So many emotions ran through our minds as we woke up in Choma for the very last time. We’ve experienced so many wonderful things this week and it was hard to say good-bye. We celebrated our last meal together with the EMIZ staff and our team at 6:30 am. Then around 7:00-ish we packed up the bus and began our journey to Livingstone.
The bus ride took about three hours and many people slept on the way there. Once we arrived in Livingstone, we dropped our luggage off at the Emert and Howell families’ homes. These two mission families partner with Poetice in Livingston and we cannot thank them enough for their hospitality and support. From there, we headed to Victoria Falls.
The falls were a short drive from downtown and we were all very excited to see them. We had an hour and a half to explore the Zambian side of the falls. The falls were still beautiful even in the dry season. We were completely in awe by all the beauty that God created on this Earth. We were also shocked to learn that there were as many baboons near the falls as there are squirrels at Hope College.
After the falls, we got to go back to the EMIZ base in Livingstone for a lunch of PB and J’s courtesy of Tena and Kyle (mom and dad of the trip). After lunch we had to say goodbye to Blessing and Sande (two of the Choma staff we got to know throughout the week) before heading to the market.
The market was an experience in itself. We bartered with all of the vendors and bought some souvenirs to bring home with us to remember the trip.
Then it was time for the game drive (African for safari). We got to see so many animals including; impalas, buffalos, zebras, baby zebras, birds like Zazu from the Lion King, monkeys, warthogs, a hippo, adult and baby elephants, some more baboons, giraffes, a wildebeest, and a crocodile. At one point, we were worried that we weren’t going to be able to find any elephants or giraffes, but we ended up getting stuck between two elephants and two giraffes on the way out of the game drive. A lot of our week has focused on seeing God through people, but today we really got to focus on seeing God in nature and it was a great experience.
After the game drive we headed back to the Howells’ home for dinner and ate homemade chili with rice, and incredible cornbread. After dinner, we went out to do our final team debrief around a campfire. We focused on the ways we saw God this week and how he revealed himself to us as we were using all of our individual gifts to serve him. We also reflected on who had the most impact on us and how our eyes were opened to the global church. This was a very good time for reflection. We have been so blessed with this opportunity, and from this, we have realized how much this experience has impacted our faith and us. Tomorrow we are headed home for the States and we can’t wait to begin to share our stories with our friends and families.
– Haley Fischman & Brian Simonich