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Published: February 17th 2011
NKHATA BAY: TEMPORARY RESIDENTS!
It's been a long time since I have written. Forgive us folks! We have been very busy and now that our time for leaving beautiful Malawi is in sight we are very keen to get as much done as possible to help SUPOCHO and have all the information we need to bring back to the UK and get on with the task of fund raising.
What can I say in a short period of time? The Internet has been playing up for days but today is good! Our house share is going well although the moving in process was hard. The day after we actually moved was the first day of BIG rains for Nkhata Bay and we had a flood in the house! Derek and I returned from a trip into town and water had swept through the house from the back door. Basically it's been built with inadequate drainage. 2 very active and helpful neighbours dug a trench and sandbagged up the door while we cleaned up inside and nearly 3 weeks on, we still wait for the landlord to put effort into a more permanent solution. The wiring is dodgy and the water is off quite a lot of the time...... but it's cheaper than living in lodges all the time, friendly with our lovely house mates and it's great not to be being served all the time. On Sunday we counted 19 visitors to the house (including a dog who regularly befriends us!)... Non stop tea and chats! I think we've become quite a community centre and the house is on route to the primary school. Every weekday morning the children are in school by 7am and finish at 11am.
Lisa is from London and working to develop an established private secondary school which was set up by a couple of British donors. Rosa is setting up a community school in Ruware, a remote community in the north of Malawi, accessible only by boat........These are our house mates. There are quite a few mzungu (white people) in Nkhata Bay as it is a tourist place (though not many at this time of year) and quite a gathering place for Mzungu involved with volunteering and setting up projects.
We had a successful 2nd meeting with SUPOCHO last Saturday. It rained in the morning..... the meeting was due to start at 9am...... Finally at 11am most people had turned up! (Malawi meetings often don't start on time!) The laptops were officially handed over with a guest of honour from the District Social Welfare office doing the thank you speech. Derek and I had asked that the meeting be conducted in Tonga only, as interpreting everything can double the length of a meeting. There was a sense of excitement and involvement from the 25 or so attending the meeting. We felt that there is hope for strong support to manage this project successfully. We have met often with Webster and Wilfred and the vision is clear. I realised that however many twists and turns we take in working out how the computer school will run, Webster has stayed faithful to his vision........ And his commitment is absolute.
I attended a different sort of meeting later this week...... the women's group of a village about 50 kms away....... A village meeting held under a tree, with 2 chiefs ........
I'll write more another time...... Derek is warning me that this might take ages to send and the longer I make it...........
Sorry to cut you all short. Hope there will be one more before we return to Britain!
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