Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Mr. Kaitano Maison
I have had a very wonderful stay on my site since I got here. I remember in my very first days, I could have neighbors greeting me each morning as the sun rose. To top that, my host family has been very supportive. They have made me feel so comfortable and welcomed in the community. I have built a very strong bond with my host family, especially my host brother.
I have had numerous walks in the community appreciating nature as well as the assets that the community has. I have been doing all this escorted by my host brother. My favorite so far has been a traditional dance called “Bwanyanga” which is a Gule Wamkulu dance (Big Dance). The community members value this Traditional dance as one way the community members build strong bonds among themselves and entertain themselves. Being part of the audience, I have managed to build strong relationships with the community members.
I have found myself to be useful in the community apart from my day-to-day duties as a CorpsAfrica Volunteer. I have been Tutoring my Host Brother in different subjects including English Grammar, Physics, and Chemistry. This has given me an opportunity to find myself useful and support the people I live with.
I have had an opportunity to assist my host family in their farmland. We sow maize, pumpkin seeds, and groundnuts for two consecutive days. It was a very wonderful experience to be able to help my host family. My host family was very happy that I rendered my hand. My host mother expressed her gratitude and said she did not expect me to put myself in a position of doing any farm work. This has strengthened my relationship with my host family. We openly chant and laugh together. My stay has been amazing so far.
I have been able to conduct community meetings, regardless that most people are busy in their farmlands. People being present regardless of their busy schedules strongly shows that they are committed and willing to develop themselves. “This young man is very humble, approachable, and friendly and from now on I take him as my brother” proclaimed the Group Village Headman in his remarks. Such kind words have made me forge forward and focus on how best I can work with the community members.
All these occurrences have helped me build trust with/ and among community members. They have accepted me as theirs and I have settled so well in my community. My integration process has been rewarding and now, I look forward to more that is coming throughout my CorpsAfrica Service.