No WiFi? No problem

Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Dan Eldon Legacy

It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that WiFi is hard to come by in Africa. Instead of searching for internet all week, I figured Dan’s advice would be to adventure now and blog later. So that’s what I did.

Before I go on about the people, food, animals and my experiences in Zambia, I figure I should give a little background of how this all began. Over the past four years, Rachel, one of my best friends from college, has often talked about a place she called her second home: Grippis compound in Lusaka, Zambia. Her apartment was filled with African trinkets, paintings of women carrying water jugs on their heads, and endless photographs filled with beautiful Zambian smiles. She loved this place so dearly.

For the past four years, Rachel has ventured to Zambia, sometimes alone and sometimes with a team. She desired to go back for longer than just a month, so after graduation this past December, she packed her bags and moved to Zambia for 5 months. She’s bold and gutsy. Two of the many reasons why I love her.

She has been working with Cosmas Zimba and Grassroots Heroes International. This organization is in Grippis to educate, feed, and nurture children in the community and equip women to be financially independent. GHI has supported 300 students’ education, built schools, toilets, and a sewing house, provided adult education classes, and they are currently in the process of building a new lower school.

Before GHI started fundraising efforts of their own, the families within Grippis donated 5 Kwacha per person (about $1) of their own money to build the foundation of the school. This was a challenge for some of the families that can barely afford two meals a day. Not only did that money buy 300 cement blocks, but it also brought the community together to invest in something that represents the futures of their children.

school foundation

Workers using the original blocks paid for by the community to build the foundation of the new lower school.

The foundation was laid and the first three rows of blocks were built, but soon enough, the money was all spent and the building process was put on hold. A few weeks ago, Rachel posted on her blog asking if people would be willing to make a donation.

That’s where I come into the picture! Barton Brooks, founder of Guerrilla Aid partnering with Creative Visions, offered to match every donation up to $1500. Rachel raised $1500, which meant $3000 were ready to be used to start up the building process again!

I was beyond excited for what that money would do to help these people who my best friend loved so much. What I didn’t expect was for Barton to then offer to send me to deliver the $1500 myself! What an honor. What an adventure!

This trip and this money won’t change the world. It won’t solve poverty or world hunger, but to the people who call Grippis home, it will make a difference. It will provide blocks to build a place for their children to be educated. It will provide cement to safely hold the blocks together. It will provide doors for the children to walk through each day eager to learn and grow. It will provide a small bit of hope that they can become doctors, lawyers, journalists, pilots – all the careers these kids want to do when they grow up.

These people feel known and cared for because of Cosmas, Rachel, GHI, and so many other supporters. It’s truly an honor to be a minute part of what’s happening in Grippis.

Thanks Barton for making it all possible!


Have any questions? Want to learn more about my time in Zambia? Please email me at