Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Lucy Chihana
This month I decided to take some days off from my site, take that vacation, get some of my things done, and visit my friends and family. I went all over: Zomba, Blantyre, Lilongwe, Dedza and finally Dwangwa the place that made me. I couldn’t wait to share my site experiences with my parents and show them the videos, pictures, my successful stories as well as failed project frustrations. It sucks to invest so much in a thing and just watch it all crumble anyway that’s something I will probably share next month.
My parents had so many questions about my staying alone and had this crazy idea to hire someone to stay with me. Well, I told them I needed no babysitter, and they said I looked “skinny”. They were so inquisitive about everything and we concluded that they were dropping me off at my site so they can see my house, and meet my new family and friends. On the 21st August, we started off by 4:30 Am and by 10 Am we were at my site. We went to my host family’s place first and we were there for close to 40 minutes and then drove to my house and our plan was that they will have lunch at my house. Well, despite being at my house for 2 hours things didn’t actually turn out as we planned because we had an influx of people coming in and out to greet them, and I was all caught up in this making introductions and ended up having a failed lunch. One of the things that made me very happy about this day was what my dad said “my place is far much better than how it got started” I was very proud of myself. My mum was busy looking at my so called kitchen and making comments. I know she was impressed with what I did with this bedsitter place.
After my family left I was invited to an initiation ceremony celebration. I have never been to any sort of an initiation ceremony, therefore l was a bit skeptical about attending until my neighbor talked me into going and yes I did. I think everyone I know from this village so far was there. I never regretted attending because I also caught up with all these incredible people. There was music, dancing, a lot of food and excitement. I also learned a lot about initiation ceremonies this day. One thing that stood out is that these celebrations are a “graduation.” Thus it makes their parents very proud. Every newly initiated person wears new clothes, new shoes and showered with money and gifts as they embark on a new journey of life.
Volunteering is about sacrifice. You should be willing to leave your comfy zone and do things as they are expected of you to best suit your environment, trust me its not easy at all but it’s all worth it. Touching other peoples lives, making a difference, and learning how other people live, it does change the way you see the world somehow. Its actually healing to know that there still good people left in the world who go out of their way just to help out without expecting anything in return. I once came across this piece and I thought its lovely and worthy sharing but I don’t know who wrote it. 🙁