Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Caroline Luka
For the past eleven months, I have been part of the community that I was deployed in. I may not have necessarily been one of them, but I felt a sense of belonging. I knew that I had made a home away from home. The relationships I have built will last long and I know that no matter what, I will always have a place to lay my head on in this community.
My time is up, and it is time for me to pack my bags and go. Bidding farewell to people is never easy and my community did not make it any easier for me. The music, dances, and speeches nearly made me tear up. I could not admit to myself how much the people meant to me until I had to cover my face when the chief made her final remarks. Goodbye is not good at all.
Looking back at the activities and projects I have worked on put a smile on my face. From working with youth to renovate the nursery school for the children made me feel at ease. I have managed to make an impact on my community and it brought nothing but joy in my heart. The vibrant youth I worked with are now venturing into a business. I am so proud that they are using their assets to and solutions to their challenges. The nursery school kids now have a classroom that is safe and sanitary. Their days of learning outside or in a church are finally over.
“We are sad to see you leave. Do you think its possible for you to stay a little longer?” asked one of the little girls who I assisted teaching at the nursery school.
My heart broke.
In as much as good-byes are painful, the memories are what makes you find the good in the good-bye. The lives you have touched, the change you have made in the community and most importantly how the experience has made you grow. Personally, serving as a CorpsAfrica Volunteer has molded me into a woman that I am proud of when I look in the mirror. The impact I have made in the community will live on. I will never forget the things I have learned about the community and about Malawi.
As much as I would have loved to stay, I couldn’t. It is time for others to come and bring in new developments while I go and find my new adventure.
“So, for now I say goodbye to this chapter of my life and I look forward to what comes next” — Brooke Davis