by Maurice Smith and Precious White
FNN Tech Prep Bureau: July 8, 2014. On this trip I learned how grateful I am to have clean water to use and that I don’t have to walk two miles to get it. Water is heavy. They (Zambians) carry up to five gallons, and some women were carrying it on their heads. This trip showed me how the little kids were going crazy over a penny. It showed me to stop taking stuff for granted. The school learning system is way different from us because they have free learning until the 7th grade and after that some people’s parents don’t have the funds to see their child move on to the 8th grade. But in the US, schools are free until we go to college.
This trip made me realize how lucky we are to have a free school system. This experience has shown me how grateful I am to have a choice of different foods and a pair of shoes. I say different food because the kids here eat the same thing over and over again called nshima. This is sad because some kids have no choice but to eat it or not eat at all. I now say I’m lucky to have a pair of shoes because some kids have to walk barefoot on sand and rocks. For me, I cry when I can’t get the shoes I really want or a new pair of Jordans every weekend. But now I see how lucky I am to have the things I have.
- Maurice Smith, Junior, Friendship Tech Prep Academy.
This trip has made me grow in so many ways from leaving Washington, DC. It was my first time going on a plane and to a place across the world leaving my family and friends. I was nervous for so many things—like never being alone or not being able to pick up my phone and just call my family to talk. There were days when I was overwhelmed. There were days when I cried and wished I could talk to my mom.
On this trip I knew there would be bumps along the road and I would have to deal with them in my own way, so I did. It took a lot because I’m used to going to my mom or friends when something is hard for me, but what I didn’t expect is how much I would grow in the little time I’ve been here. Since being here, I have been exposed to so many new things. I met friends, planted trees with local farmers, taught orphans in an impoverished community in Zambia, met inspirational teenagers who lost parents to AIDS, camped out under the stars and tasted different foods.
This trip has impacted my future a lot. I now have a desire to help people who are in need with clothes, food and other things if I can. I also have been thinking about making my own group and getting people involved at my school to help these communities. I’m grateful I have had a chance to come on this trip. Not a lot of people can say that they went across the world to Africa. This trip changed me. I look at things differently now and I’m so thankful for everything I have learned and everything I’m going to work for in the future.
- Precious White, Senior, Friendship Tech Prep Academy.