Malawi illuminated!

"CLTS yabweretsa mgwirizano"- CLTS has brought togetherness

Monday, August 16, 2010

but it's alright ma, it's life and life only.

I left the village this morning. Holy shit. Hardest thing I’ve ever done. What a mess of indescribable feelings I have grumbling around in my stomach. It’s a mixture of- unbelievably sad about leaving monica, absolute freedom, lifted containment from being in man’s household, sad about not being able to see Edina and Thomas grow up, and depressed that I’m losing my community.

This morning, I packed up all my stuff. I layed it all out on the bed and decided what I was going to leave behind for the fam- headlamp, work shirts, work shoes, extra toothbrushes, books. I cried and cried as I was packing. Pearson came to tell me something and saw me crying and I made him uncomfortable. Monica quietly swept, washed the dishes and cooked breakfast. Every once in a while popping her head in and saying “Sindikondwera” (I am not happy). This has been the phrase of the last three days. Her and Pearson don’t deal with sadness the way I deal with it, which is to pretend it’s not there and try to distract myself by talking about and doing other things. They’ve been bringing up that I’m leaving every hour for the last three days and I just couldn’t deal with it. I’ve had to keep from crying every time they said it. This morning Monica said “at 2 oclock Thomas is going to say “where is Kate? Maybe she’s at the hospital” at 6 oclock “where is Kate? Maybe she’s at the boma” one week “where’s Kate?” Man. it is so freaking sad that I’m leaving these folks behind. I wish I could stay with them forever.

Everyone knows how much I love tea, so we’ve had late night tea parties every night for the last week. It’s really strange to drink tea in the evening in my village, and every time you drink tea you need to have it with bread so it’s quite an expensive event. But we’ve all pitched in and it’s been ridiculously fun and well worth it. Pearson has been going to the market with his friends at night lately, so the women have been coming over for a cup and then going back to their homes. Me and monica have stayed up late chatting most nights. All of the women came over last night for tea and it was wicked. By the end of the night, most of us were falling asleep because we didn’t want it to end.

They all came over this morning and walked me to the truck today. They carried my luggage on their heads and we walked as a woman clan. Along the way I said goodbye to every house. They all asked me how I was and if I was leaving and when I’d be back. I said goodbye to every elder and all my friends. I said goodbye to all the old people knowing that they’d all be dead by the time I came back to the village. I cried the entire time and Monica talked for me. The walk was terribly sad and long. I kept telling myself that everything ends and this is just a part of growing up. Loving people and leaving people. I’m far too sensitive for this kind of goodbye.

We got to the market and loaded my stuff on the back of a truck. I cried and hugged everyone goodbye. By the time I had hugged everyone, I looked at everyone one last time and saw that most of us were fighting tears. I found comfort in this and cried some more. I hugged monica a second time and jumped on the truck. They walked away and when the truck rolled away they turned around for one last wave.

I never ever anticipated how hard it would be to leave.

Once again. Trying to think about how much Canada rocks.

Love kate


  1. Oh man, can I ever relate.
    Last night, Vero (Foster's niece) said, "But if you don't start school until September, why don't you stay for the rest of August?"

    And you know what? I don't have a good enough answer.

  2. Love, that is shit, complete and utter shit. I don't know what I can say other then I feel for you. Know that we are thinking of you over here.

  3. Kate!!! I'm going to sit down in the next few days to read your last few posts. I feel like I've fallen out of the loop, but your adventure has been truly amazing to follow so far!

    Just want to keep you posted on a show I just came across. Caribou and The Russian Futurists will be in G-town on September 15! That's the excitement of the day :-)

    I can't wait to read your posts. Lots of love!

  4. "I'm losing my community..." But believe me, you are not really losing them. Even in 10 years, you will still be part of it. The connection you've made with your host family and your friends will still be there. Everything you've learned from that community will be felt in your actions, your attitude... every day.



Engineers Without Borders Canada - Ingenieurs Sans Frontieres Canada
University of Guelph Chapter
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The views on this blog are entirely my own and do not represent the views of EWB Canada.