Last full day in Malawi
Trip Start Oct 02, 2008
29Trip End Oct 29, 2008
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There is a sadness about having to say good-bye to this group and start again in Zambia with a crowd that will be about twice the size of the 150 we have here.
It's been a complete success. We feel that we know most of the people by their first and last names from our four Festival visits to Malawi since 2003. We have also visited this country in 2000 and 2001 and Zimbabwe in 1996. Africa has captured a big part of our life. We have thoroughly appreciated the Church and LifeNets side of involving ourselves with these people. We have done about 30 scholarships here, a myriad of livelihood development projects that range from honey processing, a maize mill, poultry operation, little stores, sewing and knitting ventures and more. We have helped three clinics with virtually all their medicine. We are pleased generally how the projects have been in keeping with the LifeNets Mission Statement which is to help in practical ways leading to self-sufficiency and further to passing on the benefit to others.
After Service we discover that Morgen and Joline Kriedemann arrive to the Nkopola Lodge. They kept the first part of the Feast in Uvongo, South Africa and the second half here. Their arrival coincided with the group lunch for the Blantyre people at the Lodge. We ate lunch with the Kriedemann's and tomorrow we will be on our way to Lilongwe, then to Zambia.
In the evening we had a drink with the Morgen and Joline Kriedemann. We are so pleased about their commitment and work in Malawi and their love for these people.
At 7:15 there is a group dinner hosted by Henry and Cindy Khembo from New York City for everyone. They fry two kinds of fish, including tilapia, chicken, beef, rice, nsima and vegetables. This is our last meeting with the people. It's at the hall where we meet. There is an air of sadness as we will be leaving Malawi for Zambia in the morning. Almost everyone comes up to say good-bye. We absolutely love these gentle and kind people who live in abject poverty. When we talked to the Kriedemann's earlier we commented on how beautiful the country of Malawi was and how it would have been developed Western people living here. But, over the centuries this country has not been able to sustain a strong economy. It's not easy to understand.
What we are pleased with is that with LifeNets' infusion of help we HAVE been able to be successful in bringing about a transformation in people's lives. People have been able to gain confidence through education. These are young people who would be scraping by for a living doing meaningless jobs are now in IT, Toursim, accounting and other professions. We want to thank all our donors for bringing this transformation about.
We have people who now operate small businesses and encourage one another to succeed. We find that economic development like this requires team spirit and team accountability. On this trip we brought over six computers....five brand new Compaq laptops and my old Dell. We had the various visitors from the USA bring in the various computers and they will be used basically by students in the LifeNets Developing Nations Scholarship Fund.
Tomorrow we leave for Lilongwe and on to Lusaka where about 300 people in Zambia will be assembled for the Feast.