Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Mr. Chifundo Chibaka
From the beginning, I always knew that the opportunity to serve with CorpsAfrica was a chance for me to meet new people, make new relations, and expand my network. However, nothing prepared me for what was coming ahead. After settling into my community, my peers and the elderly welcomed me, but there was a 7-year-old kid who welcomed me with much joy and openness beyond my expectations. I later learned that the girl’s name was Macbeth.
The girl is very warm and friendly to me to the point that she regularly pays a visit to my house to check up on me. She also stands on the veranda of her house and waves at me whenever I am coming from my morning jogs. Whenever we meet on the road after days without meeting she will rush to me and hug me. We also usually meet at the borehole with her grandmother and sisters and we share some light conversation filled with giggles and laughter.
I recall, one particular day at the borehole, after I drew water and was heading home I heard her telling all the women gathered “awo mba sibweni bane” (he is my uncle). All the women laughed and agreed with her and said “Enya nadi mba sibweni wako” (yes indeed he is your uncle). At that moment, I was filled with pride knowing that someone had welcomed my presence in her community and embraced me as a relative.
Going to settle in new places is always hard but having people embrace your presence in their lives with joy, love, and warmth makes a stay worthwhile. This is making me grow more confident every day that my service is worthwhile and that it will be a success.