On our last day, we had one last tour of Lilongwe; we visited one more orphanage, the memorials for Malawi’s first president, and a nature preserve. Our farewell dinner, however was the highlight of my day.
Delicious, traditional Malawian food was served on torch-lit tables underneath a crystal-clear, starry sky. We were entertained by dancers, who taught us traditional dances, and a band that put their own African twist on familar songs. When I was asked to join the band, only one of my songs came to mind: Dream Big Dreams.
This whole trip has been about dreaming big. For some of us, this trip was a life-long dream realized. Mr. Tony Kline, our Ball State instructor, trudged through many obstacles to coordinate this trip in such a short amount of time. But taking students to work with an orphanage in a developing counrty was a dream of his, and he saw it through.
The children at Mtendere Village now have the capabilities of following their dreams. Because of the donors and volunteers that make Mtendere possible, these children are given the possibility of escaping extreme poverty. Children like Tonnex, my 12-year-old tutoring partner dreams to be an ambassador so that he can help the people of Malawi. The opportunities given to him by Mtendere Village make it possible.
For me, this experience has caused me to dream even bigger. With this background, I am now thinking about how I can further help the children in Mtendere as well as children in similar situations around the world. Without this trip, I surely would not have thought about traveling with a purpose, or volunteering in this capacity.
Farewell Malawi. Thank you for the lessons you have taught me.
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