Malawi- final chapter (for now!)

The last 2 weeks after the field visit to Chitipa breezed by because we had the rest of the program’s final evaluation. Some of the sweet “lasts” included:

Last children’s class at the Baha’i Centre: I realized I never made an entry about my children’s class, but basically these are weekly spiritual education classes for children of all backgrounds that Baha’is are doing around the world. Each class focuses on a different virtue (e.g. generosity, truthfulness, kindness) and includes discussion of a quotation, a story, coloring, and a game. (My oh my how they loved the coloring!) All my kids were Malawian and the classes ranged from 8 to almost 20 children some weeks! I loved telling the stories and tried to do it so that it’d come alive for the kids. I think the kids are used to a rote-memorization style of learning in school so at first it was hard to get discussions going, but over time they opened up and their laughter and love of singing was always a highlight of my week.

The kids taught me a lot about how to discuss concepts like justice in a way that an eight-year old can relate to! The last class was one of my favorites; we were learning a quote by Baha’u’llah about truthfulness:

“Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues”

and by then I’d learned to include a hands-on example (this time using a box and books to show the importance of a strong foundation). Usually I try to make up a song to sing to the quote but that week I hadn’t had time. When we were done learning the quote though, one of the boys piped up and started singing a song to the quote that he’d made up himself on the spot! I’m really going to miss these kids 🙂  Going to keep them in my heart as I go on to India…

O Thou kind Lord! These lovely children are the handiwork of the fingers of Thy might and the wondrous signs of Thy greatness. O God! Protect these children, graciously assist them to be educated and enable them to render service to the world of humanity. O God! These children are pearls, cause them to be nurtured within the shell of Thy loving-kindness. Thou art the Bountiful, the All-Loving.

Abdu’l-Baha

Other last Baha’i events: had a lovely last Feast (held at the beginning of each Baha’i month), and the Hakimi family threw a good-bye party at their house. I felt so close to their family so it was hard to say goodbye!

Saying goodbye to my host family: I was so grateful to get to live with Ajeeba and her family. They taught me so much about Pakistani culture, it was fascinating! The last few weeks her girls wanted a bedtime story, and somehow the story “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” came to mind. If you’ve ever read that book, you’ll know it’s not complete without the awesome illustrations, so I found some of the pictures on the internet and told the story. That was another hard goodbye, I hope our paths cross again soon!

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