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Bitter Sweet

Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Elvira Mdoka

In an agricultural-dependent country, most communities crave the rains as a recipe for plant growth. Such was the case with cock village, which happens to be my site. As I arrived on a hot sunny day, I could see well-prepared fields. Spending more time, I realized they lacked one thing, the rain. Everyone was looking forward to the rain. I started looking forward to the rains, I was slowly blending in, feeling their pain and fears. Together we hoped.

Several times the sky would look promising. It would clothe itself in dark clouds, looking expectant to deliver rain to the anticipating ground. We waited and waited, the skies would disappear as they came. But we remained hopeful.

Finally, one evening the rains fell, but only for a short while. Everyone whined about the few drops of rain, no one was going to be able to plant with such rains. The ground remained un-soaked. Fortunately, the whining was heard by the Supreme. The clouds reformed, and the rains fell, only that it was escorted by a chariot of a mighty wind. Not only did the ground get soaked, but the houses also fell, people got injured, roofs were reaped off from housetops, people scattered around trying to keep safe, and moving items in the rains. Our house got reaped off and our items got drenched.

I could say this surpassed all my fears before I came to my site. At this moment, I was no longer worried about how I am going to cope with the people, or how to get started on my Volunteer journey. A far more important thing were running in my mind; life and the well-being of the people.

​All in all, the people still expressed joy at the rains. Early in the morning, everyone went to their fields to plant their maize in their soaked fields and left their sodden items to be solved later. It was a bittersweet moment and I could say it was a more real integration experience. I was reminded of the goal: ‘to live where they live, eat what they eat, to have the firsthand experience of their life and help…’ Now that we are here, perhaps something could be done to help such bittersweet moments become sweet. May we let life unfold…

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