Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Joana Msukwa
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”- Theodore Roosevelt
I must say the idea of moving to the outskirts of the city was not as easy to digest but after going through six weeks of PST, I convinced myself that living in a different place far from home was not going to be so bad after all but rather a wholesome life adventure worth a shot.
After arriving at my site in Ntcheu district, I had quite zero expectations from the community after having been told to lower our expectations throughout service but what fascinated me was the warm welcome I got from some community members. I was intrigued as to how someone would welcome a total stranger they had never met before. This alone does prove the famous quote about Malawi being the warm heart of Africa. Having been dropped off, I was then told by my program coordinator that there was a bridge project at a nearby village pending implementation. I then thought to myself how is a girl like me with little knowledge in construction going to handle a whole bridge construction project? However, after some thought process, I told myself to just do it as Nike quotes it.
During the first encounter with the village where the bridge was to be constructed, I was quite touched to see the commitment the community members have had throughout the years in trying to ease movements to the village. The community has used most of its community assets like quarry stones to put underneath the water across the river but this didn’t help. Vehicles hardly reach the community. They have to be packed and people cross the river on foot. With the CorpsAfrica Volunteer coming into the picture, the community is more than overwhelmed seeing their story about to change. I am quite excited to be a part of this social change and help make a significant impact throughout my integration process. With a step at a time, we are closer to finishing the project and a great story is about to be told.