“The funny and simultaneously peculiar thing about the types of experiences I’ve had in Africa is the fact that the moment I am saddened about our imminent goodbyes, I’m comforted by the words of wisdom so many people have given to me, perfectly strung together in St. Augustine’s quote at the beginning of this entry. The people we’ve met for a few seconds or a few weeks each hold, however small, their own unique contribution to our lives. This relationship goes both ways, or at least I pray so. The truth is, the connection and impact we made and will continue to make in Africa and beyond is never lost. There have been many times where we’ve struggled with the doubt in whether or not we feel like we’re making a real, honest difference in our very short time here. In our discussions about the idea of “staying for tea” and leading authentically, I’ve found that the experiences we’ve had with the relationships here in Zambezi are not limited to or defined by the time spent here. Rather, it is the intentionality I believe we’ve used to create them.
The problems in Zambezi are big, but so are the people. Their courage and resilience under the most adverse of circumstances gives G.K. Chesterton’s words new meaning: “One sees great things from the valley and small things from the peak.” I am still daunted by the swell of problems communities like Zambezi faces, however, I have found that standing in the valley means looking her people dead in the eye and recognizing the seemingly bottomless strength they possess before the great struggles they endure.”
- Kelley Hickey ('10)