I left my home in the US for six weeks ( last summer) and headed to Zimbabwe to share my teaching skills with Lendy Park School.
My expectations were unclear but an immediate relationship developed between myself and the receptive teachers leading me to understand that I didn’t have the answers. Their creative abilities were waiting to be discovered, and it only took a nudge based on the skills I’ve been so fortunate to acquire in a country never lacking in the latest research or educational trends.
Initially, the challenges for an American to go to an African country seemed to be overwhelming. Later, I found the real challenge was to keep the “African spirit” that I developed close to my heart once I returned to America.
While visiting an AIDS orphanage, I met Sue, a former successful real estate agent in London (now a Zimbabwean resident). We began discussing the inconveniences caused by lack of running water, random shutdowns of electricity, and food shortages in a country ruled by Robert Mugabe, a dictator.
With a sparkle in her eyes,
she looked at me and said, “BUT I HAVE AN AVOCADO TREE IN MY BACKYARD…” At that moment I realized that all of the American/Western comforts are secondary to the beauty and spirit of the African culture.