Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Mr. Emas Potolani
Ask me about my life, I would tell you that I have grown up away from my family, of course, I usually visit them once in a while. Zomba, a peaceful small city, has been my home since 1996, hence you can’t blame me at all if I tell you that the bond between me and Zomba is somehow unbreakable. There’s more to it though. That’s however for another day.
But today, 26th February 2016 I have found a new home, a new people a new tribe, and a new family. CorpsAfrica has led me to this village in Neno in the Southern Region of Malawi; a place I gladly call home from this moment on. I am now at Zalewa II in Patason Village, popularly known as Chitete Village, very few kilometers from the Zalewa turn-off.
The most exciting thing is that my journey to this place was no ordinary, I was driven here by Liz Fanning, the Founder and Executive Director of CorpsAfrica (http://www.corpsafrica.org). Can it get any better than this? It is the very first time for Liz to do this and I guess am the only Volunteer to enjoy this homage! hahaha! Can’t contain the excitement! Anyway, about the road trip, we were together with Abdullaziz also known as a Gama (his Chichewa nickname) who happened to have been busy taking some pictures and videos, I took a few too, c’mon! Who wouldn’t? It’s the most exciting day of my life.
At 2:10 pm, there we were at my new home, my site. Before meeting anybody else, we were welcomed by the Chief’s representative, who was accompanied by the head teacher for Chitete Primary School and the chairperson of the Village Development Committee (VDC). Well, it was a great honor. I am humbled. To be honest with you, these people are so warm and amazing! First impression am already in love with my work site. Isn’t this awesome? And I think these people are development-hungry too, just like me.
My host family is the Nyakwawa (Chief) and his family, of course, I am from a royal family myself but wait a minute, did they consider that when they were placing me here? What a coincidence. Am humbled once again, lol. Not to blow my own horn but probably it’s just in my blood (. Well, want to know about my host family? These guys are simply wonderful people and very warm. Oh! Check this out; the Nyakwawa’s wife prepared me some warm water telling me while kneeling “Bambo kasambeni” (Sir, go take a bath), lol. The chief wasn’t home by that time of course, and once he is back from his errands, you don’t have to tell him that the moment I was out of the bathroom, I was welcomed by a nice plate of Nsima and eggs prepared by his wife.
Not that am here to snatch the Nyakwawa’s wife, but hey she’s dope and kind. Wait a minute, did I mention the bathroom is a pigs’ khola in the night? So cool!
More interesting is the fact that I have a mesh (Room mate). I am never going to be lonely at all. I have the company of a black chicken in the far corner of my room.
I bet we’re gonna have lovely nights and at least mosquitoes will be dealing with us both and in the middle of the night when everybody else is fast asleep in the tranquility of such quietness, I have a mesh to whisper to, I will probably have to share with him why I am here and how excited I am to be working with the people here. I hope he doesn’t get slaughtered tomorrow.
Oops! I wish I could continue but the chief is here, I gotta go and greet him; Time for some family bonding.
Much appreciation to Liz, the big fish herself for driving me here and for this platform, to Garrett for the Human-Centered Design training which is going to help me to adapt with ease, to our Dad, Adam Gaskins; get well soon man, to all the CorpsAfrica family for the support and to my ever-smiling woman Winnie; I love you and will miss you.