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Published: August 10th 2009
So, for the last week my health group and I have been holding our annual Camp GLOW. This is a camp for secondary school girls implemented by Peace Corps Volunteers worldwide. But before that I kept myself busy.
I came back from holiday to the college and spent about 2 weeks teaching Medical-Surgical Nursing and budgeting with the college staff for some sort of Strategic Plan that will be conducted next week. I also road my bike about 20 kilometers with broken gears, taught my first tae kwon do classes in Malawi, and learned how to play netball. Aside from being bummed about my broken gears it wasn't a bad time.
I left site on a Sunday. I managed to get a bike taxi to take me about 12 kilometers to a Janeemo Festival down the road from my site. I didn't realize so many people were having a fair just 12K from me! I am sure many of the bwanas ("bosses" driving cars) were a little taken aback to find a foreigner out in the middle of no where on the back of a bike taxi... There I met Kelly and we enjoyed the football (soccer) game and
Soccer at the Festival
It was women verses some civil group of men...It got a little rough at times which made me nervous. The girls did good tho!
she had some chicken and rice (I had finished off all my parishables so I totally was too stuffed to eat a thing). Janeemo is a Scottish organization that incorporates the three trees: Jatropha, Neem and Moringa. Afterward we hitched a ride back to Kelly's house that evening and I got to see her new flea-ridden puppy. The next morning we traveled to Blantyre, and the following day up to Lilongwe.
While in Lilongwe I visited the dentist. Everyone has to get another medical and dental check-up at the year mark. I was nervous about seeing the dentist because I had heard some bad stories...It turns out we got a new dentist, however, and his office was surprisingly state-of-the-art...I know this sounds bad but I was kinda expecting just a wooden chair in the middle of an old, mold-infested room. I was pleasantly surprised. The dentist actually was currently living in Mzuzu and commuting to Lilongwe every week to the MARS clinic. According to him he is like 1 of 10 Malawian Dentists in the country, and is currently overseeing a handful of dental students from UNC.
On Wednesday the 29th Kelly, Tracey and I got a ride
over to Dedza for the new health groups Village Farewell/Swear-in. The new kids had to give a small health talk before they could swear-in...During this time Tracey and I snuck over to my old home stay village to say hello to my family. We made it back in time to hear the Ambassador speak, as well as others including the PS and the CD. The traditional dances were awesome again, with one or two added Guli Wamkulu.
Kelly and I originally thought we were leaving Friday to go up to MEDI in Dowa District to help set up for Camp GLOW. It turned out that we actually were not needed so instead she went on a site visit for a few days and I did some more work in the PC office. Saturday Tessa and I grabbed a minibus up to MEDI just in time for lunch. We had rice and chicken and the counselors and their counterparts conducted their pre-camp training led by Tracey.
Camp GLOW is a girl's camp. It means Girls Leading Our World. The first camp was apparently started in Romania I think in like 1995 or something. The purpose was to encourage and
empower young women, help them to set goals and to develop career skills...
The week was a success. We had 68 girls attend the camp, and somehow we had managed to get all our funding in time. There were many sessions ranging from HIV, Women's Health, Environment, Public Speaking, and even things like yoga and jewelry making. I personally taught tae kwon do as an elective, Anatomy and Physiology of the reproductive system, first aid, and some art classes. I also helped others with their sessions as needed. We had guest speakers, and we had visits from USAID, a member or Malawi Parliament and the Peace Corps office. It was great, and exhausting, but I believe the girls got a lot from it.
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