Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tinalandilidwa Ndi Manja Awiri

"We were welcomed with two hands"

Chuck's puppies....last one, I swear!

One of my old landlord's (right) cows. I do not enjoy being close to an animal that could break my femur without trying very hard. Can't wait to see some elephants!!

That tea you drink, this is how its picked. This is one of Andrew's sisters plucking tea leaves.

Andrew's family

Andrew's Mom insisted on having her picture with Mom and Dad.

These are not this child's flip flops. Old Navy flip flops however, are a big hit in Malawi.

This is where I used to charge my cellphone.

My old neighbors making breaks. They're a riot.

No big deal....its not like water's heavy.

My old nightwatchman selling bread to Spoon.

Monty, my old nightwatchman. He's awesome.

Firewood on head.


This is a little boy who sells sugar cane. He always tells me he goes to school but I think that's to avoid my long lectures on the importance of education. He's pretty clever.

My old landlord insisted that we go see his church. We interrupted choir practice. When you see my mother after she's home safely bug her about seeing videos. They're incredible.

This is Mom and Dad's gift from Andrews sisters and mother. They gave me some too so I wouldn't feel left out. This the 4th variety of banana we've received as gifts.

Spoon reading to her mother. She was really excited about the bible my folks brought her. Excited is actually an understatement.

A select few members of the greatest Village Development Committee in the history of the world!!

Mom was excited about the cookies.

The School Committee gave Mom and Dad a bunch of tea leaves to remember them by.

This is the headmaster of Bangu Primary School, Mr. Jailosi showing mom a workbook.

First of the classes.

This is the same class. Schools here are slightly overpopulated (about 200 people per class, about 2,500 students in the school, about 19 teachers).

Some more members of the VDC here, including the chairwoman, Chrissy Spoon, on the left.

I wasn't going to update again but the internet here is still working (its a miracle!) and so fast that I could hardly help myself. These are from today, the second, and last, day in my old village. The plan for today was mostly to visit the schools, which explains all of the school pictures. Tomorrow we leave Mulanje. We'll give Andrew a ride up to Zomba which is our final destination for the night. We will, however, stop by my old house, meet everyone I work with now, and then continue on to Zomba where we will crash for the night, then drive up the the plateau for some beautiful views. The next morning we'll head to Liwonde for Safari, then Monkey bay at the lake, then up and off to Lilongwe. The past couple days, however, in Mulanje, have been the most important to me. It's been really nice to be able to share what my life has been like here in Malawi, with my mom and dad, especially to be able to share my friends and family here.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Amayi ndi Abambo wophiya

"Mom and Dad arrived"

Please excuse the fact that these are in no particular chronological order. Thanks to my super-bwana status, due to my folks being here in Malawi, I'm staying at a nice hotel with a wireless option. Since its evening, the internet is fast enough to upload pictures.

I headed into Lilongwe on Tuesday and started preparing for my parents' arrival. Friday came before I knew it (I never am really sure how time passes in that city, it just does) and I was meeting them at the airport. Our faith has been re-instated in Ethiopian airlines as they got here safely (though exhausted...proven by the fact that its not even 8pm and they're both snoring away.) with all of their luggage in-tact. We relaxed a bit then the next morning we picked up the rental car I had made reservations for. Driving is fun :). We drove down to Blantyre where mom freaked out at every pot hole (as was excepted, its not like I put them there, though, sheesh). We grabbed dinner at Kips in Blantyre then headed back to Doogle's where we were staying. Mom and Dad passed out early which left me with a bunch of friends and nothing to do. We went dancing. It was awesome. Later that night my dorm bed was stolen so my friends and I got to go sleep in a private chalet. EARLY the next morning I woke up to check on my folks who were just starting to rustle around. We breakfast, then headed to Church. We attended the first church ceremony I've been to since being in Malawi.

After church we headed to the curios market to exchange money and pick up some souvenirs, that was interesting, as it usually is. After that we hit the road and headed to Mulanje where we had pizza with Bri and landed at Kara O' Mula lodge, enjoyed the hiking tails for a bit, then relaxed and spread out legs out a bit.

Early this morning we woke up and had a delicious breakfast, provided by the hotel. After that we hit the road and headed to my old site where there was a meeting with some chiefs, some friends of mine, and the womens group I was working with. There was lots of dancing and singing, obviously. We wandered around seeing everybody. On the way out we were given at least 50 pounds in banana's (I wish I was exaturating), a head of cabbage, and a live chicken with its legs tied together. Classic Malawi. We eventually came back here where we are getting ready to do it all over again tomorrow in Bri's village.

Two village headman and two sub-chiefs. On the left is Sub Chikapa, my sub chief from when I lived there, and Chief Bangu in the pink shirt.

Dad playing at the curios market.

The place we're staying here in Mulanje.

Chuck tied up so she didn't follow me into my old landlady's house.

Chuck's puppies!!

Forgive all the puppy pictures but how cute are they?!

Linda, a good friend of mine with one of the puppies.

This is how big Chuck was when I got her.

Mom and Dad with our gift, the live chicken.

Handing over the oil presses. This is Group Village Headman, Duswa, and the Chairwoman of the women's group.

Dad sharing some words with the crowd, Andrew, Duswa, and the chiefs...the women's group was there too, just not in the picture.

Looking over Mulanje, from the side of the mountain around the hotel.

I've been waiting for this pizza since Diana left in February.

As you can see, Mom and Dad made it here safely.

Shout-out to those who sent gifts for me with my folks, thank you. You will get something more personal from me as soon as possible.

<3 Amy