I had no idea what to expect as a student going into this trip.
During the interview, the interviewer told me they were looking for people who would make long-lasting relationships with the Zambian community. I didn't think much of it because, honestly, I was more looking forward to connecting with the kids at Awana and experiencing the church in a different culture.
To my surprise, I spent most of my time with three Zambian girls closest to my age: Natasha, Jessy, and Collette. They would soon become close friends of mine. We even got a picture together!
At the beginning of the week, our nervousness was matched with the church we were working with, but quickly faded once smiles were shared by everyone. When I approached some of the girls we were working with the next day and asked them if they sang, they suddenly became very talkative.
My band director always told me that music was a universal language, but I never really understood that until this trip when I found myself singing in Bemba with these girls and other women in the church. This sparked their interest in me and brought a smile to their face, mostly because of how I pronounced the words, but also because they noticed I was interested in immersing myself in their culture.
By the end of the week, Natasha, Jessy, Collete and I, had become so close that we couldn't help but cry when we had to say goodbye to each other. I never imagined it to be so hard saying goodbye to my new friends and the rest of the church congregation, but I'm so thankful to have been given the opportunity to do God's work in Zambia and to have created long-lasting relationships with these three girls.
I hope that one day, I can return to my home in Zambia and reconnect with these girls and all the amazing people I became friends with.