Sunday, 15 October 2017

Over and Out

Three years ago I made the decision to move to Zambia. As I look back now, I think it’s one of the best decisions I ever made. I expected my time there to be full of adventures and challenges, and I was not disappointed in either respect. Yet I didn’t anticipate quite how much I would learn and how much it would impact my life.

Final day of fun at Kapumpe

An unwanted visitor at Kaniki

Oops - I got stuck in the mud!

Now I’m back living in the UK, life generally seems easier yet busier and somehow less simple at the same time. My time in Zambia has made me reflect on how I live, what I spend my time on and what I am most passionate about. You may not be surprised to hear that my experience in Zambia has motivated me to want to work in international development.

The Zambian flag at Kaniki

Job hunting has certainly been interesting! When I first arrived back home, I was convinced it was time to leave the teaching profession and move into the charity sector. However, it took quite some time to figure out exactly what I wanted to do and where my skills could be transferrable. In the meantime, I found myself temporarily back at my old school doing supply teaching. A few months on, I’m excited to have secured a role in a brilliant Christian international relief and development charity called Tearfund (, where I started last week. This new venture and career path will also see me moving to London within the next few weeks. So it’s all change again!

I plan to continue supporting Kapumpe Christian Primary School and the Arise Orphan Project. I love hearing about how the projects are going and I want to continue my involvement, even though it will need to be in a different way than when I was physically there in Zambia. So as a result, I’m going to join the team of UK trustees who support the projects financially and with advice. So, although this will be my final blog post, if you do see me in person then it certainly won’t be the last you hear about Kapumpe and Arise!

At the Grade 1 Hair Salon

One of the Kapumpe pupils with little Archie
(who unfortunately I couldn't bring back to the UK!)

During my time away I learned so much about people and culture which I find fascinating. I’ve felt particularly challenged by issues of poverty. It is therefore no coincidence that I have found Tearfund’s Lifestyle articles ( really helpful in considering everyday ethical issues about things like food, travelling and shopping. And it has left me feeling challenged to have an ‘attitude of gratitude’.

A wonderful moment to remember -
seeing this guardian walk independently
for the first time since I met her!

With one of the pre-schoolers supported by Arise

There is something amazing about living in a totally different context, outside of your own familiarity and comfort zone which challenges your beliefs, your perceptions of life and who you are. There’s a risk that you might not be the same again! For me, the biggest things I’ve learned are about God. I am convinced there is a God who created the universe, who gives us life and who deserves our praise. He gives me purpose for living and hope for the future. This is definitely what has enabled me to find peace in two seemingly different worlds and to cope with the unanswered questions that life often throws at us.

Visiting Arise families

In summary, I am hugely grateful for the time I spent in Zambia, for the privilege of getting to know many wonderful people there and for what I learned from them. And as I draw my blog to a close, I would also like say an enormous thank you to everyone who encouraged me and supported me financially or in prayer, having made it possible for me to live and work there. Thank you for taking an interest in my experiences and for finding the time to read my posts. Last but not least I’d like to say a very big thank you to my sister, Rachel, who edited over 100 blog posts for me!

A few of my wonderful Zambian friends

If you’d like to keep up to date with the fantastic work that continues at Kampumpe and Arise, you can follow their Facebook pages at Kapumpe Facebook Page and 
Arise Facebook Page or let me know if you would like to receive their termly newsletters. They rely on donations, prayer and support to make a difference to the lives of so many people. And finally, I’d encourage anyone who has ever wanted to travel, do something totally different, or step out of their comfort zone, to give it a try. Like me, it might be the best thing you’ve ever done!

From Kaniki with love xx

twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did. so throw off the bowlines. sail away from safe harbor. catch the trade winds in your sails. explore. dream. discover. -mark twain.

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