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From Saint Victor to Malawi and Back Again

Saint Victor alum Andrew Date ‘04 shows the students native clothing from Malawi.

What do our students do after they graduate? Teachers and administrators ask themselves this question every day. During a recent assembly, teachers and students at Saint Victor School received an answer. Andrew Datu, who graduated from Saint Victor in 2004 visited his alma mater to tell about his experience in the Peace Corps.

After graduating from Bellarmine College Prep and UC Irvine, he worked as a lab manager and performed undergraduate research. During his first year as a post grad, he applied for the Peace Corps. After he was accepted, Andrew learned he would be moving to Malawi, a small, landlocked country in southeastern Africa. Andrew lived in Malawi for 3 years teaching biology and physics at a secondary school. He also worked to share American culture with the surrounding community.

The students were captivated by the beautiful pictures on Andrew’s slideshow and his mastery of Chichewa, one of the national languages of Malawi. One of his slides was a script of a typical greeting in Malawi between two people. He asked students to choose a partner and practice the greetings and responses in Chichewa. Andrew explained that the Malawian people are a warm and welcoming people – even to strangers.

After his main presentation to the student body, Andrew visited each classroom answering students’ questions. Their interests ranged from what types of food he ate in Malawi to questions about cultural differences.

After his classroom visits, Andrew sat down with the Development Office to recall his days at Saint Victor. Volleyball tournaments, reading the Chronicles of Narnia, and serving on Student Council were some of his favorite memories. Andrew’s Peace Corps service continues even after he has left Malawi. He is currently raising funds to help complete the construction and furnishing of a girls’ hostel.

To donate and find out more, visit www.youcaring.com/chikwawacommunitydaysecondaryschool-1084913.