There is so much to talk about, it’s a little overwhelming. I’ll have a separate post for our 40 hour bus ride from JoBurg to Blantyre, because that was an adventure in and of itself, and deserves it’s own story.
The house at World Camp is as I remembered it, though the couches have been re-covered. John (our house caretaker/dad/jack of all trades) is still here and still as wonderful as always. He makes delicious enchiladas, and knows where to find everything, how to fix everything, and pretty much… everything else. He is a font of information. I learned that, after his Uncle, he’ll be chief of his village next! It’s mostly a legal position, settling disputes and enforcing rules and law, and he’s not totally keen on it. But I think he’ll be wonderful.
Eating here has been better than I remember. I’m also much braver than last time, and have no problem strolling into the small market across the street, or the large one down the street, and getting my veggies and fruit. A huge pineapple is 250MK (250 kwacha = $1 USD), a huge papaya is 250MK, a football (American) sized avocado is 100MK, five tomatoes are 100MK, etc. We’re eating wonderfully, and we’ve both lost weight. Less processed food, more healthy food!
I’m healthier than I have been, as well! Not a single illness to be seen (cross your fingers). I’m not so brave as to go drinking out of the tap, but I haven’t gotten sick once. A HUGE improvement over the last time.
We visited Mchezi, the village we’re working in, as well as Malikha, a smaller village where the PEA (an education liason) is working. We have a big meeting tomorrow with headmasters, chiefs, etc. in order to fill them in on the work that we’re starting. It’ll be really neat to see everything tomorrow, as this is really Sean and Reinier’s forte, not mine. I will get to help with headmaster interviews, but beyond that I’m just a pretty face.
In the week and change since we’ve gotten here (last Saturday), we’ve had our hot water go out, the power go out, a giant fire next door, a bbq in the front courtyard (on purpose), my birthday, a village visit and a homestay, went to a wildlife sanctuary in Lilongwe, visited the Malawi parliament building, and took about a million trips to the market for fresh food. It’s been exhausting, and there’s still a lot of work to do before the volunteers get here. I’ll be working on photos, because I know that’s what everyone really wants to see.
Also, the first night we were here, we went out for a green (Carlsberg, as it’s locally known) and food and I forgot to put bugspray on. I have (no exaggeration) two dozen mosquito bites on ONE LEG. I took a picture to show everyone, but it’s so gross that I just sent it to my parents instead. Really. And horribly itchy. And I got one on the bottom of my foot. Do you know how badly that itches when you have shoes on? AWFUL.
So goes life in Malawi!