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Published: November 12th 2017
Yesterday I met Libitina, the girl I'm supporting through secondary school at Chikhutu School. She is 18 now, and hopes to go on to university to be a journalist. She is a lovely girl. Two years ago she was in the girls’ group that Shelby, the Peace Corps volunteer was working with. Shelby said she always had something to say, and encouraged the other girls to speak too. The head teacher said she works hard in class, and her results are very good. I also met Petro, who is a lad I worked with at M’teza school two years ago, and a friend of mine is now supporting him through secondary school. He wants to be a doctor.
Gift, Landirani's monitoring and evaluation manager, gave me a lift there on his motor bike. It was brilliant riding through the dusty tracks, to cries of ‘Azunghu’ (white woman) from the children as we passed. I was glad of the lift, it would have taken an hour on a bicycle taxi, and it's pretty rough terrain.
Gift then gave me a lift to Lumbadzi, and I got a minibus ride to Lilongwe. It takes about an hour, but it only cost 700 kwachas (about 70p). I'd forgotten how dusty it is; by the time I got to town my sinuses were inflamed. A lovely weekend at Mabuya, with the pool, showers, meals without nsima. Water has been in short supply in Sam's Village the last few days, the women trainees are having long showers and using up all the water, so I've done washing at Mabuya.
Friday evening I ate at Ad Lib, a salad, Saturday I had lunch in town at Kiboko hotel, and shopped for food; next week I'm going to cook for myself as I've found that the third mouthful of nsima makes me gag, so I'm determined to cook for myself. Most of the produce here comes from South Africa, though it hasn't the quality South African produce has in the UK.
Saturday evening after another pool dip, a shower and hairwash (bliss!) I sit around at Mabuya with an alcoholic drink, while the world I know in Lilongwe comes by. The two girls (Rumbi and Tamlyn) I went to the festival last weekend come by, dressed up to go out, one to a wedding, one out for her birthday meal. It's dark, but it doesn't feel like bedtime yet, the way it does in the village when night falls.
Ten more days to go, I can cope.
Sunday I wake at 7am - a lie in! More time by the pool, real coffee, and finished my book. Back to Sam's Village tonight.
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