Well Played, Malawi 8/52
Trip Start Dec 22, 2016
22Trip End Dec 21, 2017
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Monday was a typical day, we stopped at the LifeNet's shop and church hall; and then did some errands in the morning. Late in the evening our power went out. It came on several hours later; but it was just a tease; it went out again at 4:30am (I woke up when the fan turned off). It remained off the rest of the morning; which meant a cold shower for Lewis and me. We went to the post office to buy stamps and drop some letters off; and I bought some cards on the side of the road. I’ve bought cards from three different vendors, but somehow they all have the same design of "hand painted" cards…
We arrived back home around 4:30pm; and the power was still out (it had been out all day)
If you’ve been following my blog, you may remember that we had screens installed so we could keep our windows open in the evenings. We realized pretty quickly that there were sizeable gaps (the screens are perfectly level, but the construction of our apartment isn’t quite as precise); we thought we had fixed the problem with a combination of plastic grocery bags and silicone. Unfortunately, on Tuesday night we found so many mosquitos. We thought we killed them all; and tucked ourselves into our mosquito net for the night. We woke up on Wednesday at 5:00am to no power and multiple mosquitos INSIDE our net; and multiple bites. Mosquitos are scary because of the threat of malaria. The power came back on after a short while and I was able to get a warmish shower, but after so much time without power, cold showers, and mosquito bites I was feeling emotional, frustrated, and overwhelmed
Dedza is nearly two hours away for us; but in a minibus it can take much longer and the trip is expensive. Because of this Chifundo and his wife are only able to make it to Lilongwe for services once a month. I can tell you I had a very bad attitude when I got into the van. I was tired, itchy, and overwhelmed and I was looking at a two hour van ride. In that moment, I wanted to be anywhere but there.
But Malawi, this beautiful country, has a way of making up for the difficulties. As we headed out of Lilongwe south toward Dedza a beautiful mountain ranged loomed larger and larger. Unlike our drive through the mountains to Salima, the climb was gradual, and seemed less arduous, but the views! Oh the views. They were breathtaking! How can you stay in a bad attitude when you’ve got God softening your heart through prayer, and through His beautiful creation?
As an aside; even in the midst of my frustration and general feeling of being overwhelmed; I realize how easy we have it; even here
Since we arrived in Malawi I've been on the hunt for nice stationery to send letters with, unfortunately I haven't really found anything except some postcards (that I've been grossly overcharged for). One of the exciting things that happened in Dedza is we found a little recycled paper making shop. The owner was very nice, and took us around and showed us how he made the paper. One of the best parts? The paper I bought was nearly 1/2 the price of the postcards I've bought in town. Plus, now (if I can find just a few items) I might be able to make my own paper. From there we visited a pottery shop before heading to pick up Chifundo from his workplace.
We had a very nice afternoon getting to know Chifundo and Kettie a bit better, and we got to take a bit of a tour through their neighborhood
The Sabbath is always a joy, and this week was no exception. We had a sermonette by Cephas Chapamba titled “A Designer’s Eye,” and reminded us that we have to view everything through the lens of what God intended, not necessarily what we see. Lewis gave his fourth in a series on the fundamental beliefs of United Church of God. The two messages blended quite well.
After services we had another English lesson. I’m hopeful that they’ll be helpful, but I’m not really a teacher, so I’m skeptical. Sunday we will be going to Lake Malawi with the Chapambas and Haiton Thungula. I look forward to writing about that in my next blog.