What community means to me

mozambique what community means to me
By Gabriela Carmo
March 7, 2016

I don’t believe I ever realized the true importance of community until I came to Mozambique.

I had a community back home that challenged, encouraged, loved, and supported me. But here, in a small dirt yard shared by four families and myself, I’ve found deeper meaning in community. Here, it means we actually do life together, day in and day out. 

We wash clothes together, carry water together, cook together. There is never a need that cannot be fulfilled; from hot coals to light a dead fire, to an extra onion or two, there is always someone to help you. We take turns going to the market for each other, we take care of each other’s children, feeding, clothing, bathing them. 

But most importantly, we sit together. 

We sit in silence. We sit in the shade. We laugh as children play. We complain of the heat and the market prices. We teach each other to dance, and we teach each other words in Nyanja and English. We live our lives, always together. 

I'm learning not to underestimate the value of community, those people who will carry you when you’ve fallen, comfort you when you’ve lost, laugh with you, care for you, and walk with you. I learn from my community each day and, as I begin to discover more about myself and life in Mozambique, my gratitude for them only expands. I never imagined that life could be so full with so little. I am living with infinitely more than I thought I would be when I first came to live in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Gabriela Carmo