Volunteer Report “What I’m feeling in Malawi”


Name: Shota Suzuki
Specialty: Public Health

Living in Malawi, I think about many things every day, I feel emotions that I don't feel in Japan, and I spend my days emotionally.

I feel I have become a little stronger since I came to Malawi. There are many things I have gained. I have gained many things, such as the ability to keep a calm mind when ants nest in my house or any other creature appears. My mind is not affected by power and water cuts. I have confidence that I can live in any place in the future and the mind that does not give in to rip-offs. What I would like to gain from now on is a heart that can be kind to everyone like Malawians and a big personality that can accept anything with tolerance.
I gained some things, but I lost some things at the same time. What I lost is the on-time mind. I don't think it's good to blame others, but I am dragged down by Malawian time. Sometimes I’m told by Malawians that I am late. The other thing is cleanliness. Maybe it's just me, but I don't care anymore if I wear the same clothes for two days. If my body is sticky and my feet are black or if I can't get into the shower. I don't even know if I washed my clothes properly, but I am already satisfied with the fact that I have washed my clothes. But I think this is a positive thing, that I am adapting to Malawi.
I talk about many things with JOCVs, and we all have different problems depending on the house and the place and we are all able to adapt to those problems in different ways. We say to each other, "It's tough in his/her house", but I think that probably anyone can adapt if faced with that situation. I feel that the adaptability of human beings is infinite. I’m writing like this now, but when I first arrived in Malawi, I was not used to the inconvenient life of Malawians and I stayed at home all the time, except for activities and shopping. But now I’m getting used to this circumstance, and I am happy with it.

The biggest thing I think about when I live in Malawi is, what is happiness? Perhaps this is a theme that everyone has thought about at least once, not only in Malawi but also in other developing countries.
 What I have realised recently is that eating meals with someone is the most delicious and happy time. In Malawi, I usually spend a lot of time alone and eating meals alone. In such a situation, when I had meals with my neighbours or with JOCVs when I went up to the capital, I felt how happy it is to eat meals with someone, even after all this time.
When I am in Japan, I have friends and family nearby and can have meals with them easily and frequently. In Japan, I didn't realise how happy I was to be so close by. I also feel that there are many things that are not the norm in Japan and that I am made aware of the small things of happiness and the happiness that Japanese people have forgotten. When I think about it, I realise that happiness is not something that can be expressed in one word but is hidden here and there.
 Living in Malawi, I realise that my values had become entrenched, and I am grateful to Malawi for destroying those values in a good way. And at the same time, I feel happy that I am living in Malawi. I want to enjoy the remaining six months in Malawi using my five senses fully so that I have no regrets.


Ants nest in my house.


The sun set from my house.


Neighbour children.


Neighbours who help me.

Sns share!

  • X (Twitter)
  • linkedIn
To the list page