Esther Schultz recently completed her three-month internship in Macha, Zambia. We took some time to catch up with her and talk about her experience and wanted to share her thoughts with you. As you read this keep in mind we are looking for more people to take on a similar experience in both Zambia and Costa Rica. If someone comes to mind please pass this information along!
*Interview with Esther*
Q. What was the highlight of your experience in Zambia?
There were so many great moments during the three months that I spent in Macha. It’s hard to pick just one highlight. When it comes to the disc golf side of things, I’d say one of the many highlights was the last tag round that I played in Macha. Approximately 25 guys came out to play and most of the players were not interested in disc golf when I first arrived. Seeing them pumped to compete and do really well made me super excited for disc golf continuing to thrive in Zambia! Also, a 13-year-old boy ended up shooting the hot round and beating everyone! It was a fantastic end to a great time playing disc golf in Zambia.
Q. What were some of the things you learned through this experience?
I learned so much about the world, other cultures, the Lord, and myself. By disconnecting myself from everything and everyone that was familiar to me, I was able to learn and grow so much as an individual. I also learned to rely on the Lord. He was by my side when I needed Him the most. It is only because of Him that I was able to do all of the things that I did. I honestly learned an incredible amount in the past three months. This simple answer does not do the trip justice.
Q. In what ways did you see the most growth in your life through this experience?
Being in a foreign land with foreign people completely flipped my world view upside down. I now have a first-hand perspective on the life of people in Macha. I have grown as an individual because of this. I have seen people live life very differently than how I have seen it done my whole life.
Q. What ways were you challenged the most while there?
The language barrier was a big challenge for me in many ways. It challenged my heart when I started to feel left out because everyone around me was speaking Tonga. It was also really hard when I had to teach or wanted to simply communicate with the kids around me but I just couldn’t. Instead of trying, feeling like I couldn’t communicate often made me silent. I then got tired of that and began to look for other ways to invest and interact with the people around me without using words. That often looked like many high fives and smiles.
Q. What advice would you give to future interns?
You are going to teach disc golf but try to learn as much as you can from the people around you. Be more than a coach. Learn and develop relationships with the people God has placed there. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Things are going to be tough at times but just keep moving and trust the Lord always.
Q. Do you see yourself going back to Zambia in the future?
Q. What are your plans for the rest of 2019?
I am planning on playing as many big disc golf events as I can but also working a lot. My family is a part of a team who is starting a church which will be launching in the next few months so there will be many ministry opportunities there. I will mostly be relying on the Lord’s plan and trusting that He will continue to use me in this season.