Last days in Malawi

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March 7th 2011
Published: March 7th 2011
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Well, this is it folks..... our last blog from Malawi although we may continue to write on here from time to time as the journey continues.
I left you suddenly on the last entry... sorry about that. I was describing meetings. Our experience of the SUPOCHO meeting, where Derek and I were really excited by the ownership of this community project as the attendance was good and people engaged with it and showed that Webster and Wilfred have the support they need.
The other meeting was in a village near to Chintheche where women from a few neighbouring villages are asking for support to help vulnerable people and orphaned children. It was a very different meeting but important as the local politics are getting sorted out to enable the group to function transparently. There seem to be a lot of men (chiefs, headmen, local activists and villagers , who wish to steer this group and I wish I had had more time with the women to hear more of their wishes...... in the end it was better to help them come under the umbrella of a charity for orphans, operating in one of the villages close by..... and they have relayed a message to me that they are happy with the progress they are making with their proposals.
Derek and I managed to have a few more days with Mdokera and his family, up in Chitimba. We had a good time and the hi-light was another visit to Kettie (Mdokera's sister) who had given birth to her 3rd child... a bonny boy. Kettie and Amos (husband) were awaiting our arrival so that their son could be named! This was an honour and once we realised that there was no way to get out of this, we nominated 3 choices and they chose Callum, which is beautifully pronounced by most of the Malawians we have tested the name on, as Caroom.
We had a great day there at Kettie's, ending up by the local church where the group of women hanging out there insisted on being filmed as they sang and danced for us!
The next day Mdokera organised an impromptu visit for me at his daughter's secondary school. One of those visits where off the cuff I was asked to give a motivating speech to cllass rooms of teenage students..... then shown around a school were there are several classrooms with no desks or chairs and gaps were windows should be..... and dormitories with no beds, mosquito nets or furniture to put clothes/ belongings.
The headmaster had been in post for two weeks and seems to have some good plans to help motivate by addressing these basic needs....... also no textbooks!
Back in Nkhata Bay we concentrated on supporting SUPOCHO to pull together job descriptions and a budget for the project. Webster and Wilfred have been constantly focussed on the project and we leave Malawi absolutely sure that in supporting them we are doing something worthwhile with a project which, given funding, will have a good chance of survival. Derek and I have realised that so many projects can fail due to the persons left in charge, succumbing to temptation and mis-appropriating funds. In all our time in Nkhata Bay, we never heard a bad word spoken of Webster and Wilfred. We have witnessed them managing with integrity, the increasing interest and possible encroachment of people who would seek to jump on a band wagon. They do not waiver from their vision of helping young people to access knowledge and information via computer technology! If you are intersted further please conyact us for more information.

As you can imagine, it was difficult to say goodbye but SUPOCHO need us to get back home and get on with some fund raising. We had a last meal with W and W and families where Miriam (Webster's 1 year old daughter) finally sat on my knee..... she's a hard one to woo! but she was relaxed! And Wes, the adopted daughter of 16 was happily chatting and showing how much better life is for her now she is living with Webster and Erica. It was the first time the two families had been out to a restaurant to eat together so a very special occassion.
We had to say goodbye to Lisa who has let us stay in her house for the past month..... A great housemate... it was sad that the kittens disappeared in the last week.... probably stolen. We hope the huge green tree snake that slithered its way into Lisa's bedroom, wasn't the cause of their dissappearance, although we are assured that snakes do not like cats!

Well that's it for now....... We'll be back in Malawi one day and back to home comforts very soon..... and back to family and friends! See you soon. Lots of love D and G


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