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Aafke

My name is Aafke de Leeuw. I'm 17 and a high school student from the Netherlands. In 2013 I went with World Servants to Molozi, a rural village in Zambia, to build teacher houses. During the project I was also involved in conducting a life skills training.

How I have changed? I have learned to be more flexibel when things go different than expected. And I am more concerned about others. I am more aware now and I have grown in my faith. During my trip I wanted to learn how I can involve God more in my daily life. I still find this difficult at times, but during my trip I have seen how it can be done. I am surer that God is there and from that basis I am looking to involve him in my life.

For me the most significant change has been that I've become more grateful for what I have. During the life skills training I met a smart girl, who had a lot of wise answers to the questions discussed. But she could not go to school. She had to be at home to take care of her family and baby-sit her nieces. She had no opportunity to develp herself. That made me think. Here in the Netherlands we are sometimes not doing our best to apply ourselves and have a good future. She wanted to, but did not get the chance. But I do have that chance and that makes me grateful.

One night, we stayed over with a local family. We baked pancakes with them and ate with them. They loved it that we were there and wanted to share that with everybody in the village. It was something so small. Staying over, baking and eating together. But it made such an impression on them. That was very special.

Just before I went to Zambia, someone gave me a tip: don't look at what people don't have, look at what they do have. That has been a 'project goal' for me: to look at what the people in Zambia do have. And that's gratitude! That's what they taught me, that I may be thankful for what I have.