This week marks week 4 in Malawi. One thing I have found quite amazing to witness in Malawi is the devotion and faith in God of the Malawian people. The presence of God is apparent everywhere here. One can read references to biblical scriptures on the back of minibuses, observe reference to God on storefronts, see people wearing bracelets and other paraphernalia that refers to faith in God, and hear Malawian gospel music playing. Every Wednesday morning, we have devotion meeting at the NGO. In consists of singing, prayer, and a message for the week. It is nice in that it encourages unity of all team members and includes seeking God for direction in serving the community.
On another note, interviews have been underway and are going well. We have been interviewing clinicians and health coordinators in order to gather insight on their perspectives regarding our research project. They have been great and we definitely appreciate their wisdom and feedback. Also, working alongside the team out on the mobile health clinics has been wonderful.
It is amazing how time flies. This is pretty much the halfway mark of my time in Malawi. So, as you can imagine, I have been thinking about how to occupy the following weekends to maximize my time here. I plan to visit Lake Malawi, take a trip to the Liwonde National Park, possibly visit Zomba Plateau, and there is a slight possibility I may make it to South Africa. Actually, visiting South Africa was initially quite high on my priority list of things to do, especially being that it is only a 2-hour flight from here. However, the prices are very expensive. They range from 800-1000 U.S. dollars. The reason for the high price could be due to the lack of airline competition so the airlines charge skyrocket prices because they can get away with it and people pay it. If I can manage to get a reasonable deal online, I may fly out to Capetown or Johannesburg the week before I fly back to the U.S. I shall see.
Let’s see…what else..Oh yes, earlier I joined my classmates and a group of other Americans and Europeans to the Satemwa Tea Estate. We took a minibus and then hiked up 5 kilometers to the entrance. We enjoyed high tea, which consisted of a great tea selection of green, black, oolong, or white tea and some delicious sandwiches, scones, and carrot cake. It was really nice. We then relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful landscape. This was a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.