Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thank you.....

As I sit here...reflecting back on my time in Africa...I am overcome with emotion......what a journey it truly was!!!!!

I feel so fortunate to have had this opportunity....that I know others will only ever dream of......

I am so thankful to so many people who have helped me to realize this life long dream....

To CCA and John Julian for developing such an amazing program that I have seen first hand is making a difference in the lives of others in developing countries by providing them with a hand UP and not a hand OUT....and to Laurie and Sarah for picking me out of dozens of applicants...thank you!

To my employer, Interior Savings Credit Union, thank you for allowing me to participate in this incredible program and being such great supporters of the credit union movement worldwide...and Barry, thank you for your support, it meant everything to me...I am really going to miss you when you retire! :)

To my co-workers, who are like my second family, who have picked up the slack for me while I have been gone and who will put up with all my millions of stories I am going to be telling and re-telling over and over again...hahaha.....thank you.....I am so fortunate to work with such talented people who are so dedicated to our credit union and our community! I was so proud to represent all of you!

To the incredible Malawian people I was so fortunate to meet...thank you for sharing your beautiful country with me and teaching me all about the "Warm Heart of Africa" was a gift I will always cherish...deep in my heart!

To my fellow coaches, from both last year and this year....oh boy where do I even begin.....oh come the are some of the most passionate and talented people I have ever had the pleasure of was truly my honour to be in such good company and I was so touched by your friendship, and promise to keep in touch! 

And last, but certainly not my have been behind me 100% while I went through this meant so much to hear you were proud of me...thanks for being my cheerleaders, I love you all so much...especially my boys, Luke and Nick...thank you....for inspiring me to want to be the best Mama ever......and for teaching me so many life lessons and what is really important in life!

Zukomo Kwambini (thank you VERY MUCH!)

Heidi :)

Oh Yeah!

P.S. Cory - I DID end up beating you with more hits on my blog than you! hahahaha.....
and CCA - if you ever need a last minute fillin in the future - I am SO IN!! :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My New Malawian Friend :)

Receiving my gift...a moment I'll never forget! :)

Lennie and I in our SACCO cloth outfits :)

Experiencing the "Warm Heart of Africa" one last time.....

We had a great day today, our last full day in Malawi before we leave tomorrow.

The MUSCCO staff took us to a tailor here in Lillongwe to have our SACCO cloth made into an outfit before we leave for home. I had done that last year in Ghana and really wanted to have an outfit from Malawi.

We got all measured up and then dropped off our cloth - it was around 10 am and we were told to come back at 2 to pick up our outfits.  So while we waited we went back to the hotel and lounged around the pool for a few hours, and oh boy am I burnt! LOL....I can hear the groans now...and the violins playing in the background from my Canadian friends back home as you are in the dead of winter!

We went back to the tailor in the afternoon but the outfits weren't quite ready as they had run out of buttons in the market.  While we were waiting a lady selling cloth and beads offered me a seat, beside her, on her bench while she did her beading.  It was fascinating, and she was so friendly.....again.....the "Warm Heart of Africa" surfaced......

I purchased a couple of sets of beads from her and then she told me to pick one.....she wanted me to have one, a gift from her.......WOW!!! I can't even begin to tell you how touched I was.....they have so little and yet they are the ones always was this lady, making a living selling material and beads and she was offering me one...for FREE!! This place truly is amazing, please add it to your bucket list as you just have to experience it to believe it!

When we went to leave I gave her my last Canada pin...she was so thrilled......she said thank you and I love you...hahaha.....I think that just means she was happy to have met me :)

Another amazing day in Malawi.....I wish I could stay another week........

Heidi in Lillongwe :)

 P.S. The outfit cost 3500 Malawian Kwatcha to have made which is $15 Cdn!