Malawi Day 8 (Thursday)

I have many favorites during out time in Malawi, and this day is certainly a favorite.  

In Malawi there are many children that dig through trash at the dump looking for food for them and their family.  Last year Elizabeth decided that she wanted to host a group of these boys instead of having a farewell meal with other people.  So Chifundo found a group of these boys (12 of them) and invited them to our house for a meal and fellowship.  

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Enjoying a wonderful meal
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Eating all they wanted
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More boys and their meal
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Enjoying their time of fellowship with us

 

He told them the day before to bathe so that they were clean.  To wear their best clothes.  And the details of when he would get them.  When he picked them up, other people yelled to the boys that we wanted to steal them, or take them away and take their blood, etc.  Crazy.  But they told the people they knew this man and it was fine.

They arrived shy.  But once we  brought out the soccer ball, their apprehension melted away.  I was introduced to them, ranging in age from 11-18.  It was a heart breaking day for me.  Throughout our time with them my heart just hurt that this group was more family then their real family.  These boys spent more time with each other than their real family.  One boy did not have any living parents.  Three had a single mother.  So hard.

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So the boys played with them – then we had a time of music and singing.  They seemed to know some songs – they definitely knew how to dance.  And they laughed.  
Next we shared with them for a bit from God’s word.  Encouraged them to follow the Lord, and to trust him.  Then we fed them!  They loved the full plates of food.  They loved the soda!

As a farewell we gave them a Walmart bag with a bar of soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, gloves, and a fidget spinner.  They were elated!!  Then we gave them all empty water bottles – that we were saving to turn in – and filled them with water – again, they were thrilled!

The plan is to continue with this particular group of boys, to host them twice a month to feed them and teach them about the Lord.  In my opinion, this follow up is the most important.  Not the feeding, but the discipling.  Knowing that we started a process that will continue with these boys is very satisfying. 

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Malawi Day 7 (Wednesday)

(Photos to follow)

Today was our next day off to the next village.  This particular day we were not going into one particular village to meet with all sorts of people.  Instead, we met with Daniel so we could encourage his beekeeping club.  He started his club last year.  In this club they try to work together and learn from each other. 
We brought a langstroth hive box to show them and we talked about how to get started and all about bees.  There were about 6 current beekeepers, but about 20 people who did not have bees yet.  

Then, we trekked over to Daniel’s bees and Jacob and Elizabeth suited up with Daniel and went into one of the hives.  Interesting to say the least!  The hive was very strong, and quite aggressive.  When they opened the hive some of the wax the bees built came off, which is very disturbing to them, and we think this increased their anger toward the intruders.

A couple people were stung, but I think they enjoyed the experience.

On our way home we went into town to purchase a bicycle.  One occupation here is to be a bicycle taxi driver.  The men sit and wait for someone to hire them, then they drive them to their desired location.  One man that Chifundo is diciplining is Blessing.  This man borrows a bike to use and has to pay most of his earnings to the owner each day.  So The Elephant wanted to buy this man a bicycle so he can use ALL the money he earns for his family.  A bicycle here is about 60,000 Kwatcha which is about $83 US dollars.

Then we tried again to figure out the visa for Lucy.

We picked up a man, Lawrence, and I was excited to know that he knows many of our friends to include Nathan Lorick and Grant Parker!  He went to the hotel with us to try and help us figure it out.  It did not work – so we had to trust that another day we could figure it out.

It was a busy day and a good one.  Going into bees and teaching about them is one of our favorites.  For the residents in Dowa it was a great time to learn more about what goes on inside the hive and more about the honey bee in general.  We also gifted them some money that a fellow beekeeper in East Texas gave us to help their club purchase a bee suit.

Malawi Day 5 & 6 (Monday, Tuesday)

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This day we were supposed to all head to the hospital to prep & paint the maternity ward.  However, since the weekend was non-stop, Elizabeth decided to leave us at home to sleep a bit while she went with some of the guys here to prep and get everything ready.  Fortunately for us, Chifundo knows a painter and he met them there as well.  They were able to prep and paint the entire room (full of people) in one day.

The interesting part of this adventure was that the room was occupied while they painted.  The beds were filled with children.  So first, before prepping started, they had to move beds from one side of the room to the other.  Prepped that side and painted it, then moved the beds back.  Next, they moved the beds from the other side of the room out of the way and prepped and painted that side.  Talk about some back breaking work!  

It was a success though and looked so much better!  They were able to talk with some of the patients as well.  Elizabeth brought over some knit gloves and fidget spinners and she shared some of these with the patients and families who were at the hospital.

Meanwhile back at home, the boys and I got some much needed sleep and a little down time.  We downloaded pictures (lots of them) and I tried to start writing notes on our adventures.

Day 6 (Tuesday)

Today was scheduled to be day #2 at the hospital painting.  However since they were so efficient yesterday we got to play today.  Tuesday is also half price pizza at a pizza place in town.  Last year Jacob enjoyed the pizza here and wanted to take us too.  Nearby is a hotel that has wifi you can pay to use as well.  So that was our day.  We hung out at the hotel and got our wifi fix!  

We also started filling out a visa application for Lucy so she can come to the US to visit and raise support for the Elephant and all that they are currently doing in Malawi.

This is the day I was able to post some photos to Facebook and updates on my blog!  Some evidence of all that we were doing!

Part of my day was going with Chifundo to an internet cafe too – no what I was expecting!  Think closet with dividers and about 4 feet of personal space to sit at a computer.  If a room could hold 4 computers with people comfortably, they had about 10 spots!  It was crazy too me!  Men in suits in there (doing work?), youth (doing school?) and then just regular people.  It was another adventure!!

But we were not able to figure out the Visa application, so we planned to tackle that again another day!

Pizza was fun, and different.  We ordered Peri Peri Chicken, BBQ Beef, Chicken Tika, and Boerworse (meat & tomato).  The fun part was that our driver Cryton experienced pizza with us, for his first time!  The funniest part was he was using a knife and fork!  This is funny because they eat with their hands all the time!!  

After pizza we ordered some ice cream from a restaurant called Steers!  (This Burger King, but they do not do it your way)  This was Cryton’s first Ice cream too.  The sweetest part was he saved some to take home to his 2 year old daughter!  It was a great night!

 

Africa Travels

 

Flying to Africa was not nearly as daunting as I expected.  The flight from DC to Ethiopia went faster than I thought it would.  Jacob told me last year he had a number of movies to choose from to watch and there were.  Watching movies helps make the time pass faster!

They feed you a lot too, so that helps.  The interesting thing is that as soon as you get on the plane they start treating you like you are in the time zone of Ethiopia.  By this I mean, they serve you supper then turn the lights off, then they turn them back on about 8 hours later and serve breakfast.  They are intentionally helping you reverse your clock.  Unfortunately for me I was not able to sleep much.  But the flight was not bad.

We landed in Ethiopia and then had to catch our flight to Lilongwe.  The Ethiopian airport was full of all sorts of people from all walks to life.  There are about 10% of the chairs that there should be, so be prepared to stand while you wait here.  We tried to exercise our legs a bit and walk around a little, but the layover was not too long so it went quickly.

Finally we arrived in Lilongwe and had to go through the Visa process – which was the worst part of the trip.  We stood in a line that hardly moved for about 90minutes waiting to get a visa to come in the country.

Once that was over, we found all of our bags (which I was pleasantly surprised about) and headed out to find Chifundo.  We loaded up and started the drive to the house.

Lucy and Chifundo have a house with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  It is inside a walled courtyard.  It is a nice house and fit all of us very comfortably.  We unpacked the car and got settled in before venturing out for groceries.

All this to say, the trip over here was good and we arrived safe and sound!