I was in awe of the way the women would work in their fields with a baby on their backs all day. Often toddlers would be sitting nearby watching while their mother was working. I watched as they would use their “khasu” or shovel, to prepare each row in their fields. The strength and endurance of a Malawian woman is impressive. A mother’s role in Malawi is vast. I am in awe at their ability to manage all aspects of their life. I have met so many mothers in Malawi from every walk of life- from villagers to business women-and they all seem to have incredible strength, endurance, resilience and love.
I casually mentioned to one of my team members that I wanted to take one of the shovels home to remind me of the women I had come to know and admire.
On our final night, the team presented this incredible khasu to me as a thank you. It was really powerful to receive a gift like that. It was a very emotional experience and one I will never forget. The words they spoke that night will always be remembered. It was a moment I knew that my dream of having people feel emotionally connected to Malawi was real…Malawi is so memorable and I love having my khasu hang above my mantel to always remember the incredible women of Malawi.
Life isn’t supposed to be about gifts, but this gift has powerful meaning to me.
Nice gesture, and yes, African women do work very hard indeed!