As might know from my previous post, my dad drove me up to Philadelphia on the 11th to start staging, which is training before departing to Zambia. I am extremely lucky that staging was so close to me, because other people had to leave at 2am to make cross-country flights, and I woke up at a leisurely 8am before setting off at noon.
If you’re wondering what PST entails, the majority of it has been going over the Let Girls Learn initiative, brought to us by former First Lady Michelle Obama. According to our training, “globally, more than 62 million girls are not in school,” so this initiative was really cool to learn about as a resource, and I will be sincerely blown if it’s scrapped in the upcoming couple of years. Incidentally, Carissa (my sista for those not in the loop) runs a girls soccer program through funds obtained by Let Girls Learn.
Going off of this, I was really excited about how in depth we talked about gender in our training, and I figured I’d share an sheet from training. I’ve gotten a lot of unintentionally (and some intentionally) uninformed comments about gender identity over the years, and I get that in some ways; it’s a lot of stuff if you’re not familiar! But I thought this summed it up nicely:
I’m gonna end on something that is really important for me in the making of this blog. We watched a great Ted Talk that I’ve seen before, and it really encapsulates my hopes/concerns about representing Zambia through my own lens as a white American man. I am going to do my absolute best not to create a false narrative while writing this blog, and I ask that on your end, please don’t use this blog to make generalizations about Zambia, the continent of Africa, or the people I encounter because of my singular perceptions. It’s a really great video and I never get tired of watching it!
Also, I’m leaving tomorrow! I’m so excited to be flying out with over 70 great people. No news is good news until I get settled, so wish me luck and I’ll try to post soon.