By Kim Zahnow
My heart is full. Traveling with OBIIS instills a feeling inside that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I was created to do. This was my first time in Africa, and it was not the African Safari that we learned in textbooks. This was, however, the trip to Africa that I dreamed about when I was young. It was the pictures and videos from organizations in developing nations that inspired me to go back to college and get my degree in photography. I wanted to use photography and my life to tell these stories. I am happy to say that my dream is coming true.
Mother and Child in the Ndola Market, Zambia.
Connection is what stands out to me the most about our time in Zambia. It is connection that continues even after our trip is complete. I experienced this from the moment that I got on the plane and it was woven throughout the trip. I think about the connection we experienced as a team, the connection we observed at Living Hope, and the connection we all share collectively as a community of this world. This One Bigg Island in Space.
Our Zambia team was truly incredible. There is a beautiful connection that exists between us. We have been together in coffee fields, jungles, airplanes, and backseats when we have not showered for days. We have strengths that complement each other and work together to bring the vision of OBIIS into fruition.
Bob, Michelle, Kim, Jorge, Nathan
There are an estimated 1. 2 million orphans living in Zambia. Most have experienced unimaginable trauma. Living Hope (appropriately named) is making a difference and giving hope to children in Zambia. The connection between the children at Living Hope is very powerful. They learn, play, sing, and dream together. They care for each other as family. I had the honor of photographing portraits of each child. It was hope that shined in their eyes, not their trauma. To this I commend Living Hope and their staff.
The coffee connection between One Bigg Island in Space and Living Hope is inspiring. This trip had something special in the air. I had the privilege of observing an idea that Bob and Michelle had to bring farmers together from across the world turn into reality. This was a Wow moment for me. Jorge (farmer from Nicaragua) and Wana (farmer from Living Hope) walking the fields helping each other further develop their coffee growing skills and techniques.
We were able to experience some of the community outside of Living Hope in the city of Ndola, Zambia. There was a bustle all around us. Ndola is the third largest city in Zambia with a population of over 475,00 people. The marketplaces were crowded with people doing whatever they could to feed their families. As we walked the marketplace, I could not help but wonder what life experiences will come for the children of Living Hope in the future. They have a foundation to truly make an impact on their community. Your connection to coffee is making an impact in Ndola, Africa.