Our Zambian friends visit Adelaide 2014

Year 11 Student Tessa Manning recounts the visit

On Thursday and Friday last week the school was treated to a fantastic performance by the 10 visiting students from the Chipembele Conservation Club in Zambia. The students dressed in traditional costume and danced and sung to the beat of drums played by 2 of the boys. By the second verse of the song the whole school had joined in clapping along to their song. As one of the students that travelled to Zambia and participated in activities with the Zambian students in the week leading up to this, I had seen this dance twice before but I was still amazed by it. It was also clear that the Zambian students were enjoying this much more than they had previously, owing to the large smiles on their faces. They then got up and said a few sentences about themselves and what they wish to get out of this trip. I think that the highlight for most people came when Enala stood up and talked about her wish for gender equality in Zambia.

The Zambian students then had a full day of classes in one ninety. They attended a range of classes including P.E, Art, Maths, Biology and Music, all in which they were fully engaged and enjoyed. Having one of the students in my classes was a great experience for me as I remember one of the best and most memorable days I had in Zambia was when I attended class with Kings Chimungu for a day. I recall learning about the importance of education in Chinyanja (the local language) and proper subsets in maths. I think that the Zambian students took more out of their day in our classes than we did in theirs. I asked if they learnt similar things and they all said that they did but they also said that it was very different. In Zambia they have up to 80 in a class and here we have small classes and everyone has a computer. I think that spending time with these Zambian students allows us to see how fortunate we are here.

On the Friday, the Zambian students attended classes with Middle School, Prep and Kurrajong students. I was lucky enough to be able to assist them in the prep classes. In the first class we attended we introduced them to Google Maps and showed them their town from above and the Chipembele centre where they attend conservation classes. We also virtually visited their school and saw one boy’s house. This was a very special experience for the Zambians as not only was it their first time on a smart-board and using Google Maps but it was very exciting for them to be looking at their small town and recognising certain areas of it. When we moved into year 6 classes the students were completing worksheets about Zambia and the Zambians were able to sit next to them and teach these Australian students about Zambia. The Zambians were very good at working with the younger children and helping them with their project. Some seemed to make a special connection with the Zambians, one girl asked a Zambian boy to sign her ruler and then took a selfie with him on her iPad. I’m sure this was a very odd, but very exciting, experience for this Zambian boy.

 For me, seeing these kids that come from a place where classrooms are square brick buildings, packed full of kids with not enough resources to go around, coming to a place where we are blessed with plentiful space and have more than enough to share around was a great experience. At the assembly, I was in awe of the confidence of these kids. They were only told minutes before that they would be performing to an audience nearing 1000 people but this didn’t seem to phase them at all, they still performed at their charismatic best. When we moved into classes I was able to see just how well they work and that they are more than able to keep up with us in subjects like Biology or Maths. In the Prep School classes I was able to watch them develop and learn with the younger students when using Google Maps. I was then able to see a switch in roles when they began teaching kids about Zambia with pride. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them slide into this school and I was glad to see that all Pulteney Students and staff took time to talk to them individually and made such an effort to welcome them. We will miss them but never forget them. For some of us, Zambia is now our second home. 

Tessa Manning,
 Year 11 

Watch the video that sums up the trip from BTN here.