Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Chifundo Soko
It’s been exactly 3 weeks since l arrived at my site. I am counting my days. Don’t get me wrong. I am counting because I am proud of myself since I have made friends in my community. Yes, I am proud of myself!
So back to my arrival day, it was raining heavily. Luckily enough I had pleaded with my friend to drop me off at my site. It was a little adventure into an unknown place, I would say, which was going to be my home for the next six months. Ask me how that felt. Terrifying! Why? I didn’t know what to expect and that at times is scary. So you see I had – a smoothie made up of many different feelings. Anxiety, excitement, curiosity. You too would have had the same feelings in that moment!
I arrived at my new home. When my friend left, I honestly felt alone. The only people I was familiar with were gone! No, I didn’t cry. Spartan warriors never shade tears! This is where – you do self-motivation and all the motivational speakers you have listened to come to play. Humanity. Did I mention? The host father happens to be the Group Village Head himself. I mean that’s a relief because that meant not arranging any particular day to introduce myself to the chief. It was a jackpot! They showed me my room and told me to be comfortable. By saying be comfortable as a Malawian girl you just know it means doing house chores. It’s not bad though, it gives me a sense of belonging when I do chores. I don’t know about other girls, so don’t ask me! So I enjoy doing the chores because it also meant easily interacting with my community especially when I went to the borehole. Another jackpot! This one was gold.
There is the organization, Child Legacy International in my site, and that’s where I went to charge my gadgets; it is very much engaged in agriculture. This is where I saw the big pond. There are several ponds where some include only one kind of fish species because of its nature of feeding on other fish like the catfish. The big pond includes different species that live in harmony with one another, sharing the water and the food given to them.
This big pond made me feel like I was also a fish in my pond (my community in this case). I was going to interact with a different culture other than the one I am familiar with. I have one option. Integrate. (I remembered Agatha our wonderful “culture” expert. Thank you Agatha!). So I have to live with them and share the same resources because we are in the same pond. The projects that we will do will help and change our lives because we are living in the same big pond.