Zambian Orphanage: Week 4
The big mission was completed this week! The new washing machine arrived!
The new machine is a Samsung with a two year warranty. Wembe and I picked it up and strapped it in the trunk of the car. I wanted it to be a surprise for the kids and the Aunties.
Everyone was very excited, to say the least, when they saw it! Auntie Agnes wanted to throw me over her shoulder she was so happy. But, I had a stern chat with each Auntie about the care and use of the machine. I hope it will last a long time, and free up some time for them.
Reflections and Insight
My last week volunteering at the orphanage has given me a real sense of family. My relationships with the Aunties, Uncles, and kids continued to grow. They’re just a big family. I can see they love each other with all their hearts. Yes, they get into small spats and tattle on one another, but what family doesn’t?
I was unconditionally accepted for who I am. They didn’t care if I wore the same clothes two days in a row, picked my nose, or had yeti eyebrows. For them, it’s about character, heart, and what’s truly on the inside.
Back home, I feel we get caught up in looks, appearances, and perceptions. Often times, we make snap judgements about others without giving them a chance. Who cares if someone’s purse doesn’t match their shoes? Or if they came from the wrong side of town? We are who we are, not where we came from or who we will be. I am guilty just like the rest of us, and it’s something I will continue to work on.
Their future is bright
With the end of the school term, it was exam time. Mulenga, Naomi, and Namakau finished first, second, and third in their class! I was very proud of them. Terry also received a perfect 100% on his math exam. These kids are bright and work hard. If they continue on this path I know they will make a good life for themselves. There’s a future pilot, nurse, and bank manager among them.
I was dreading, as my friend Tony puts it, my departure ceremony. I have become attached to the kids, Aunties, and Uncles alike. They are my Zambian Family. I have 12 new nieces and nephews, three new sisters, and two new brothers or husbands, ha ha ha.
I have cherished my four weeks here more than words can express. I may not have left a lifelong impact on them, but they certainly have on me. As I was leaving I shared a few words, cried, then listened to sweet words from the Aunties, Uncles, and kids. I was deeply moved by their words, and humbled by the experience.