Published: June 17th 2012June 8th 2012
This was supposed to be posted the first week of June, but things got crazy, and I never got around to it. So here it is:
The last week of May, Njavwa (my fellow intern) and I travelled across the country with Mary, her daughter and another intern, Alex, to a place called Kyela where the organization I am working with has a project. The funny (or not so funny) part was that due to some miscommunication, we thought it was only 6 hours away by bus, and when we werein the 5th hour, I asked how much longer it would be, and Mary responded, "Oh we still have about 8 hours to go!" I thought she was joking. But 18 hours later, we finally made it to the village. It is the longest I have ever been in a vehicle before, without a book, or ipod to listen to....
It is located right on Lake Malawi. It is probably the most beautiful place I have ever been too. Its a village surrounded by lush vegetation including golden rice fields, green grass, cows, chickens and goats wandering around, and loads of banana trees full of fruit. It was so
serene, peaceful, and the people are beautiful. Kidzcare bought a plot of land, and on this land there are a bunch of kindergarten classrooms, and a little quaint house, and a well. When they first started investing in the village, they put in four wells, and help with medical issues that arise as well in the village. Eventually they built another group of kindergarten classrooms in the village over.
I met some amazing people when I was down there. Judith is one of them. She is an Austrian woman who lives in the house on the land, the only white woman in the village, and she is the one who manages these classrooms, as well as help out in the village doing other small projects. She is someone who you just want to be around all the time. Nothing ever really fazes her, and she is the most hospitable person you will ever meet. She is in her late 50's early 60's and has the quickest wit/sense of humor. One of the greatest people I've met. She is so inspiring. SHe used to work for the Austrian Consolate in Tanzania, but after a couple years of that, she wanted
to work more directly with the people of Tanzania, so she gave up her job, and took on a teaching position in a village. She has been there for about 7 years now. Her house that we stayed in felt like a fairytale, so quaintly decorated and cute.
Another great woman I met was an older woman of the village, we call her bibi (grandmother), who Mary has known for a long time, this woman is actually how they got involved with the village. Her son just died, and was sick with malaria when we were visiting her, but she is stong woman, with spunk and humor despite her situation. It was great to interact with her using my few words of Swahili.
It was an amazing experience to have, to witness life in a village where the pace is just so much slower, and it takes forever to get anywhere because you have to stop and greet everyone you meet with all the swahili greetings. It is a very important aspect of their culture.
Random fact of the week: Driving here is CRAZY!! On some roads they have three lanes, one going one way, the other
going the other way, and a third in the middle where cars play chicken. Whoever is bold enough to try the middle lane goes, and usually the biggest car wins.
There are more photos below