Blogs from Malawi, Africa - page 9


Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu November 19th 2012

It’s unfortunate that I’ve not been able to get a dongle so you’re going to get these blogs all in one go! Woke this morning to no electricity and water! Surprise! Also gasping for a drink as they ran out of bottled water last night. I hear the tap water is fine (if there is any) if not get get it from a bore hole, so I don’t want to take any chances. I was served breakfast, cornflakes and milk. Errrmmm I don’t think I’ll be taking the milk as I know there has been no electricity in town since Saturday and I haven’t seen any cows around here. I arrived at work at 8.30am with the anticipation of a bottle of water waiting for me as I’d asked Gentry to bring me one. Charles, who ... read more
Charles locking up

Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu November 18th 2012

I’m writing in the evening, we still have no electricity and haven’t had water all day. Thankfully they’ve put on a generator for a couple of hours which allows us some charging of devices and cooking! I’m not the only one wanting to charge devices, Erin has 3 mobile phones! I did ask why but didn’t really get a response! Still no water though L Today I was going to wash clothes so that stumped me. I don’t really know what I spent the morning doing – oh yes – plucking up the courage to go out. I did venture out. As soon as I stepped out of the guest house a group of men were calling me over. Oh great, deep breath Sonya. As I passed they said ‘come here’ I said ‘no thank you’ ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu November 17th 2012

Gentry and Blessings found me the best resthouse to stay in. When I said I really liked it I heard Blessings breath a sigh of relief. It’s an example of how hospitable and caring they really are. It’s very clean and well presented. Erin the guest house lady is so very welcoming and kind. Although, I’ve learnt not to trust anything that’s attached to a wall! Oh and having power is a privilege too! Tonight the power has been off for 3 hours already. Thankfully my laptop is charged! During my chat with Erin she asked me ‘How’s Kate Middleton and do I like Mr Cameron’. We chatted for a while about life in Malawi and made some comparisons to the UK. I asked Erin what wild animals she’d seen in Malawi and I was astonished ... read more
Walk to work
The first guest house
Blessings and Gentry

Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu November 16th 2012

I truly believed I’d have nothing interesting to write about until I settled in and perhaps started working. I couldn’t have been more wrong, after 3 very long boring, cold and very uncomfortable flights I’m plunged into the ways of Malawi! I have to say I didn’t enjoy my journey here because it was my first time travelling alone so I was extremely anxious. I didn’t realise how much until I met Gentry, who I will be working, and his big friendly smile and warm welcome made me breath a huge sigh of relief. He said that we were to travel by private vehicle to the bus depot to catch public transport. The bus depot is a where buses stop on the side of a sandy road. Clapped out mini buses (approx the size of a ... read more
Bus breaks down

Africa » Malawi » Southern November 14th 2012

Following the "flash mob" craze of 2009/2010, I always secretly dreamed of being part of a flash mob myself. There was one flash mob in particular that inspired me the most, which was organized by a volunteer in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake: This past week, I was finally able to accomplish this life-goal, thanks to the help of a few other PIH volunteers/staff members and a whole hoard of Malawian children. With World AIDS Day only a few weeks away, a group of fellow PIH-ers and I decided to create a flash mob here in Neno as a 'challenge' to other global health groups working around the world. The song, we decided, would be Taio Cruz's "Dynamite." After a few days of choreographing and practicing, we finally decided to institute our flash mob during ... read more
Dance-off 'challenge' sign
...more dancing :)

Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu November 13th 2012

I thought I'd start my blog by telling you about the roller coaster of emotions I've experienced leading up to my new adventure! Yes my teeth really have been chattering! I've always had a strong desire to help others and since surviving breast cancer 6.5 years ago (yes the half makes a difference) I've also developed a strong desire for new experiences and adventure. Basically living life fully! So what better way to fulfill both desires than volunteering for charities overseas! in a nutshell is a social enterprise that helps find qualified accountants who are willing to volunteer their time to help charities strengthen their bookkeeping and accounting systems. It's essential because the information that comes out of their accounting systems affects decisions that are made and that includes whether donor... read more

Africa » Malawi » Southern November 5th 2012

After a brief and relaxing vacation at Cape Maclear, the time has finally come for me to begin my duties for Partners in Health. To be honest, I still feel like I am in a bit over-my-head. Despite having an 'academic' background in global health, I have never actually worked in a health facility before, and the challenges of working in an area as poor and remote as Lisungwi will likely be even more difficult than normal. Just to recap a little from my first blog entry in Malawi, Partners in Health was invited to the country in 2007 in order to help support a number of health facilities in the country's poorest district of Neno. Much of the reason behind the poverty here is (I think) a result of geography. Neno is the only district ... read more
Best. Skirt. Ever.
Awesome baobab tree in Lisungwi

Africa » Malawi » Central November 2nd 2012

In the final few days of my trip and have been really busy after recovering from the unplanned for hospital stay being treated for malaria - can't believe this happened of all my preparations I think I paid most attention to health but consider myself initiated into Malawian life and the stronger for it. The care and consideration that I have had from the people here has been remarkable, including sleeping on the floor of the hospital room overnight. They tell me that this is the Malawian way and even though I came the here a stranger just a few weeks ago they have treated me as a sister and I shall never forget their kindness and compassion. Making up for the time lost has meant a very busy couple of weeks and time has flown. ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Cape Maclear November 1st 2012

I knew that life in rural Malawi would be difficult, but I don't think I fully understood the extent of the challenges and difficulties involved until I actually arrived and experienced it first-hand. Living in rural Malawi is definitely not for the faint of heart. Electricity is sporadic, running water is rare, and the insects are about 3-5 times larger than they are back in the states. In light of these lifestyle changes, three co-workers and I decided to take a weekend away from Neno to "live it up" in Malawi's most popular tourist destination, Cape Maclear. Cape Maclear is a rare oasis in Malawi, providing tourists with an impressive array of beach 'resorts,' bars, and tourist activities. The town is located on the southern tip of Lake Malawi (the third largest lake in Africa), a ... read more
Snorkeling with cichlids...
Tyler found a friend!
Malambe Camp...

Africa » Malawi » Lake Malawi » Kandi Beach October 27th 2012

Small hands fought to hold my own as I walked through the small town centre. Each corner bought additional children with trusting open smiles dancing across their beautiful faces. Although the private resort Kandi Beach offered an escape from the external world the temptation to walk beyond the security gate was far too great to resist. The small village beyond the perimeter housed a local community in typical poverty struck African thatched mud huts. Poultry and goats freely roamed the village, their owners confident of their return before nightfall. Plantations of Cassava lined the road, a root vegetable that required no water, nor no care to thrive. Re-planting was as simple as slicing a small branch from the exposed plant and crudely driving back into the earth. This staple of the Malawian people was harvested 3 ... read more
New friends enjoying a soda
School boys
Science class

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