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Habitat supporter Sharon Long led our 'See, Serve, Speak' team to Malawi earlier this summer to support our Orphaned and Vulnerable Children project. She wrote this poem about the experience.

The air is still as we land in this unique place, 
The night hides the many intricacies of that first car journey, 
Yet we are clearly somewhere very special, 
Its poignancy not fully revealed to us that first night.

 

The journey to Salima is peppered with sleep,
The road long, hot and sticky in the bus.
The Windows reveal sights yet shield us from them.
Africa in its rawness and full vibrancy.

 

Our belongings seem alien in the hotel's freshly painted rooms,
New and unfamiliar to all of us.
We are told things, what to expect, but know nothing yet.
Everything waiting to be unearthed in the Salima village dust.

 

We are welcomed like we deserve it,
Aware in our own minds that we fall short,
The touch of a friend more familiar than anything so far encountered,
So valued by those owning so little yet giving so much.

 

We work, we play, we exist in this place,
We chat, exchange smiles, handshakes.
We understand what it means to them...
Do they understand what it means to us?
Feeling useful, loved, precious?

 

We see things we haven't witnessed before, 
Seem strange to our western eyes,
Is it us who need to readjust?
The smiles, contentedness and joy indicate that it may be.
 
Friendships forged and connections made, 
We watch the dances and songs in awe.
Hard to say goodbye to the Salima dust,
Harder still to leave the faces as what they are now: photographs and memories.

 

The memories have to be more,
Not just a fleeting thought now and again,
We captured the faces in the pictures, 
Now we need to capture as many hearts as we can with their stories.

 

Interested in joining a Global Village team to Malawi? Learn more about our 2017 trip. 

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