Malawi, Emily

Emily Worked as a Teacher in Malawi


Taken from Emily’s blog

A Second Home
Posted on May 24, 2013

Everyday seems to fly by. I wake up and head to school and then before I know it I am pulling the mosquito net around my bed and slipping into my sleeping bag. Time used to play with my mind, tease my emotions and make it feel as if I was stuck in a time warp at Mountain View. Now the days have decided to run away from me.

Yesterday, the two German volunteers, headed off and started their journey back home. Catching a glimpse of the inside of the airport and the security check point, I realized how bittersweet going back to the USA will be. Mountain View and Malawi feel like home. Because of this, in recent weeks I have struggled to keep up with my writing. At first, I thought I was just being lazy but learned I struggle to write because everything is… well….ordinary. And this is not to say that ordinary is bad. I have become so accustomed to Malawian culture and am not surprised when things are slow, chaotic and just a tad unorganized. I am not fazed when there is no water and the electricity goes out. Ruby and I just pull out the candles, light the charcoal burner, fill buckets of water and laugh, wondering how long the power will be out this time.

The simplicity of life allows you to enjoy the long walks to the market, heartfelt conversations with people and the generosity of the community. I have learned that a lot of things that seemed a big deal at home are almost meaningless. Looking at facebook and seeing people worry about their unknown roommate and what color their prom dresses are I just have to laugh and hope they see the bigger picture.

On a lighter note, I have been spending a lot of my free time with a local friend. While her mother is away at a teacher training course and her father is often in Blantyre, she has been the head of the house. Having just finished secondary school and is waiting for her exam results, she takes care of her younger brothers, cousin, the house work and chores… all at the age of 17. Last week we laid all the maize out on mats in the yard to dry and then gathered it in bags before it became dark. She has taught me to make African cake, as well as carry buckets on my head. Everyone has become used to seeing me in her household. Her cousin who lives with the family, just smiles hello when she returns from school. She sings and dances around me as I help around the house. Her younger brother, age 5, runs around yelling my name and speaking Chichewa hoping I will play with him. Their family in a way have become my second family. Their mother loves to have me over for dinner and is someone I can go to if I need a “second mom”. Recently, I have even thought of remaining at Mountain View when school ends on July 12 until my flight on July 29th. These two weeks would allow me to spend more time with them and the community at Mountain View, something I may not get a chance to do again.