Final Days, Final Thoughts

Zambia 2013

By Corine Milano

July 29, 2013

Also published at World Pulse

Today is my last day in Zambia. My flight leaves at 9:30 tonight, and I am eager to soak in the last little bits of this country in the few hours I have left.

Today will be spent meeting with two strong Zambian women—Dorcas Chewe, who wrote the piece ZAMBIA: Picking up the Pieces, and Sally Chiwama, a local blogger and reproductive rights activist based in Lusaka. Both have not yet joined the community, and I am excited to walk them through the process and help them reap the benefits of World Pulse.

Dorcas lives in the Copperbelt—about a five-hour bus ride from Lusaka. She was unable to attend the meet up given the distance, but she was determined to meet with me before I leave, eager to learn about World Pulse and how she can become more involved in the community. This morning, she boarded the bus for the long journey to Lusaka so that we might meet in person. I am excited to share with her the work we do and to learn from her about how we can best support her community.

This is the energy I am seeing in Zambia—excitement about connecting with others, excitement about sharing stories, excitement about the future of this beautiful, emerging country. It is energizing and motivating. These connections renew my commitment to broadcasting the voices of women around the world; these connections renew my commitment to this community we have so lovingly built.

How will it be when I return home, I wonder? I am eager to share my learnings with the rest of the team, eager to see my family, eager to maintain the connections I have built in Lusaka. Technology will make that possible—email, Skype, and of course World Pulse!

And yet, I leave Zambia with a bit of a heavy heart. There is so much work to be done here, and in other parts of the globe. There is immense pain, immense loss. But there is also immense hope as women band together to fight the issues that affect them. I wish I could stay in Zambia and see these efforts through to the end. Zambia’s women’s movement is on the verge, and when women come together great things happen.

I will follow along as the women I’ve met post in their journals; I will keep Zambia close to my heart, and hopefully, I will find a way to return to this beautiful country where so much remains possible.

Corine Milano reported from Zambia on a trip with the International Reporting Project (IRP).