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RE: [ujeni] Our trip to Malawi

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  • Jason Booker
    Hello Dan- Thanks for posting your trip update. It was great to read about your positive experiences in Malawi. Congratulations on giving the kids an
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 25, 2007
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      Hello Dan-

      Thanks for posting your trip update. It was great to read about your
      positive experiences in Malawi. Congratulations on giving the kids an
      authentic experience--one I am sure they won't soon forget.

      I am hoping to get to Malawi next year. My family and I are packing up in
      July and moving to Maputo, Mozambique. We'll be at the international school
      there. I've written to several students and colleagues from the Malawi
      days--hopefully I'll hear back and get to see them sometime in the near

      Thanks again.


      >From: Daniel Dudley <papadud@...>
      >Reply-To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
      >To: ujeni ujeni <ujeni@yahoogroups.com>, chidyamakanda
      >Subject: [ujeni] Our trip to Malawi
      >Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2007 09:33:36 -0600
      >I just returned from Malawi yesterday where my wife and I took 10 students
      >and 1 documentary film maker. In short, it was a great trip, the students
      >were wonderful, and it was great to be back in Malawi. I was surprised
      >with how quickly I fit into the pace of life in Malawi. I didn't miss
      >checking my email, TV or any of the other hundreds of distractions that
      >normally consume my day including all of the daily reminders of the war in
      >Iraq. It was nice to be in a place where no one seemed to know that there
      >was such a thing going on, they had more important things to worry about.
      >Some of the things that surprised me. We didn't make it to too many places
      >in Malawi, the work in the village was our priority, but we did get to do
      >some sight seeing. Lilongwe was really clean from what I remember of it.
      >The street vendors are off of the street and into the markets, you can
      >actually walk down the sidewalk, what a concept. Because they were not on
      >the streets, in general I felt much safer walking down the streets. We did
      >however, have our cell phones attempted to be stolen out of the car we
      >borrowed, the thief was caught, and it was pretty bloody, but there was a
      >police man on the scene that limited the damage. Most of his problems
      >came from trying to get over a wall with glass on the top. The police
      >presence around the city was much more visible, on the way to the airport,
      >there seemed to be 4 police on nearly every corner of Kamuzu Procession.
      >The place that I felt least safe was in the bus depot area. The mini bus
      >population has exploded, they just seem to be everywhere, and the people
      >around the bus stage seemed to be more aggresisve that I remember. The car
      >population in general seemed to explode, there seemed to be many more cars
      >on the road than I remember.
      >I remember when I went to Zimbabwe in 96, after being in Malawi, I realized
      >some of the things that I missed like the occasional fast food, decent
      >pastry, good pizza, etc. It just seemed that Lilongwe didn't have any of
      >that. Now it does have some of what Zimbabwe had. At the top of the hill
      >leading out of old-town, right near the Mchinji roundabout there is a
      >shopping center with all of the above and more, across the street is an
      >internet cafe. Down the hill near the Nico plaza where there was a
      >hyperstore, there is another shopping plaza with a shoprite grocery store
      >and Nandos. PTC is now called "Peoples", the Kandodo doesn't exist any
      >more. There are a lot more Asian shops, but I would like to say something
      >about the Asian population. I remember when I was there, we had a pretty
      >negative view of the Asians, I am sure that they like their profits as much
      >as ever, but they were the most helpful in giving us big discounts on all
      >of the supplies that I needed. When they heard that something was for a
      >school or health clinic, they often donated supplies for us to use. At the
      >health clinic in the village, we looked through the maternity ward and the
      >beds were completely unbearable for someone healthy, let alone someone
      >about to give birth. We decided to see what we could do to fix that, I
      >went to one Asian shop and he gave us 12 6-inch mattresses for only MK100
      >profit, I was amazed.
      >I would like to say something about the villagers. I think that I remember
      >that a lot of us were frustrated by Malawians expecting us to do everything
      >and they participate very little. This village was quite different. I
      >thought that we would be painting the classrooms by our selves, but
      >villagers showed up from all over to help out, we provided the cement to
      >re-plaster the walls, women brought piles of sand in from all over before
      >school started and the villagers did the work of plastering the walls. I
      >was truly amazed and inspired by all of the help of the community, and I
      >think that they really appreciated that we are a small school in Arizona,
      >not some huge NGO with lots of money.
      >I was also really impressed with our students, I had to drag them out of
      >the village, we were there for 5 days and completed everything that I hoped
      >to but they wanted to stay longer. They were happy with beans and nsima,
      >and rice phala for breakfast. They all slept on the floor of Gertrude's
      >uncle's very small living room and never complained, in fact they seemed to
      >enjoy it. Some girls were particularly tasty for mosquitoes, but even they
      >didn't complain. On a couple of mornings they had to get up early to get
      >to the school to paint before the students arrived so that they didn't
      >interrupt their classes. They were up, out, finished and back before
      >breakfast was served, and then straight back to work on another project. A
      >couple of them said that they were going to join the Peace Corps after
      >college as a result of being on this trip.
      >All in all, the trip was a huge success, and it was so nice to be in Malawi
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    • Vyrle Owens
      26 March 2007 Dear Dan, I very much enjoyed reading the report of your trip to Malawi. Excellent update. Thanks, Vyrle ... From: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 26, 2007
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        26 March 2007


        Dear Dan,


        I very much enjoyed reading the report of your trip to

        (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

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