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The Little Things

Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Mr. Dingaan Kafundu

My CorpsAfrica service is actually coming to an end. It’s crazy how fast a year goes by. I am in my last week in my community and can’t help but think about some of the things I have seen that have impressed me the most during my service. There’s the community involvement, my professional and personal growth, and the fact that I feel I have become a better leader. But what I feel has impressed me the most has been the kids and how they don’t let the rural–urban divide ruin their childhood fun.

From the outside looking in, you would think that due to a lack of general technology and equipment and infrastructure, etc., the children in rural communities may not have as much fun as their better off urban counterparts. This is not the case. It’s amazing how creative and innovative the kids can be. I believe they are much more creative than those in the city due to what they make out of what they have. I would wake up early in the morning to the sounds of kids laughing and playing while driving in their cardboard cars. They would use the sand outside my house and pretend to be the azungu they see hiking the mountains around them. I would walk to the market and find a bunch of kids running away from a herd of sheep with huge smiles on their faces, pretending their running from a pack of lions. It’s all in the little things.

If I could pick out one moment that really stuck out for me, it would be this young 11-year-old boy I met while taking a walk through the community. I found this little boy collecting marbles and well, I figured, he simply wanted to play a game of marbles. This was before I saw him leave the marbles and go on to pick up a bunch sticks. The kid pretty much had my full attention at this moment. He then went on and found an old scrappy cardboard board and put it on top of an old tin. I still had not figured out what exactly he was planning on doing. He then put the marbles on the board, picked up the small sticks and lay them on the board, picked up a bigger stick and then it hit me, little man had built himself a makeshift pool table. It did not stand up straight nor did the marbles behave but did he care? Not in the least. He was having the time of his life.

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