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.

41–50 of 108 results

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 village.
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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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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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Looking on at some zebra at the wildlife reserve where I was posted for my Peace Corps service.

My transition from Peace Corps to Peace Corps Response felt natural.

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Storm clouds accumulate over a grey Lake Malawi
It has been stifling hot for days. The kind of hot where you can’t tell where your skin ends and the hot dusty air begins.
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