As wonderful as it is to be back in Canada and to get to see all of my family and friends on this side of the world, leaving Malawi was one of the hardest things to come to terms with. For many months, I simply refused to acknowledge it as an option, and avoided the subject. However, when my last set of housemates left at the end of March, their final countdowns spurred my own, and the horror of having only a month left in the warm heart of Africa started to make reality set in. I am an ultimate planner, so I began to plot out exactly how I was going to pack, and make lists of all the things I still wanted to do and see. Looking back, I think there were only a few things that I was unable to squish into my last few weeks, and those were a dinner out with one close friend, and one final church-pool-jazz Sunday. (Irking me no end is the fact that my brother is spending this weekend in Malawi before heading on to Egypt, and my friends have promised to give him the Sunday experience… gahh!! Oh well, I am glad he gets to enjoy those places as well!)
The end of my time in Malawi also marks the near completion of my Bachelors degree in Environmental Science. As of Monday, I will be in class for two weeks, completing a debriefing process and preparing and presenting a final report. I will be graduating this summer with a major in International Development, and a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies. This means that decisions for the future have also been monopolizing much of my brain space over the past few months. At the beginning of the placement, my goals were to come home and complete either a Bachelors of Education or a Masters of Library and Information Science. A few months into my time in Malawi, I felt all schooled out, loved where I was, and began looking for jobs in the development sector in Malawi. I did also apply to a few universities for a B. Ed., and got into most of them, but ended up deciding not to pursue that right now.
After a long job search and a lot of research on potential online schooling options, I am pleased to be able to share that I will be returning to Malawi in August! I will be teaching Kindergarten and swimming lessons at the African Bible College Christian Academy in Lilongwe. The class will have 18 students comprised of both Malawian and international children, and I will be working with a Malawian teaching assistant. I also found out that there is an online program in the UK that is targeted at international teachers seeking accreditation, the Post-Graduate Certificate in Education. I am debating applying to complete this one-year, part-time program either this year or next.
I am ecstatic to be returning to Malawi, and am excited to contribute to the ABC ministry. I will be in class from shortly before 7am until around 12pm Monday through Friday, and will also be teaching learn-to-swim classes for an hour following that on a few days a week. The classes are extremely diverse, and I cannot wait to begin teaching the next generation of world changers! The curriculum used at ABCCA is a variety of Christian curriculums from the US, and I was lucky enough to be able to spend an afternoon discussing the curriculum and class structure with one of the current Kindergarten teachers. ABC staff members are encouraged to join in outreach ministries, and I may end up volunteering in a local crisis nursery, with a prison ministry, or in one of their other programs.
The rest of my weekly time in Malawi will continue to be busy! I will continue to be involved in the bible study group that my friend inadvertently started in the fall through conversations with other friends who had questions about faith. I will be working with my pastor to set up a website for our church and will be helping out with the worship ministry as well. I hope to also return to Dzaleka Refugee Camp regularly, to check in with the Special Needs Education Program and the Umoja Crafts group.
This exciting development means that the next three months will be busily spent finding a mission agency to sign me on and second me to the African Bible College ministry, fundraising my monthly support, and working a summer job! I will be sure to keep you updated as to developments and news as the summer progresses.
For now, it is time for me to unpack from my journey and repack to move in to school for the next two weeks (I think I may just wear all of my winter clothes in layers – brrr!). INDEVOURS – we reunite tomorrow!! Woohoo – I can’t wait to hear all of your stories and dreams for the future!
Welcome! My name is Katiana and I am a development professional pursuing my dream to live out Isaiah 1:17 to the best of my abilities. I am passionate about teaching and working with vulnerable families and children to improve their lives sustainably.
This blog is composed of my personal opinions, which do not necessarily reflect the opinion or views of institutions or organizations that I may be or have been affiliated with.