Learning to Play Again in Chimpampa Village

Day 8 - Chimpampa Village

Since today is Saturday, our normal routine of breakfast and then chapel was changed. Instead, we had a quick meeting, then Rachel decided we’d have a ‘slow’ morning before heading to Chimpampa village for the rest of the day. So, we headed to Shop Rite, the huge (and probably only) store by ABC’s campus to get coffee and relax. We all got our treats and sat at tables outside the store and just took a breather while chatting. The kids had exhausted us from the week!

I had the chance to sit by Rachel and ask her some deep questions about faith. She explained to me what it’s like for her to hear God speak, which is something, along with prayer, that I’ve really been working on. The chat over ice cream and a latte filled me up spiritually. Now all I want is to learn more and dive deeper into my faith. Also side note, the ice cream in Malawi is strangely so delicious, I’m not sure what on earth they put in it but I can’t stop eating it. I mean, I can’t stop eating ice cream when I’m at home either, but that’s besides the point.

A few more french fries later and we were off to Chimpampa village. Today would be no ordinary day in the village spent teaching 80 plus kids. Instead, we were spending the day simply “being” with everyone. There was a huge soccer tournament going on so in-between cheering on the ABC students, like Henry or Aubrey who were playing, we milled around the village. 

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I also spent time playing netball with the girls, which is essentially basketball without dribbling and that I actually think I have some talent in. I say that pretty loosely because like my dancing skills, my athleticism is pretty low. Watching all of us American girls attempt (key word attempt) to play the girls from the village who quite possibly play this every day of their lives was, well... entertaining, to say the least. I’m pretty sure I accidentally fouled a teenage girl more times than I’d care to admit. In my defense, I was wearing an overstuffed backpack and Chitenje, which is the traditional skirt that all women in villages wear, not quite so optimal for running around and trying to catch a ball.Aside from showing off how clumsy I am via sports, I also tried goat for the first time. Yes, goat. Good news, it tastes like any other meat.

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On top of all this excitement, Kiri and I also round ourselves claimed by a little toddler who held our hands and proudly walked us around that village all day. He walked us so far that eventually we ended up at his house, where we met his big sister. She told Kiri to “draw a picture,” so Kiri, being as sweet as ever, started confusedly looking around for a stick to use as a pencil in the dirt before we realized that she was asking for us to TAKE a picture with her. I laugh even now as I write this days later.

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The whole day was just incredible. It felt so freeing to not have an agenda and to just be able to be present and not worried about finishing a task. This day also went down as one of my favorites because for the first time in years I got to act like a child and play. I danced around like a fool, threw that netball with no regard to how unskilled I was and let myself just be myself. I’m so grateful for that time.