Day Three – Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Circle Time – Literacy, Math and Art Centers

Today we began our day at the Masala Markets, a massive outdoor market with hundreds of stalls, where locals purchase everything from hardware to dried caterpillars to Chitenge (gorgeous, colorful, intricately printed fabric). As we took wet, winding, red-soil streets in and out of stalls, we were able to witness the access and exchange of goods in what felt like the cultural hub of Ndola. It was exciting, it felt so far from home, and it may have been my favorite excursion experience during our time in Ndola.

We hurried from our market back to Hope Community School, as we knew our friends were waiting for us in the preschool, and we had so much to share with them today. Below is our lesson plan:


Circle time

Read Rainbow Fish

Introduce finger plays: 5 little monkeys, Little Mouse

 Explain Centers

11 – 11:45am

Foam blocks & cars and trucks

Letter builders and magnet letters

Markers and stickers


Snack- Goldfish all the way from Chicago!


Gross Motor Circle

Read “Head to Toe”

Today we debriefed at our half-way point with our whole group of twelve travellers from Spark Ventures. It was so powerful to hear how we each processed and walked through the experience so far differently, despite doing almost everything together.

We were asked to share one word to describe our experience so far, they were: Grateful (x2), Joy*, Emotionally overwhelmed, Overwhelmed, Energized, Motivated, Powerful, Intense, Fulfilling, Impressive, Juxtaposition

* In the spirit of transparency, this one was mine. At this point in my experience, I was euphoric. I felt so connected to the children. I felt a sense of purpose that was electric. All the things I love about my work at home was a constant: the problem solving, the evolution of the preschool classroom, an endless amount of big smiles and little hands to hold. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand my friends who were overwhelmed or emotional, it’s just that I couldn’t help but feel like my heart was growing in a million ways.

That I had seen what pure joy is, living a life that reflects this:  The most important elements of our life are always invisible to our eyes. The children at Hope Community School find pure joy in song, in dance, in play, in each other. Not in stuff.  The conversation turned to ubuntu, the bantu word/philosophy that means: I am, because we are. It’s a philosophy of oneness, a connectedness to all of humanity. It appears in a general cultural norm of giving freely, caring for each other, not seeing your needs or someone elses’ needs differently, acknowledging the humanness of each other. It’s alive in Ndola. It’s alive at Hope Community School. The teachers at Hope explained to us that children in Zambia live without fear. The things we fear in Western culture are not things they fear.  because they are not alone. And they live in the moment together; they are not caught up in what could be or might be; they are in the here and now. I wish I could bottle it and bring it home with me.