Today’s lesson: Under The Sea! We started helping out more in the classroom as we began to get more comfortable teaching and working with the kids. They loved learning about the different sea creatures and we even did a craft so they could color different fish, octopus, coral, and seaweed. We put them all up on the bulletin board in the back to give them some color to the classroom.
Instead of afternoon projects today we had Cultural Day and got to learn a lot about Zambian culture. Many of the children, especially the girls, have no choice but to grow up quickly and take on many responsibilities at an early age. Many girls will be married, have children, and attend to their family and crops at an early age. This leaves little to no time for schooling, although school is not even affordable for many children. Fetching water may involve walking long distances, and even in the schools there is not usually any water available or bathrooms on site.
Regardless of these hardships, there is no shortage of happiness in the villages. Zambian people find joy in the little things and are some of the friendliest people I have ever met. Love abounds in Zambian villages and they bind together as a community, with everyone looking out for one another. Music and dance is another significant piece of Zambian culture. As part of cultural day at African Impact, the local staff attempted to teach us how to dance traditional Zambian style.
Music and dance are a form of expression across Africa of the different events that occurred throughout the centuries. The kids were all about the singing and dancing as well!
We also ate a traditional Zambian meal of Nshima for lunch. Nshima is the white stuff in the photo below that looks like mashed potatoes. It is made from ground maize and does not have very much taste, but it is typically served with two side dishes (known as “relishes”) such as a meat and a vegetable. Eating utensils are not used for Zambian meals as the Nshima serves as a sort of spoon to scoop up the other “relishes.” Mmm delicious!
Finally, we learned lots about the different tribes within Zambia. There are over 70 different tribes in Zambia alone. That means over 70 different languages! English is generally spoken among the entire population to allow for different tribes to be able to communicate with one another. The area where we stayed was home to mostly people from the Tonga tribe, which have proved to be in existence for at least 900 years in the southern province. Regardless of the many tribes in the country, people generally get along peacefully with one another, more so than many other African countries. It was very interesting to learn so much about Zambian culture, and the more time we spend in the country the more we learned!