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Hello Change, I Welcome You

Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Khumbolawo Mkochi

Describe your CorpsAfrica experience in one word. I briefly stared at the survey question before I decided to respond with ‘hectic’. But when I looked at the environment around me, I realized that the question was a little unfair. My time here cannot be summed up in one word. The survey question did all my experiences a disservice. I have panicked, I have been anxious, I have laughed, I have grieved with people, I have been shown intense kindness, I have seen a world different from mine, and experienced a whirlwind of emotions that cannot be summarized by a single adjective.

Chitowe Nursery School
Our Country Director once said that this experience will allow us to have an authentic Malawian experience. Truthfully, I felt a little offended and confused by that statement. I thought it disqualified my own experiences as a Malawian. Now that I started my solo journey in my site, I have realized that it is all a matter of perspective. An authentic Malawian experience for me has meant eating traditional food I would normally tell my mother no, it has meant having nsima breakfast, and walking for unbelievable hours in the excruciating sun. It has also meant walking for twenty to thirty minutes to climb a hill so that I can find a power source to charge my phone. My experiences haven’t been all pretty but I welcome the new perspective.

Spontaneously climbing up a hill after a youth meeting
The first time I climbed a hill I was convinced I was going to die or faint. The other times after that I believed I could make these trips twice a week and not feel exhausted. This journey has taught me that the limits we set for ourselves aren’t limits at all. Sometimes we are unaware of our own capabilities and how moving out of our comfort zone slowly forces us to grow and change, even in the tiny details of our life. ​


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