Three months ago, I arrived in Msamati village in Machinga district. At the time, fish and nsima made my stomach question my intentions, ripping apart sugar cane with my teeth was an impossible task, greeting someone in Chichewa felt unfamiliar, riding in a minibus was intimidating, remembering the names of all of the Traditional Authorities and types of water points made my head hurt, and my host family felt like a group a strangers.
Yesterday was my last day in Msamati, and today will be my last day in Malawi. It would be an understatement to say that this was an amazing, mind expanding, and inspiring experience. To all of those who opened their hearts, lives, and homes to me over the past three months, I send my love and thanks.
Sitting in Peter’s room as my host family prayed for my safe departure, I realize that I’ve grown a lot while being here, and have made connections with wonderful human beings.
I realize now that fish and nsima fill me up like no other food can, eating sugar cane is delicious and easy once you get the hang of it, greeting someone in Chichewa really helps build trust and connections, minibus rides are some of my most favorite adventures, the names of T/As are second nature to me now and seeing water points in the field has helped me conceptualize their designs, and my host family are far from strangers – they’re great friends. I’m going to miss this place.
Be well, and very much love.