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 70 results

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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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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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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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
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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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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Two Malawian women wash clothes at a borehole
I don’t think a place on earth exists where people don’t talk about water.
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A group of teachers in Malawi hold hands in a line as they do a team building activity outside
I was exhausted as I prepared for my journey to a refugee camp in central Malawi in order to train teachers on teamwork and collaboration.
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A teacher in Malawi teaches young children in a small classroom
I feel like my personality changes a bit when I speak in Chichewa and others have told me similar things about their own experiences speaking other languages. I make an attempt to speak in the way those around me speak and, in that way, integration and adapting to the environment around me becomes easier. Of course, I can never be Malawian. But I can try my best to understand, as an outsider, to fit in and become a member of the village and part of the extended family of community.
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