Being in a community where most of the things (language, culture, food etc.) are different from what you know or have back home is very challenging. I have had high time interacting with Tumbuka speakers because I had no prior knowledge of the Tumbuka language. This pushed me to learn fast some language basics like greetings so that I could not feel entirely out of place when with the community members. In days, I was able to speak some broken Tumbuka with the help of my host brother who knows some Chichewa and was teaching me most of the things. I started blending in, making some friends (Barber man being the first friend I made because I was mostly at the barbershop charging my gadgets), eating their food, and learning some of the things that define them.
I grew interested in knowing more and being known to many. I wanted the community, not just the friends I made but every population, to know me and the reason why I am in their community living with them as one of them. As part of my integration, I started teaching at the community Primary School so that I can connect with the learners, the staff, and all the associations, clubs, and organizations existing within the school. This exposed me to a lot of community members as well as the leaders and other figures, I became friends with them personally and professionally. I also interact with preschool kids at the Community Based Child Care (CBCC) whenever I am free from other duties. In addition, I also attend women financial clubs to share with them some ideas on how they can improve their income generating activities. Being welcomed and interacting with different groups of people in my site to this far, I now have a sense of belonging and I can proudly say CorpsAfrica made me a northerner.