awesome testimonies (without any candy bribing)!

After lunch, we went back to the orphanage with some bubbles, jump ropes, and chalk! Sadly we happened to arrive when the kids were taking a nap so we had the chance to meet the disabled children. They were extremely happy and delightful! When we brought out the bubbles they were so excited to play with us. For a short while we had the chance to play with the other kids and they were equally as happy to play with what we brought.

Right outside the orphanage is a large marketplace so we went around to check out the area. There was a lot of local food produce for sale, as well as many second hand shoes and clothing. We did not have much time to look around, but there was so many more places to look. I am pretty excited for the next time we go back!

March 3, Thurs
We had our largest presentation so far at the Northrise primary school. We did a presentation about discovering and chasing dreams to over 100 students for the entire 9th grade class. The overall presentation was awesome, but because there were so many students it was difficult to control them. The teachers and staff were very impressed that they wanted us to come back! We are scheduled to go back in a week, but this time with less students. We will also be giving out the rest of the 12 backpacks because we were told that there are many students that do not have sufficient supplies for school.

Lastly, the wall that has been being built was finally finished today! The professionals worked hard everyday to complete the wall in a timely manner. We were able to place our names and hand prints on the wall so that it will forever be a memory of us when we leave!

We will be going to Victoria falls this weekend with the Botswana team so stay tuned to see how our trip goes!

Thanks for reading!,

Miho

Rain and Tea.

 

Hi again!

Just another update on what has been happening so far in Zambia.

Feb 25, Thurs
Some real progress has been occurring with the wall that we have been helping build. Early in the morning we were asked to help bring over the bricks, as well as bringing up more water from the well. The professionals started working on placing the bricks into place, making sure that each one is measured out perfectly.

We also went out with some bikes to the local food market about 15-20 mins away to get some groceries for the next few days. We were not exactly sure where we were going, but we had a pretty good idea. Even if we did get lost, there were many people walking around in the neighborhood to ask for directions. The roads are not paved so they are extremely bumpy. Our butts were definitely sore when we got back to the house!

Feb 26, Fri
We had a big presentation at the Suburban School for girls that took place in the afternoon. We were greeted as we walked into the class of about 70 girls. They all seemed very excited to meet us and hear what we had to say. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we were presenting about dreaming big and achieving our goals. Almost all the girls seem to have had a dream to work towards after they graduate from school such as becoming a nurse or a designer. Of course, there were things that made them hesitate to reach their dreams, but they were all willing to commit to the struggles and obstacles that they will have to go through. We did a “break through” activity where they each wrote down what their dreams are and place them into a balloon. They then blew up the balloons and imagined that the balloon is whatever is stopping them from reaching their dreams. Lastly, counting down together they all popped their balloons to break through what is stopping them from their dreams. It was extremely powerful to seem them excited about their futures and face their fears.

I personally saw so much potential in each and every student that was sitting in front of us and I cannot wait to see where they are in a few years from now. I would love to hear from the next NGA group that goes to Zambia and meets all these wonderful students.

Feb 27, Sat
We went back to the Soccer academy to play with the students! This time it was a mixture of both young and old soccer players so it was less intimidating for Liz and I. The players were still kicking our butts though… I was pretty embarrassed to play. Chason and Markus seem to have a blast every time they get to play with them, as well as they academy as a whole. They really enjoy our company so they have invited us to their Academy celebration on the 13th of March.

Feb 28, Sun
We had the honor to go to the Reform Church that is nearby. It was a pleasure to see what their ministry is like. They had different chorus groups sing and offer to the congregation. The people of the church are very friendly and very passionate about their beliefs and it was a wonderful experience to interact with everyone. Later in the day we were asked to give a presentation to the young adults and children and so we prepared a presentation about leadership and responsibility. Afterwards we ate lunch with the Reverend and he was very pleased to talk with us. He asked us to stay in contact with the youth group by forming what they call “True Friendship” which is similar to pen pal. Each of us now has a person to stay in touch with even after we go back to the States.

There is a lot more planned for us in the next few weeks so stay tuned!

Thanks for keeping up with us,

Miho

 

Work.

Hello again everyone!

Just wanted to update you guys on what we have been doing so far!

Feb 22, Mon
We had the awesome opportunity to go to a local primary school called the Suburban School for girls. We met with the head school teacher to schedule a time to do a presentation for the students. We will be doing a presentation this Friday about “dreaming big” and “following your dreams” since it will be career day for the students.

We were also able to buy all the materials (bricks, cement, and sand) necessary to build the new wall in front of Nico’s home. The professionals started working quickly measuring and digging up where the wall will be placed.

 

Feb 23, Tues
We went back to the children’s orphanage! We had the chance to play with the little kids. They were quite fond of my pink water bottle and they spent majority of the time chasing each other and playing with it. We will be bringing jump ropes, chalk, and frisbees the next time we go back since the orphanage is lacking in toys and things to play with.

After coming back from the orphanage we had the chance to help out with the making of the wall. The professionals were laying down the foundation with a mixture of rocks and cement. Chason and Markus helped bring mounds of rocks with wheel barrels, while Liz and I helped bring buckets of water for the cement from a well. It was a pretty cool experience since we’re so used to getting water from pipes and having it be available. Getting the water was quite tedious and tiresome, but it was definitely rewarding to fill each bucket with water. After getting the rocks and water we watched the professionals mix the rocks and cement and lay it down where they had dug up.

Feb 24, Wed
The soccer academy came over with the intention to help out with wall, but there was a miscommunication that they wanted another presentation from us. Therefore, we gave a presentation about leadership/teamwork which ran smoothly. The academy were very grateful for our presentation, despite the miscommunication. The professionals did not have a lot for them to do with the building of the wall so they spent some down time with Chason and Markus learning different languages.

Liz and I were preparing for our presentation at the Dominican Covenant School that Nico’s daughter, Stephanie, attends. We were both very nervous since we were told that we would be talking to about 100 students. Luckily, we talked to only about 40 students instead. We talked about respecting others and ourselves and how to practice it everyday. The students were very well behaved and it was a breeze to work with them. We were asked to come back in two weeks and the audience will definitely be larger so we will be planning for that presentation very soon.

Tomorrow we will be helping place the bricks on the wall so we are anticipating to see the progress!

Thank you for reading!,

Miho

 

WE MADE IT!

Hello world!

Feb 18, Thurs
We finally made it to Zambia after a long and exhausting 30 hour flight. The moment we arrived in Ndola we were warmly welcomed by our guide Nico. We had the honor of meeting his lovely wife Antoinette, his daughter Stephanie, and his son Nico. We are currently staying in a small cozy home next to their own family home.

Some things we are adjusting to here is the limited amount of drinking water; bottled water is always a must. Electricity in the home turns on and off sporadically during the day and night so using flashlights and candles are normal. We also have to be careful when the refrigerator shuts off due to the electricity outage and food becoming spoiled. Zambia is currently in the middle of the rainy season so we are lucky to have come during the cooler months. Though, it does get very hot when it is not raining.

Feb 19, Fri
The night we arrived we were told that we had a morning presentation the next day for a soccer academy that was meeting at Nico’s house. Nervousness took over and we had to quickly make plans that night. The next morning was rough and stressful, but our presentation about leadership and responsibility had great feedback from the coach and the participants. We also had the chance to play soccer afterwards with the kids and they were able to become comfortable with us.

Feb 20, Sat
We had the amazing opportunity to go to the local orphanage to meet the staff and also some of the children. Immediately as we arrived we were surrounded by the children wanting to be held.There was obviously a lack of love given to them due to the orphanage being understaffed and having very few visitors. We were told that on a daily basis unwanted babies are dropped off at the orphanage gate. The initial experience was both heart warming and heart breaking. We will be definitely going back as much as possible.

We also had the opportunity to go to the soccer academy where they have all ages learning how to play soccer. They were all extremely welcoming and they let us play a game with the older kids. We were able to gift them with a new soccer ball since they did not have a sufficient amount at the academy. We were asked to come back next Saturday so we are excited to go back!

Feb 21, Sun
We spent some time with the local community members and had an awesome lunch prepared for us. We were able to get some planning done for the next few weeks such as building a new wall for Nico’s yard to expand the area so that there is more space for community gatherings. As well as planning which schools we will be able to visit. We still have a lot more to plan for, but this is it for now!

Thank you for reading!

Miho

 

The Countdown

Hello Again!

We will be departing for Zambia in just two short days! We are all really excited and nervous about what is to come within the next few weeks. We have been scrambling to get everything ready for the big day. Preparing our hearts and our minds to be open and experience as much as we can while we are in Africa. There are no expectations other than giving as much as possible to the people and especially to the children. We will be bringing different books, sports equipment, and toys with us to hand out to the community. We are so excited to meet everyone and serve the Ndola community in every way!

Thank you to everyone that has donated to our fundraising page and supporting us every step of the way. Your contribution has been so helpful to us and will be to the Ndola community. If you still want to support us please go to our page at Help us Help Zambia.

We still have a lot of packing and preparation to do in the next couple days so please continue supporting and following us on our journey!

Thanks for reading,

Miho

Momentum!

Hello Readers! This is Miho.

The past two weeks have been going by really fast as we began our domestic service project called Momentum. Momentum is our anti-bullying and suicide prevention assemblies that we put on in middle schools and high schools.

Chason and I were placed on the same momentum team and its been an awesome experience so far. We wanted to create a sense of community within the school where students feel safe to express any issues at school or at home and be able to support each other. We had the amazing opportunity to lead one of the largest assemblies at Delta Sierra Middle School in Stockton, California with over 150 students. It was a challenging and stressful six hour presentation with such a large and energetic group, but the feedback we got from the students and teachers made it worth it at the end of the day.

Personally, it was great to see students participate more and more as the day went on. I could sense their interest in what we were trying to do and their desire to support their peers. The next few days at Delta Sierra Middle School, our Momentum team were among other staff supporting teams that were running the presentations. We had the chance to interact with the students and lead group discussions where both laughter and tears were shared. Our last presentation and closing of Momentum is this Thursday we are so excited to have another opportunity to run a presentation.

Also! If you didn’t know, we have a fundraiser page up for our efforts to help out the schools and orphanages in Ndola, Zambia. We currently raised about $400 and we are so grateful for everyone that has taken the time to read and donate to our team! Every dollar counts so please continue to share our story! Follow the link here: Help us help Zambia

Thanks for reading!,
Miho

 

Preparing for Zambia

Hello people! Chason here.

We’ve spent all day preparing for our trip to Zambia. It feels like a dream, the reality hasn’t hit us yet. We’re going to Africa… At this point, it’s still just words. But as we work on our goals and plan ahead, our dream is slowly becoming a reality.

We’re all interested in our different fields on this project. Liz firmly believes her priority as the empowerment of women in third world countries and working in local orphanages/schools. Markus’ interests lie in visiting orphanages and providing the children with necessities like clothing or school supplies. Miho wants to leave an impact that will last through the years in any way possible. An idea we had is to build a storage shed for a local school. Personally, I believe in the power of sports. I am working out ways to get sports equipment for schools and the general youth. An additional idea we came up with is to build a sports field for the town or maybe a school.

As we think and plan for all these ideas we are waiting for our guide and leader in the country, Nico, to give his input on our ideas. He knows the state of affairs in the country better than us. We hope he can give us a more clear view of what is needed in the community and what is wanted.

Right now our biggest concern is funds. We’ve created a fundraiser for our project and hope to raise enough to accomplish our goals in the country. So as I leave you viewers with that thought, please check out our fundraiser and remember to have a wonderful week.

Thank you and keep yourself updated on our adventure in Africa.

The link of our fundraising page will be posted soon!