How long will you be gone for?
I will be gone for 27 months. There are 3 months of pre-service training, and then two full years of service.
How do you get water?
I head on down to my local borehole and pump it into a bucket, then carry it on my head back to my home.
Where is Malawi?
Malawi is a small country in Southeast Africa. It is landlocked, but most of its eastern side is bordered by a large lake.
Do you have to learn a new language?
I *get* to learn a new language! 😉 The official language of Malawi is actually English, and secondary school classes are taught primarily in English. However, most of the people I will be living alongside will speak mainly local languages. I’m learning Chichewa, and I’m very excited. Although it may seem “nerdy” to some of you, I love studying languages.
Where do you go to the bathroom?
This question, or a variation of it, is the one I get asked most frequently, for some reason. I don’t have a toilet, but there’s a hole in the ground called a chimbudzi, and I have plenty of opportunities to practice squats!
Why did you choose Malawi?
I honestly believe that Malawi actually chose me. I had never heard of it prior to beginning my research about the Peace Corps, but after reading through tons of different postings, I came across one in Malawi, and I just knew it was the right one for me.
Where do you live?
I’m currently living with a family during training, and I have my own little house inside their family’s compound. After training, I will move to my permanent site which is TBD.
What’s the weather like in Malawi?
Right now, it’s actually dreamy! Sunny and 80 during the day, and it gets pretty cool at night and into the mornings. During the rainy season, which will begin around October or November, it storms pretty much every day, which I’m actually looking forward to, because I’m missing summer thunderstorms. But it’s much warmer during rainy season, so I’m trying to enjoy this weather while I’ve got it!
What’s the food like in Malawi?
What I’ve had so far has been pretty bland, but my host family likes to make up for that by dumping mountains of salt on their food. I elect to not do that. We eat lots of rice and nsima (mix corn flour and water together, heat until thick, and form into patties), chicken, beef, soya pieces, and greens. My amayi (host mom) knows that I love hard boiled eggs, so I usually have about four of those on any given day!
Do you plan to travel to other parts of Africa while you’re there?
Yes! I don’t know how many places I’ll actually be able to go to, but I have a few that are at the top of my list. I sponsor a little girl named Jackline through Compassion, and I would love to go to Uganda to meet her! I’ve also wanted to visit Cape Town, South Africa for awhile, and now my friend Abbey lives there, so I’m hoping to be able to visit her! I also really want to go to the Indian Ocean and Mt. Kilimanjaro, so a visit to Tanzania seems like a definite possibility (especially since it’s right next door to Malawi)!
If you have any additional questions, feel so free to reach out and ask! 🙂