In this blog, Malama interviews and photographs Precious reflecting on her time at Our Moon.

Malama: You have been working hard on your research essay. How has your experience been? Tell us about it.

Precious: I have thoroughly enjoyed writing my 4000-word research essay, as it has allowed me to delve deeper into my interest in development and poverty reduction in Zambia. The essay answers the question of how successful the social policies were in addressing poverty, unemployment, and education during the Patriotic Front government in Zambia between 2015 and 2021. This was my first research essay and has broadened my understanding of the topic and how to write an academic paper. Throughout the process, my mentor Philip provided me with helpful feedback and answered my questions. Whenever I felt stuck, I asked for help from those around me to avoid wasting time. One of the biggest challenges I faced was cutting down the word count after going above it, prompting me to remove information that I had spent months collecting. Nonetheless, my research essay is now complete and ready for submission. Producing this research essay has significantly enhanced my writing and analytical skills.

Malama: In your first blog, you mentioned that you were …” trying to overcome being narrow-minded and learn new things…” How’s that been so far? What new skills have you developed and how have they contributed to you becoming a more rounded person?

Precious: My narrow-mindedness is an issue of the past because I have overcome it. In the past seven months, Our Moon’s environment has broadened my perspective on the world. My curiosity has led me to a path of open-mindedness, allowing me to learn and develop more about myself.

Initially, my focus was on baking, gardening, and athleticism. Recently, I have had some experience in cooking. After watching our chef prepare such delicious meals, I have been inspired to learn more about cooking. Passing a cooking test – in which I cooked fried sweet potatoes, grilled chicken, and decoratively arranged a salad – showed me that I have the potential to develop this skill further. In terms of gardening, I have learned not only how to plant crops but also that caring for them helps them grow. I have been exposed to organic farming, which is a different method than I am used to, and I have gained knowledge on the importance of vegetable gardening. My interest in athleticism had been quite thrilling as I had an opportunity to lead a strengthening exercise class that challenged me to know the activities before instructing them to my peers. I also learned from my peers when they conducted their classes that were on stretching and mobility; cardio and neurological; endurance and massage.

Currently, I am keen on developing skills in creative writing as a way of boosting my imagination. Besides that, drawing is another skill I am trying out; drawing cartoon characters has been a way in which I relieve my stress.

Malama: You mentioned that teaching was “…the best method of learning…” have you been applying that method on our moon?

Precious: Interacting with the other students at Our Moon and encountering activities such as composting that required working with others, has made me have a different approach to learning which is Teamwork. I believe sharing ideas with others is a way to understand and perfect them because other people see them from a different perspective. Although I rarely teach, I share my learning when needed. My belief is that no one knows everything, we all develop through learning from one another. Therefore, at Our Moon, I do not use teaching as a way of learning; instead, I learn from asking questions when I am stuck.

Malama: What is your message to our viewers who hope to apply to our program?

Precious: I would encourage applicants to apply to Our Moon because its environment stimulates personal growth, confidence, employable skills, and open-mindedness.

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