(you can see all my blogs about Africa by clicking here)
This past July 11th – 21st I went on a trip to Zambia, Africa, to follow along with a few charity organizations and document their work via photograph. It was incredible.
Trying to do a dump of photos, information and highlights from the trip is a daunting task, so I’ll be breaking this up into a few parts.
I was traveling mainly with the fantastic people from Hoops of Hope. Austin Gutwein started the charity when he was only nine years old and now he’s 19! His parents Daniel and Denise run the organization and were also on the trip…plus they were ones who invited me on this adventure. I took Austin’s senior pictures last year and also their family photos in December. This family is beyond amazing…there are no words to describe Austin’s heart for kids in Africa, nor what his parents have done to help their son see his vision. Being with them for 10 days humbled me.
So Hoops of Hope works together with World Vision. The people from World Vision were unbelievable. They organized everything. Transportation. They drove. They had bottled water. The booked hotels. They arranged meals. They were kind souls and beautiful individuals.
Finally there were three people from Intel doing work with computers for these schools in the middle of nowhere. They performed miracles. I will talk more about the specifics of the work done, what everyone did, the cool things I saw and all that as these blog posts go on.
Our trip started in Phoenix. We landed in Atlanta, then Johannesburg and then finally Lusaka, Zambia. We spent two days in Lusaka and left Sunday morning for Sinazongwe. That’s when the real stuff happened.
I added comments to the photos below to help tell the story. Hope you enjoy. Also for those that want to know, I edited all these using a tweaked preset from VSCO Film 3.
This first one is just me in the back of our LandCruiser after 30 hours of traveling.
My first view of Lusaka the morning after we arrived.
We went to buy printers for the schools at a nearby mall and I saw this.
Selfie in the Stay Easy Hotel’s elevator. Felt like it was a dance party.
Austin was brave enough to order a deep-fried burger. Crazy.
Our team on Sunday morning getting ready to leave.
The man himself…Austin.
It’s amazing…because at this time I knew a few of these people, but had only met most of them earlier the day before. By the end of the trip it felt like we were all old friends.
Women of Zambia selling fruits and produce on the sides of roads.
We stopped for a little bathroom break.
My first interaction with Zambian children…they love seeing themselves on the back of your camera.
Someone noticed this boy carrying a bird in his hand.
Later we stopped for lunch and these cuties were just hanging out in a truck waiting for their parents I think.
Their smiles are just ridiculous.
We stayed at a lodge on Lake Kariba…it was incredibly beautiful. I figured we would be roughing it but this was like a dream destination.
A boabob or bow-bow tree…I friggin’ LOVE these things!
I took a walk with Sisley and JP…just to see the main town area of Sinazongwe. We were spotted by some kids and soon had a tiny entourage.
Kids always love JP…he works for Intel and has the most incredible stories.
A market in town.
A little pond past town that we checked out for sunset. We kept away (for the most part) from the water’s edge because of crocs, but mostly the mosquitos and chances of getting malaria. It was beautiful.
Yup, tried to get the kids to jump in unison…didn’t work out too well.
JP showing the kids pictures of them on his camera.
This is one of my favorite images from my trip. Took two tries and this second attempt was amazing.
That is Sisley and she also works for Intel. I think the kids here may have wanted some of her bracelets 🙂