April 2, 2023
Visiting Zambia will humble you. You’ll be humbled by the sincere kindness you’ll be greeted with by everyday people passing you by in the streets, in the villages, and in the bougie hotel you’re staying at while the average person lives in a reality that is a stark contrast to your visit. You’re sure to be humbled to see the quality of life and living conditions of those you interact with. And lastly, you’ll be humbled to know that the circumstances you see are likely the very best case scenarios, with so many countless others living in places and conditions that simply aren’t able to be seen and/or visited - for a plethora of very dark reasons.
I knew coming to Zambia would be different, but the reality of everyday life here hits you in a different kind of way. Is it because the poverty level here in rural Zambia is so pervasive? Is it because what I’m seeing mimics an uncanny resemblance to every UNICEF or WORLD VISION infomercial I saw growing up in the 90s? Or could it be that the sadness I feel when seeing how so many beautiful humans live, as bright and brilliant as any I’ve ever met, is not actually sadness at all but instead a reflection of the guilt of a blessed life I get to live? Who knows.
I’ve been asked to do a “social media takeover” in order to share and highlight some of the everyday experiences I come across while visiting Zambia alongside our friends @marysmeals
Those who know me well know that I don’t know how to “social media”. It’s usually just a photo dump with puns, or the lighter side of the people, places, and things that define my personal life. That said, I’ll do my best to take you alongside this experience with me and give you some of my personal insights into this journey.
I can’t promise it will be pretty or easy to digest, for that matter, as the realities of what I’m seeing are not generally “instagrammable”. I also can’t promise to be succinct or free from common grammatical errors and run-on sentences. What I can promise you is that it will be real and raw, and a true reflection of what life here is like, from the lens of a white humanitarian trying to make a dark world a little brighter.