Hi everyone! Here are some pictures from Malawi!! Finally :) These are of our house and some of us out in town and at school:
That's all I can upload right now...the internet is SO slow, especially with uploading and downloading. Hopefully that gives some of you a bit of an idea of where we are! I'll add more later :)
So...I thought I would start this post with some fun facts about Malawi and living here that we've noticed so far! Here goes...
1) It's polite to honk your horn here
2) Don't expect people to follow any traffic rules...ignore the stop lights! (or robots as they say here). They are really more of a suggestion here than a rule anyway
3) It isn't rude to ask someone for money...even if you don't know them very well
4) You don't have to pump your own gas here!!! They do it for you :)
5) When I go to the market...there are people who will watch my car for me (watchmen) and people who will follow me around and carry my bags for me (bag boys)...for a small fee of course. But it's very convenient and a great way to help people out! :)
6) In the stores, sometimes they will have coke, sprite, and all flavors of fanta (fanta is like their coke here)....and then another day have NO carbonated drinks at all
7) It's not uncommon to be out in town, have someone point at you, say something in Chichewa, and laugh, haha.
8) Children here...especially outside the city LOVE Azungus! Or white people haha. They smile and laugh and want to touch you.....and of course yell, "Azungu! Azungu!" ha.
9) Lizards and geckos become a part of daily life...I don't even think anything when I see one running across my kitchen counter anymore
10) Our water and power go out at random times. I haven't been one of the unlucky people who were in the shower with shampoo in their hair when the water went out yet....and hope I never have to be!
Josh and I are both doing very well here and are adjusting fine. I really haven't been homesick at all. Alot of people have though...maybe that will just come later for us. Or maybe we'll never be homesick!
School is beginning to go much smoother for both of us. Though not really EASY....it's definitely less stressful than the first couple of weeks. We are learning to prioritize and organize our time :)
Josh has become pretty involved on campus. Apart from teaching, coaching soccer, and helping out with band, he is also the "sound man" for both chapel sessions (or any other formal "meeting") at the academy. He will also be helping Kelly Dehnert at the college with recording in the music department! He is very excited about that. I think he starts helping next week. If that wasn't enough to be doing already, he plays basketball two nights a week and goes to the other Christian school in the area (Bishop Mackenzie), to play ultimate frisbee once a week. I am so very proud of how well he has adapted here and the responsibilities he has taken on! :)
My load is a good bit lighter...ha. I have continued to go to Chitipi orphanage on Fridays which is something I have really come to look forward to each week. I just love the kids! They are so thankful and greatful for what they have. And they love when we come and play with them. I am beginning to learn their names and get to know them. Hopefully I can become someone they can really talk to and rely on for any type of support. Their worries as 10 year olds make me feel so guilty sometimes about the things that worry me. Most of the kids are able to go to school...but some are not. You have to take an "exam" to get into highschool here and there is one girl, Chimwewe, who was real down last week about her exam. She was nervous she wouldn't pass and not be able to go to school. Whereas when I was growing up I HAD to go to school....there wasn't a choice not to. The orphanage is a Christian facility run and supported by COTN (Children of the Nation) and they all seem to have been exposed at least a little to the bible. We all just go and spend time with them and hope that we influence them in a good, "God-like" way. I will keep you posted about how it is going every week :)
I have also been to the Crisis Nursery a few times now. For those of you who don't know...the Crisis Nursery is a "santuary" for babies 2 and under whoes parents have died of AIDS, malaria, etc. Or for malnurished babies whoes families can't afford or aren't able to take care of them. I go and just hold the babies and play with them. It's a really great mission...but it is really really sad to go. Some of the babies have AIDS and others won't make it due to malnourishment. It just makes you want to take them all home! But we enjoy going. And we can help the "mothers" with feedings, etc. while we're there.
We are still "church hopping" at the moment but want to settle down somewhere soon so we can get involved there as well. There are still a couple places we want to try. We can't decide if we want to go to a "missionary" church or a more rural village type church. We'll see! Just pray that we will be directed to the right one...and that BOTH of us will choose the same one ha :)
Please pray the God will continue to give us strength and energy as we are here in Malawi. Sometimes it is hard to be optimistic because of how bad everything is. But we are trying to keep our spirits up and continue to teach and minister to our students!! Hope everyone is having a great week!