I’ve shared a few times about my friends from Wiphan who are a part of the hospitality class. On Sunday, these very special and dear friends of mine graduated from their class after one year’s worth of hard work. With that being said, I thought it would be nice to pay a tribute to them share a bit about each one of my close friends. They mean so much to me! I hope you enjoy reading about these lovely people! They’re pretty special. ;D
If you want to hear a powerful voice, just listen to Beatrice sing! Her voice completely amazes me. When I have the opportunity to sing with my friends, quite often Beatrice is the one leading us as we sing worship songs to our Savior. Her passion when she sings completely overwhelms my heart. Another thing about Beatrice I love is how she never seeks attention or the spotlight. Maybe she does have the best singing voice in the class, but she doesn’t sing to seek glory. She’s genuine. She talks to everyone and is friends with all; but she doesn’t try to be someone she isn’t or attempt to make sure all recognize her. One of my favorite memories with Beatrice would be the time 5 of us girls were putting on our makeup together and she went around and showed some of the other girls what certain products were for and helped apply them. She always does her makeup very elegantly and the day 5 of us girls acted very girly putting on makeup under her supervision was definitely a fun memory! She’s moving away sometime this week or next. I’ll miss dear Beatrice greatly, but I’m so happy God has provided her with a job and I’m grateful for the time we got to spend together as friends.
Richard is a character. He’s barely over 5 feet tall and doesn’t mind being teased about it. He also loves to be “DJ” and contrary to Beatrice, LOVES being the center of attention. He’ll dance in front of an audience of many without a care in world. He’s a rather entertaining and hilarious dancer! He and Alex (my 13 year old brother) have a pretty close bond and enjoy spending time together. My brothers also discovered Richard’s incredible fear of chameleons. In fact, one of my favorite memories with Richard would be the time we threw a toy dinosaur at him, shouted, “Chameleon!! Watch out Richard!!” and he screamed like a little girl and fell out of his chair!! My other favorite memory of Richard would be the day I played Uptown Funk (which he had never heard) and he unknowingly started dancing exactly like Bruno Mars and I couldn’t help but laugh!! To make it even better, the outfit he was wearing was incredibly similar to Bruno’s in the video. So he not only danced like but also looked like Bruno Mars and he didn’t even know who that was!! I appreciate how Richard is comfortable in his own skin and though he likes being center stage, doesn’t really care what others think but just enjoys being himself: the entertainer. I’m definitely going to miss his ever-present desire to entertain and make others smile!
This girl has a beautiful meek and quiet spirit. She’s generally a reserved person who will talk some, but it takes a while to bring her out of her shell. She’s a person of few words making the things she does say extra meaningful. However, ask her to dance and you’re in for a surprise or invite her to pray and her passionate praying can’t help but touch your heart! It took a while for me to get to know Justina, but once I did we bonded closely. She’s still that meek and quiet girl I knew from the start, but once she started opening up about her life and after we hugged and cried together for a long time on a sad day a sweet bond formed. We generally enjoy spending time together alone, so we don’t spend a lot of time together every time we see each other. I would say our friendship is one of a mutual understanding. We are there for each other whenever needed. It’s wonderful to have a friend like her who I can confidently say would hold me while I cried if I ever needed it. I appreciate Justina so much!!
Need a goofy selfie partner?? Or someone to do goofy poses?? Winford’s got ya covered. I have more pictures of him making silly faces than I do of him smiling or making serious faces. He never ceases to make me laugh even though I don’t think he necessarily intends to be funny. I actually have a video (he didn’t know I was taking) of him making faces at his reflection in our car window when he thought no one was around. He’s always full of energy and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him sad or down even if he does walk 2 hours one way to school. His philosophy was that it was good exercise. My favorite memory with Winford would definitely be when dad and I explained the word “dude” to him. We laughed and laughed!! I greatly admire Winford’s constant joy and I’m thankful for his friendship. He is moving away this week as well and I will miss him; but like Beatrice he has a job and I’m happy for him.
Evans is a very quiet person. I’ve known Evans since day one, but he’s so quiet I regrettably don’t know him as well as the others. When he does talk, it’s usually to ask me questions about the U.S. or English or my life in the U.S.. So while he may not open up a lot, he’s very inquisitive about other’s lives which shows his selfless personality. He was also the first person I ever showed how to “swing your partner” after he asked how I danced in “America”. One of my favorite memories of Evans would probably be the time he made a comment to one of my friends when she hit a note REALLY off key while singing. I know that sounds like a silly “favorite memory” but Evans is SO quiet and SO reserved I never expected him to say anything and the fact he was the ONLY person to say anything about the off-key note struck me as really funny. What stands out to me about Evans, which I hinted at above, is his selfless and caring heart. He never brags about himself or even talks about himself at all, but always asks about others and intently listens to every word said. His example has definitely encouraged me to talk less and listen more. 😉
Hellen has welcomed me as a friend from day one. Her sweet smile and loving hugs are always there when I see her. She, like Winford, always wears a smile and seems to be full of genuine joy every time I see her. Hellen has a sweet baby daughter named Janet who I can say is also a part of the hospitality class. =) Janet comes to class every day wrapped on Hellen’s back and is loved by all the other students who take turns holding her. Hellen takes her role as mother very seriously and is always quick to put Janet’s needs before her own. Despite her being the only woman in the class to bring a child, she doesn’t feel shy or embarrassed but joyfully works hard to gain an education while still being a mother. Hellen loves to play with my hair and has braided it for me multiple times. She also loves to test my Bemba by speaking to me in only Bemba and seeing how well I respond. Even when I fail she smiles broadly and encourages me. She’s always been so welcoming of me and that’s meant a lot! The things I love about Hellen are her diligence and hard-working effort to get an education and provide for herself and Janet while being a mother, and also her welcoming spirit. I’m going to miss her smiles and hugs!
Charles has such a sweet personality! He’s soft-spoken and also speaks incredibly slow (making his Bemba easier for me to understand), but enjoys a good conversation. Charles is also very protective. Twice he’s shown himself to have that protective instinct when I’ve been around and I truly appreciate that about him. It shows me he’s trustworthy and someone I can depend on should I ever need help. Cameron (my 7 year old brother) and Charles have a very close bond. Cameron refers to Charles as his best friend and asked me numerous times about when Charles would be home while the students were away doing internships. Charles returns this affection and would frequently ask me how Cameron was doing. He also likes to ask questions about the U.S. and about English words he doesn’t understand. To give you an example, he once asked me what “Yankee” and “expendable” meant. I had to think about both of those for a minute!! My favorite memories with Charles would probably be our countless conversations. He was always one of the first students to show up to class, so we had a lot of time to visit over the months. Character wise, what stands out to me about Charles is his trustworthiness and his sweet spirit. He just has that personality that we can’t help but love because it’s so genuine and kind. I’m so thankful for his friendship!
If I were to describe Francis in one sentence I would say this: He has a passion for sharing God’s word with the world. I can hardly hear a sentence from his mouth without him saying something about God and how wonderful He is. When all these friends came over to our house for a fun get-together, Francis was the one who pulled me aside and asked if perhaps we could do a short Bible study before we took them back home. Francis then led a short Bible study with an audience of 9 other young adults and my family. Francis and I’s relationship is one of a lot of teasing. We actually didn’t become close friends until more recently, but since then we always enjoy laughing together and I enjoy teasing him about a certain someone. 😉 Along with teasing each other, we also spend a lot of time talking about what God is doing in each other’s lives. A couple weeks ago, he and I visited for probably 30 minutes while he shared what he felt God calling him to do with his life. He always tells me that I and my dad have been an “inspiration” in his life. Well, I think that is a pretty sufficient word to describe his impact on my life as well. His life has been an inspiration to me and I’m grateful for his friendship!
Gasper is also one of my very best friends in Zambia. His love for and dedication to God have greatly inspired and encouraged me. We’ve had so many discussions in which he’s shared difficult things he’s gone through and how God helped him stay strong and the things he shared are things I admit would be hard for me to face. I also appreciate his willingness to be my friend on the hard days and good days and his words of encouragement from Scripture he forever offers me. God has given Gasper the gift of encouragement. Many of my best memories with Gasper are times when he’s deeply cared on the hard days, helped lift my spirits, and point me back to Christ; and the times we’ve prayed together on bad AND good days. As for his personality, he’s an incredibly social and outgoing person who greatly enjoys the company of others. He loves to smile and is always laughing and making others laugh! He’s loved by everyone in the hospitality class and seems to be recognized as the “class leader” along with the “class clown”; though I think he shares that latter role with Richard. 😉 Gasper’s friendship has been an incredible blessing to me and I’m so grateful for him in my life!
Brenda definitely stands out as one of my best friends here in Zambia! The first day I ever went to Wiphan, she and Winford met me outside and invited…practically pulled…me into their classroom. Brenda introduced me as “my friend Megan” and took me around the room to meet everyone else. Without her initiating my welcome into the class I might never have gotten to know all these wonderful people you’re seeing in these photos and I may never have found best friends. She’s one of the most outgoing girls I’ve met here in Zambia. She forever wears a stunning smile on her face and loves making silly faces in the camera. She has such an inclusive spirit and never meets a stranger. We’ve had such wonderful times together; from silly, meaningless, goofy selfie-taking to talking about the serious things in life. It’s hard for me to choose a most memorable moment with Brenda because there are so many! A time she greatly impacted me would be the time she walked 1 hour and 30 minutes to Wiphan just to see me when she was sick. I felt AWFUL but she told me she wanted to come. That’s when I knew how much she REALLY cared about me and our friendship. I’m beyond grateful to have a best friend like Brenda in my life! Without her, my adjustment to living in Zambia would’ve been much harder…
This collage is one containing pictures of all my other friends in the class who I have enjoyed spending time with over the past year. To name a few: Hellen (there are 2), Pamela, Charity, Foster, Stanley, Edward, Miriam, Diana, Memory, Shadreck, Esther, and Cleopatra. All these friends, while I may not have known them as well, mean so much to me also and I dearly love them all!!