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I Was Here

Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Lucy Chihana

I always wanted to Volunteer. Leave home, be on my own, meet new people, and learn a new language. It was in September 2015 when I saw the call for Volunteers with CorpsAfrica, immediately I knew I would get in and maybe get to Volunteer. 25th March 2016 is the day I got to my site in Balaka-Miliyoni village. I met people who would be my family for the rest of my stay here, which meant I had to decide if I was going to accept them into my life or not. To cut a long story short- my host family is amazing, the daughters are my sisters and I know we will be in each other’s lives even after I leave because they were nothing to me but amazing, helpful, and joyful. My one-month stay with my host family was adventurous: from night traditional dances (mganda), to fetching firewood, to Nsima for breakfast. My host family was super helpful in helping me adjust and settle. They made me feel accepted and wanted, I believe this is what we want to feel when we go or move to a new place, city or school.
A month later I moved to my own place. Its a small house that was once a maize mill. The first time there I couldn’t believe I was ever going to live and survive there. Well, here I am and if I had to turn back the hands of time I would still choose this exact path. It wouldn’t make sense to some people but I have always wanted to make a difference in the lives of people I don’t know or I owe nothing just to be remembered by someone somehow that because our paths crossed their life is not the same. I believe It doesn’t matter how big or small your contribution is when it comes to making a difference. Use whatever it is you have to make the life of another better. I have never taught anywhere but, I became a standard teacher here. Teaching a kid how to even hold a pencil isn’t a joke, I thank God for my teachers for never giving up on me.
My class…my students. I pray one of them becomes a president one day and remembers I was here.
I never would have known that between the numbers 1-5, 5 is the hardest to learn how to write if it wasn’t for my students. Like its rightfully put “the discovery of something new is the beginning of knowledge”.
This woman right there made life so much bearable, easier and fun. My neighbour and landlord. She helped with my laundry, cooked, swept , mopped and when I took long vacations she watched over my house 24/7. We took every meal together. I officially moved into her house the last 2 months of my service. My laughs with her were loud and real. She truly made me happy. Never dull moments with Nagama. One of the things I will terribly miss about my volunteer experience is Nagama. I know no matter how many years go by she will always remember I was here.

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