Friday, January 27, 2012
And back to Muzuzu we go.....
We had a great start to our day, we received word that Itai's daughter was doing better...I was so relieved! She has now developed an ear infection so I shared with Itai some tips I had as my son suffered from chronic ear infections for years...it was nice to bond with her about our children.
We finished up our report for the Karonga Teachers' SACCO today and we sat outside under a big tree with the Board and Management to present our recommendations at their board meeting. It was really lovely sitting outside, I remarked how we would never hold a board meeting outside at my credit union in Canada....it felt very African! I can honestly say I was living in the moment and enjoying every minute of it! Zikomo Kwambini (thank you very much :)
One of the things I love about Malawians is the way they say things....if you enquire if you can ask them a question they reply with: Yes, you are most welcome....it is so lovely and they say it a lot...hmmm...and I thought Canadians were polite, the Malawians have us totally beat.
Ohhhhh....what a GREAT moment I had today!! I can hardly wait to tell you about it....<BIG SMILE!>
We were on our way back to Muzuzu (YES, we saw the monkeys again!!..well they were actually baboons I think but I just love to say MONKEY! HA!) and our driver, Ezekiel pulled over so I could get yet another picture of the beautiful landscape...and a small group of children came running over to see the Muzungo (the white ones!) hahaha....I asked if I could take their picture and of course they said YES, so I had Ezekiel take my picture with them.....they were so tiny so I kneeled down to be close to them and they all mimicked me and kneeled down too, right there on the road they were kneeling beside me while we had our picture taken...they were SOOOO CUTE!!! It was amazing.......I then crouched down again to show them the display on my camera so they could see themselves, they laughed and laughed.....and I felt a little hand reach over and touch my white ankle.....just a quick little poke to see what the Muzungo's skin felt like.....hahaha.....it was so GREAT! I love Africa, and these beautiful children!
I can honestly say that I have experienced the “Warm Heart of Africa” and it is beautiful my friends, just beautiful!
P.S. I also got to cross yet another item off my bucket list this trip...I saw my very first firefly! ( I know, sheltered life...but I was thrilled to finally see one after 29 years LOL! :)
Tionana Mawa (see you tomorrow)
Heidi in Muzuzu
(This posting is from Thursday, January 26th)
My heart is a little heavy tonight as I write this......we went to work at our first SACCO today.......
We spent the morning at the Karonga Teachers SACCO, with their Manageress, Mrs. Itai Msiska. However things were quickly put into perspective for me when I learned that she had been up all night and had not had any sleep as her young daughter was sick. Itai looked completely exhausted, and it made my own sleepless night (as the electricity had gone out and we did not have any air conditioning) pale in comparison. However, Itai was still there at work and eager to meet with us and answer all of our questions, even though she had to be worried for her daughter.
As the day progressed Itai received word that her daughter had become quite ill, it was confirmed that she had Malaria and she had been taken to the hospital and she left work to be with her......for me, as a parent, my heart really went out to Itai and it put things into perspective how very different our worlds are......
I am so thankful to be a Canadian and to have access to excellent medical care - if one of my children needed to go to the hospital they would be readily accessible and I would not have to pay a fee for excellent health care....and that I live in a country where I would never have to worry about my children catching a potentially life threatening disease from a simple mosquito bite.....
I said a prayer for Itai's daughter tonight, that she will fully recover, as many children in Malawi die from Malaria each year........
Heidi in Karonga
P.S. I miss you boys and wish I could give you a big hug & kiss...xoxoxo Mama
(This posting is from Wednesday, January 25th, as I had no internet in Karonga, but we are now back in Muzuzu so I will be adding several posts from the last few days...boy did I miss the internet! :)
Hello from Karonga!
Well we had another long journey today as we travelled 4 hours north to the city of Karonga....I had no idea how beautiful a drive it was going to be! In fact I'm sure the drive could be completed in 3 hours but I made our driver stop so many times so I could get out and take lots of pictures...I have some real beauties to share with you...including a great shot of some monkeys we saw on the side of the road but I'm afraid that will have to wait until I get home due to the internet issues here! (how disappointing!)
But just so you can picture it....you come down a winding road from high in the mountains and as far as the eye can see is this beautiful lake with a white sandy beach bordering it's shore...it really was stunning! I had no idea it was so beautiful here and from what I've seen even though we've had the furthest to travel, we have, by far, the best posting in Malawi! Eat your heart out other CCA coaches!! hahaha...
I also wanted to tell you about one of the stops we made...I had hiked around the corner to get an incredible shot of the whole valley and as I was walking back to the car I could hear footsteps behind me that were running....2 boys caught up with me and approached our driver who speaks the local dialect...they asked him if we had a spare pen that they could use for school.....so of course Garth and I each dug one up from our bags (darn I wish I would have brought some more from home!) it was a great moment. I told them to stay in school and get good grades, that it was very important....hahaha.....the “Mom” in me coming out!
We stopped in at the Karonga Teacher's SACCO late this afternoon to meet their President and Manageress....they were so warm and welcoming! We are all set now to start work first thing in the morning and they are so excited to be chosen as one of the SACCOS to have Canadian Coaches.....they referred to us as International Specialist...hahaha...no pressure or anything.....I know we will work really hard the next 2 days to help them in as many ways possible.
All in all a good day, with some amazing scenery but now it's time to get to work!
Heidi in Karonga :)