Malawi

Stories from Malawi

Every Peace Corps Volunteer has a story to tell. Read stories from Volunteers about what it's like to live and work in Malawi.

1–10 of 74 results

barbershop

My Peace Corps journey began in March 2013 when I left my home in Arkansas for the warm heart of Africa – Malawi.

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Malawian farmers stand proudly in front of their food garden crops

“Will you help us?” That is the question that accompanies most of the conversations that I have every day, but as a decided idealist, I try my best to always say yes. Life in Malawi can be a challenge, but more often than not it is a rewarding country to live and work in. 

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Malawian women with colorful skirts gather to welcome new Trainees outside of a school house

I was raised in a progressive household in a progressive country by progressive parents who fought to afford me the best opportunities possible. 

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Two Malawian females walk down a beautiful, and orange flower-filled village path carrying wood on their heads

My abode sits in a little nook within the confines of my school’s campus, protected by tall walls made of brick and shaded by the canopy of fruit frees: mango, papaya, and banana. You can sprawl out on my front porch, close your eyes, and hear nearly everything. 

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Five Response Volunteers stand infront of the Lilongwe airport with their luggage

Peace Corps service has been a lifelong dream of mine. And I mean Peace Corps’ life, not mine…because I am older than the Peace Corps!

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Two Malawian sit together and write in notebooks in a classroom.
So why did someone with a degree in writing not immediately start writing about this, the experience of a lifetime, Peace Corps, the Olympics of international volunteering in the US? Doesn’t every writer dream of having something like this to inspire them?
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A male Volunteer sits with three Malawian campers under a tent outside.

As I climb in the tuk-tuk (a small motorized covered almost-tricycle-like thing—you know what, just google it, this is a bad description), I ask the driver “how much?” in Chichewa. He answers and then I get in. Then the familiar question comes: “How long have you been in Malawi?” “Chaka chimodzi,” I answer. One year.

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Volunteer Erica and their counterpart bend over a hole to plant a tree sapling.
On a day exactly like all the other days endlessly chained together during pre-service training – a literal lifetime ago – I found myself innocuously sitting in the grass near the football grounds in our training villag. I had sat in that spot, give or take a few feet, on several weekend afternoons doing the same thing, taking a well-earned break from day-in-day-out trainings and the rigors of village life. I was sitting among other trainees, some were studying language, others were reading, chatting, stretching out with some yoga, or playing ultimate frisbee out on t... Read More
An older female Volunteer teaches a older Malawian female how to ride a bike
I am sitting at my brand new table, hand-made by the local carpenter in front of my living room window overlooking a sea of jungle green that grows between my front porch and the tarmac.
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Peace Corps Malawi Volunteer running to hug her host mother

I stare at the smoking mbaula with complete frustration. My watch beeps, signifying that, yes, 9am is here and, yes, I have tried to meticulously light this fire for the past hour. All I want are eggs for breakfast, but it seems like I will be drinking my coffee with charcoal smoke and an empty stomach.

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