It has been almost exactly a year since I first departed for Malawi, and about nine months have passed since leaving it. I am always thinking about the time I spent there, about the friends and places I left behind.
Leaving was difficult, I knew it would be, however coming home was harder than I could have imagined. Trying to drop myself back into the social circles I was a part of in Toronto was surprisingly distressing. I was overjoyed to see my friends again, however, during my first few weeks back, my smile felt strained and my body a bit hollow. While I am physically no longer at Dzaleka, I am convinced that a part of my consciousness will always be wandering the dusty roads of the camp, flipping from familiar face to familiar face, and wondering. I have kept in touch with some friends via email, and will even get to see a few of them again as they begin their university studies in Canada with the Student Refugee Program.
My experience in Malawi with WUSC and my partner organization JRS has only reinforced my desire to follow a career path dedicated to social justice. I’m currently living in Chile and will be here for a year building upon the skills that I developed in Malawi, splitting my time between teaching and volunteering. I will take what I’ve experienced with me as I venture forward into the world of post-graduate education and employment, and, I can only hope that in Dzaleka I’ve made a similarly positive impact, humble though it may be.