Crafting an interesting and worthy end-of-build post has become increasingly difficult. Looking back I realize they sound the same. Not a bad thing, but perhaps teetering on boring. The countries are all so different, the culture and the homeowners too, but the emotions remain the same. Each time I want to tell you that we’ve labored hard and accomplished a lot – this time nearly completing two houses in 5 days. Our hearts are full of joy and the villagers we have grown to love and admire share in our joy. All true once again.
When you immerse yourself in another culture, spending time bonding with people, learning a new language, eating local foods, madly shooting photos and videos to capture our soon to be memories, intimacy can develop quickly. After many years of building houses with Global Village I have come to expect this as inherent to the experience. What I have learned is that I can only expect to feel this way if I remain open to the business of connecting.
First we must let go of what we believe we know. In the space that we create we can give in to the desire of our hearts, to be known and to know others deeply. Allowing our minds to quiet and to listen. New questions emerge. Ones that are relevant now, as one team member pointed out. “Along with the questions we feel a responsibility to participate in the answers,” he said. Right on.
Our farewell ceremony with Nnima village was as heartfelt as I anticipated. We sang, we danced (our team chose to perform the Hokey Pokey with the help of audience participation) ending our time together sharing a meal, gathered under the shade of Chilungula’s newly roofed home. A buffet of local favorites: nsima (a sticky corn flour porridge most Malawians eat daily) rice, beans, stewed goat and chicken, pumpkin greens, sweet potatoes with ground nut flour and cabbage slaw. Delicious.
To know that two more families will be living in decent shelter before the rainy season comes is particularly satisfying for our team. Needless to say, it’s comforting for Eme and Chilungula’s families too. To sleep well. This is what we expect.
If you value your sleep and want to help others have a good night’s rest, apply to be a part of a Global Village team today to expect the unexpected!