Takulandirani New Home!


My name is Karoline and I´m 22 years old. I have been living in Lolongwe, Malawi lately. Today I was heading downtown, in a crowded van which its limit would be 12, but we were 19 people in it, counting a young babe that was asleep on his mother´s lap despite of hot weather, noises coming from the busy street and a chaotic traffic. This scene got me seriously thinking how I have got myself in here.
This is my first international journey. This is the first time I spend over a month away from home, away from my parents´ protection, away from my dearest friends. I had studied over 4 years at college before coming here, it would take me only 6 more months to graduate in architecture. I postponed this dream in order to face all the experiences this journey would give me. Facing a foreing country and a foreign language – I have never studied English before, spending my daily routine with other people from diferente parts of the planet, different cultures, this was a great challenge for myself.
It has been more complicated than I thought it would be. Missing my Family, my friends, this is the worst part now ´cause I got my heart aching in such a way that it seems to move me away from where I am now, the place where I am supposed to stay and enjoy every single second. But for every moment I keep remembering my life back in Brazil, this opportunity fulfills me with special moments full of such a kind of love which shows me exactly why how worthy it is to be in here living all this.
Stepping outside the front gate and be warmed and welcomed by several children greeting me, an usual handshake provides a boom of large smiles, laughter not to mention all the happiness it brings tom y heart. It´s just magical. Surreal. It makes me feel warmed and welcomed, it makes me feel speacial in many ways, juts for being here.
Every time my instruments weight along my path to Music Crossroads and my arms and back start aching, there is Always a lady carrying a heavy bucket of water on her head comeing in my direction, like all that weight wasn´t enough, seh also carries her baby wraped around her body by a “chitenje” on her back and she doesn´t show any expression of pain or tireness, right the opposite, her face shows strenght and resilience – both of what we all need the most in our everyday.
On my way to school it´s Always something really interesting. In here there is no pavement or good streets. Everywhere smells like a farm with children playing on the street, staring at us in curiosity, improvised small tables with people selling tomatões and onions in the front of the houses, shortcuts throught other people´s back Yard (mosto f houses haven´t got any walls, fences or gates). It´s interesting to highlight here how it´s possible to change Malawian´s look by curiosity by just greeting them in Chichewa, resulting in large smiles like they´re saying: “ you are welcome here”. And if you commit any mistake in their language, they´ll laugh in such a way you won´t feel embaressed at all, on the other hand, you´ll laugh with them as well.
The dry season is ending and green shades are taking over the landscape. Trees are regaining life with very green leaves, providem cool shadow to cool down the heat. By the way, the hot weather here is really intense but it doesn´t bother me, my hometown is as boiling as in here. Missing Presidente Prudente!
Going to bed demands a whole process to be observed, due to mosquitos we must take good attention in order not to have any bite. Malaria is something people is really scaried in here. After all precautions done, it´s time do lay down to rest but even tough it´s possible to hear the mosquitões buzzing and this is terrible but part of the game.
I believe this might be small for you Reading this text but it´s just a wee bgit of what we have been through here as the days go by. It´s really stressing to deal and live with other people from different cultures. I have been living with two Norwegian, two Mozambicans e a girl from Malawi. It´s shocking to face all the diferences but funny, I am Always learning somemthing new and when we finish a performance on the stage, this makes everything count.
I am really thankful for everything that has been happening to me now and everything that is about to happen.
Zikomo Kwambiri!

Karoline Ribas
Karoline Ribas

Karoline, 22, a student of architecture and urbanism from Universidade do Oeste Paulista UNOESTE, percussionist of Bateria Desestrutura formed by volunteer university students, former student of the Guri Project where she attended from 2008 to 2011 developing violin skills and vocal technique. Now she is in Malawi representing Brazilian culture through percussion.

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