In June and July, a group of Douglas College students are working with communities in
Zambia through our Zambia Global Leadership Program. Each student will be
sharing their experiences in a couple of posts. Today’s post is from Hailea.
As you’re walking through the town centre, you see people holding smartphones while wearing tattered, ill-fitted clothing. Some women wear beautiful traditional dress, while others wear casual business suits. Children beg for money holding blind women’s hands, while men sell smartphones on the side of the street. Zambia is full of contrasting realities that invoke complicated emotions.
While I’ve been here, I’ve been excited, yet overwhelmed, challenged, yet exhausted, and happy, yet sad. I’ve felt like pulling my hair out one minute and rejoicing in my decision to come here the next. Despite my struggles, I feel honoured to be welcomed into my Zambian family’s home and to share this experience with such amazing people.
I’ve met so many strong individuals, who despite their adversity, are trying their hardest to make it through their struggles. I could tell you countless stories about the children I’ve worked with, who’ve lost everything in their life and are living on the street, but are still smiling and eager to get back to school and a normal life. The things they’ve experienced would break most westerners, but to them, it’s just part of life and something to learn from. Working with Zambians, like those children, has changed my perspective on life’s hardships. I look at the things I’ve experienced at home and realize the true weight of events in my life. Some things, like my mother’s death, will always hold true, while others seem trivial in comparison.
Zambia has solidified my belief that everyone has their own sometimes crooked and painful past, but those who learn to strive in true adversity have resilience worth being inspired about; they are the people who can make a difference.
Thandiwe (Love), Bupe (Gift),