Dwankhozi Update…Sun 6/23

We made it! After a long, loooooong couple days of travel, we touched down in Malawi early this afternoon and were greeted by a warm welcome from Moses, ready to head across the border into Zambia. Let’s run down some headlines of the trip so far:

We are…exhausted! Zambia is nine hours ahead of Seattle, and by our count we spent nearly forty hours in transit mode. Whew! Our beds are looking very cozy right about now, and we’re all ready to sleep off our jet lag and be ready for a great day tomorrow.

Our group checking in on Friday night at Seatac

Our group checking in on Friday night at Seatac

Our bags…decided to take the scenic route to Zambia and will arrive tomorrow. Thanks to a delayed connection, they got lost in translation in South Africa, but are scheduled to show up tomorrow. I’m sure we will all gain a new appreciation for a fresh change of clothes.

After arriving…Moses drove us to his sister Rhoda’s house in Malawi, where she had prepared a delicious Zambian meal for us, and told us about her job working as a Nutritionist for the local government. She travels around African countries, educating communities on how to eat right and adopt such a lifestyle. What a kind, smart, welcoming, generous woman.

A delicious lunch stop in Malawi.

A delicious lunch stop at Rhoda’s in Malawi.

Tonight reminded us…why we are here. It would have been easy to fall into a deep slumber at 6pm and call it a night (ok, maybe even 3pm). But we didn’t, and here’s why: Nine faculty members of Dwankhozi Basic School met us at our hotel tonight and we all shared a meal together. We laughed with each other, learned from each other, and drew a vision of how this week will unfold, leaving lots of room for surprises of course. Our QAE members will get to join Dwankhozi teachers in their classrooms tomorrow, observing, assisting and seeing firsthand some of the real challenges they face. Kimmie, from World Reader, joined us and shared WR’s desire to help incorporate E-readers into teachers’ curriculum more seamlessly. Two worlds coming together, breaking the ice, and quickly realizing our worlds are far more similar than one might think, particularly when it comes to education.

Our team having dinner with the DBS faculty tonight.

Just for you to get some perspective, some of those challenges Dwankhozi teachers face are: class sizes reaching 70-80 students (yes, you read that right, SEVENTY to EIGHTY), a lack of involvement from parents (many of whom can’t read/write and therefore can’t help their child at home), classrooms literally filled from wall to wall with students (leaving little room to do anything but sit). These are just a few of the differences between Queen Anne, Seattle and Dwankhozi, Zambia. A side note: many of these size issues are due to Dwankhozi now being a heavily sought after school because of student passing rates (so that is something to be thankful for and proud of).

As I begin to doze at my keyboard, I will take that as a sign to finish today’s update. I’ll leave you with a glimpse of a jaw-dropping African sunset as we drove this evening.

Wow. Just wow.

Wow. Just wow.


  1. Matt MacLean says

    Way to go team! Sounds like one of the most grueling transits DH has yet had. So glad to hear your spirits are still high. Tomorrow will be amazing.

  2. Thank you for sharing the connections you are making! I am reading this from Mexico and even though we are miles away I am smiling feeling very close to you all, and sending lots of love.

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