Friday, December 15, 2017

Host Home, Host Home.

When I first heard someone say ‘your host home’, a lot of thoughts came to mind. I was asking myself a lot of questions: what will my host home look like? How will the people in my host home treat me? Fear grasped me, I was very disturbed. I kept asking myself questions, people were gushing their opinions about Sandema – specifically that the cost of living was high. I was going to a community I have never been to, ‘Oh Gosh!’ I thought to myself. ‘How can I stop all these fears when I don’t believe I have the self-confidence, strength or courage?’ I said to myself. ‘I must do the things that I think I cannot do!’
Then, we arrived in Sandema and my host mum, Madame Faustina, came for us. The funniest part of it all was when I was told I would be sharing with the boys. Oh my Gosh (OMG) you should have seen my face. My face looked like I had smelt three-day old faeces, ooh gosh! Then I remembered what I said to myself, ‘nothing is impossible in this world.’

Madame Faustina
Photo credit: Soji
I opened the door to my host home and moved gently to my personal room, the room next door was for the boys. I sat on my bed and asked myself, why me? When all my friends are living with their female counterparts. Then finally I gave up with all my negative thinking and started to take things the way they were. Life is not to be feared nor scared of what is to become, you must make peace with the present. Life is to be embraced, to be the best you can possibly be, and to live the life you dare to dream without any fears.
Speaking from the present now, my host home makes me happier than my personal home. I have a lot of fun with my counterparts, Soji and Barnabas.  They make me happier than any other person. I have learnt a lot from my host mum as well, she taught me how to cook local food. Now I understand why they say ‘when one isn’t at peace nothing makes sense’. I have now realised that happiness cannot come to you when you always have negative thoughts about yourself or worry about what others may say.
I am very grateful for International Service. The project has helped me a lot, both academically and socially. I have so many stories to tell my parents, friends and my sister. Sometimes, I just have to understand that my emotion derives from where my focus is being directed. God knew that this was going to be good for me that is why he kept me here. I used to listen to what others said, and life was directed by others. But now, I am going home to be a different Safia.

Me, Barnabas and Soji
Photo credit: Kate Glover
The LIFE project has helped wake me up from my dream. I never thought it would feel so good to work with people with disabilities. However, now I have experienced the kind souls of those with disabilities, and simultaneously my self-confidence has grown. All the adversity I have faced in my life, all my troubles and obstacles have strengthened me. I just was not realising it when it happened, but now I realise that a good kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.
My host home made my ICS placement unbelievable. I cannot imagine my ICS placement without my new brothers, they bring joy into my life every blessed day. They make me feel more comfortable than ever. Sometimes we sit down and talk about important issues about the future. To Soji and Barnabas, I want to say that I don’t know how my life would be without you guys. Additionally, my lovely friend and colleague Sandra, I want to say thank you so much for making my ICS volunteering a successful one. 

Written by Safia

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