I quickly learned the universal game of chase was a favorite among Zambian children. During breaks, I spent hours chasing children. They would also find me during the training sessions and in a charades-like fashion act out running to signal they wanted to play. The group would usually start out small – maybe 4 or 5 – but by then end I would be chasing between 20 and 25 children, ranging from 2 to 13 years old. At the end of our play sessions, I always called for a group hug and all twenty-five of us run toward each other and crash in the center. When I would return to training they would wait outside the door, poking their little heads through the cracks, running in place, and I would have to shoo them away until the next break.
One day they came with a piece of chalk and said, “Teach”. Teaching is not one of my strengths – let alone teaching when I had no idea what to teach. I started out with the alphabet and then went through numbers – working on English pronunciation. Again the number of students began to multiply at incredible rates. I went from a class of ten 5 and unders to 50 students ranging from 2-13 year olds, with a group of even older kids peaking through the windows. I drew pictures of everything I could imagine and wrote the English name on the board until I eventually ran out of chalk….phew.