They say, ‘East or west home is best’. Indeed living far away from home can be quite enjoyable, appealing and interesting but at the same time there are other experiences that make me miss being back home. All these experiences, good and bad make one open to new things, learn other important life lessons as our late President Kamuzu Banda used to say.. ”sukulu simu Kalasi mokha.. komanso kuyenda” (You learn everywhere you go, not only in class).

Once integrated in a different society you start living an adopted regular life, you just become part of the new society and go with how they do things in their way. Remember “When in Rome do as the Romans do”. You will be surprised at the little things you miss from home, the very little things you take for granted. I am talking about the sounds of street sellers early in the morning going ”Nyemba , tomato, nkhwani ’ ( beans, pumpkin leaves) the lovely smiles of our Malawian people. Should I mention Malambe, Bwemba (baobab fruit, tamarind) and our lovely sunsets and many natural beauties. You miss everything, your friends and family.

This doesn’t mean that you are unhappy,  the reason for being away is to pursue a dream, but the fact that you are aware that you are on your own,  that’s when you start to miss the attention that you had from your family and friends and realise how valuable they are to your life.

Having to accept and fully integrate into another society and culture since you are used to your own culture can be a challenge and at times it can be very difficult to adjust to the new way of living. Since you find yourself in foreign lands with few or even no friends you try to do everything by yourself, accept different views and you tend to seize every opportunity you get to go to new places and find new friends.

Despite your reasons for being far from home, be it education, work or just greener pastures, independent living makes you grow and think better. Independent behaviour does make you more organised about your life and the way you go about other things. When you are home everything is almost done for you like paying house bills, school fees, cleaning and almost be forced to go find a job. Away from home you do all these things on your own which help you be organised both financially and mentally.

With all this being true, living far from home can take a serious turn when things don’t go as planned. Things like cold winters for those in very cold countries can be a nasty experience, you can not even feel your toes or cheeks kuli kuzizila (so very cold) since one born in a hot African country like Malawi is not bodily geared for these extreme cold conditions. Amongst other flaws, there is also an element of discrimination in other countries though positive anti-racism campaigns are on the rise.

So no matter where you go, living far away from home, could never be as nice as living at home with everything and everyone you love. When all is done and dusted I wish to have my house on a hill overseeing natural green vegetation and streams flowing, listening to the sweet songs of beautiful African birds right on my doorstep only in my motherland Malawi – The warm heart of Africa!

Now, where is my cup of coffee? I am freezing here.


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