Hello From Zambia: Through Sickness and in Health

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 share their experiences in a couple of posts. Today’s post is from Robyn.

It’s been almost a whole month since we landed in Zambia, and man oh man, has it been an incredible trip so far. Unfortunately, in my second week here I came down with a horrible cold. Right now it is winter in Zambia, which means it’s flu season; of course I would be the one to get sick.

Zambia is a very dusty country and the dust has not made it any easier in the recovery process. I’m going into my third week of being sick and I cannot wait till I can walk to and from work without coughing up a lung. Luckily, I only missed a week of work because of being sick.

The hardest part about being sick while in Zambia is the fact that I work with three year olds – forty of them, and they don’t speak any English! The dust and the constant talking has made it a much longer period of being sick and I now have an extremely bad cough that wakes up my roommate and I.

Being sick in a different country is definitely not a good way to start your trip off; at first you’re afraid you’ve caught something other than the common cold. It’s also hard to find any of the same medicine here that you would find back home. Luckily, we have a fabulous on-ground team who took me to the clinic right away. The doctor I saw was one of the nicest doctors I’ve ever been to. He was incredibly helpful and was very interested in what we were doing here.

It definitely was not fun sitting at home for a whole week when I had only just arrived, but my homestay family have been so nice and compassionate. They have made me feel at home while I’ve been sick. I have felt so welcome and comfortable here, and it’s definitely made it much easier for me.

Here’s to a fast recovery and an excellent two more months in Zambia.



Robyn Haydock

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