Monday, June 20, 2005

Malawi has arrived!

Greetings friends & family ~
I am taking this opportunity to let you know that your children, family, & friends have arrived in Malawi safely. Sorry that you may not have heard from anyone until now.
Everyone is doing fine. It is much cooler than the group was expecting (“Isn’t Africa supposed to be hot?”) They have stepped into the middle of “winter” here, which means cool/cold nights, dew on the grass in the mornings, & then mid-70 degree afternoons. They’ll start getting into the warm season in August. We have had a great week of orientation together in Lilongwe: we have had a local doctor presenting medical information; the head of our staff came to teach on Malawian culture; the COTN staff counselor gave a talk on stress, group dynamics, & traumatized children. The group has spent a day in the “heart of the market” learning how to bargain & shop; they had lunch at the Nature Sanctuary & saw hyenas, a crocodile, monkeys, a 10-foot python, & a leopard; Sunday they had a welcome ceremony & play time out at the Chitipi farm; today (Monday) they are down in Mtsiliza village seeing the feeding program in operation & having a welcome ceremony there. Tonight is our Prayer & Commitment time as a large group before the two teams split-up. Altogether we have 24 interns in Malawi, including 5 national interns who are students at the African Bible College.
You can pray for us as we drive up to Chiwengo tomorrow. We will all spend one night together, & then Carly, Shannon, Mel, Rachel, Kenny, Nolan & I will be coming back down to Lilongwe (where that group will be based) on Wednesday.
Next week your special person will be allowed to write to you themselves. (COTN policy says that they have to be in the country for 2 weeks before they are allowed to email & “reconnect” themselves to the outside world, just to allow them a bit of time to really settle-in).
God bless ~
Drew Stark
Intern Director

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