Friday, August 05, 2005

Malawi Update

A message from Melissa, Rachel and Shannon (7-30):
Muli Bwanji!
It’s a beautiful day in Malawi. Us girls decided to walk to town on our day off. Walking to town can be quite an adventure with cars swerving, honking and racing by us because there are no speed limits in Malawi, but don’t worry mom. Currently we’re sitting outside a cute little café drinking yummy cappuccinos and being reminded of Seattle. We’re relaxing after a week of camp at Lake Malawi which was really awesome. After a two hour drive we arrived at the Teen Missions Int. campground where each intern was responsible for two to three campers in each of our tents. Most of us had at least one camper from our ministry at Chitipi as well as a camper from Chiwengo (another COTN site). It was a good opportunity for us to get to know the Chiwengo kids whom we never get to see. Although the language barrier could be difficult at times, we tried to keep in mind that the camp was for their enjoyment and not necessarily for our desire to minister to them individually through our words. To sum up camp, we’ll walk you through a typical day. We woke up at about 6am with the sunrise. After breakfast we would split into two groups (older and younger) for bible activities, until mid-morning tea-time. In our free time until lunch,we would play fun games like Drip-Drip-Drop (like duck, duck, goose w/water) or arrange a soccer game between interns and kids. Somehow we managed to pull through with a win—despite that they’re African children who are naturally skilled at the sport. We were pretty impressed with ourselves seeing as we haven’t had any intense athletic activity in the past two months. After lunch, we would start on our half hour walk to the lake. The scenery on the way to the lake was how we originally pictured Africa to look like with large open fields of golden grass, huge Baobab (bay-oh-bob) trees and intense sun beating down on us. The lake was gorgeous—picture the ocean with warm water and no salt, and white sandy beaches. Swimming in the lake is the kids’ absolute favorite part of the day and a lot of the kids were eager for us to teach them how to swim. The lake was also the location of ourdaily bathing rituals. We felt ‘exotic’ shampooing our hair while immersed in water. The day concluded with dinner and an evening Bible lesson. The lake was quite a memorable place. The sunrises over the water were breath-taking—however, the trash burning was also breath-taking but in a different way…The bathrooms weren’t the most delightful either, especially with the presence of a large, disgusting, hairy, frightening spider—MUCH bigger than the typical 8-legged creatures found in Washington. However we are still thankful for the time we spent at the lake! Random tidbits: Shannon is preparing for a talk she was asked to give at a church gathering next week even though she is terrified. Rachel is recovering from being under the weather for a few days and is attempting to whittle. Kenny recently went to get a buzz cut with the kids from the farm. Carly and Melissa enjoy making mochas at night, and Nolan’s 22nd birthday is on Tuesday! This summer is quickly passing by for all of us. We only have two weeks left with the kids until we leave on our safari. We ask for prayers that we may be able to take advantage of all of our time left with the kids. Also, that we may be able to leave Malawi on our scheduled departure day, as the workers of South African Air are currently on strike! We hope everyone is doing well, wherever you may be.Peace and Blessings,The girls of Team Malawi (Rachel, Shannon, Carly, and Mel)

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