Okay so I definitely dropped the ball yesterday in posting, but that just means that I’ll post twice today! Ever since I’ve been back, my internal clock has been so messed up! Granted, I was warned that this would likely happen, but for some odd reason I wasn’t anticipating it. I think that I was thinking I would be an exception to the rule -- mainly because I had no problem adjusting to the 9 hour difference on the way over there -- but man was I wrong! I fell asleep in my closet last night praying, only to wake up 2 hours later completely disoriented. I didn't know where I was, what time it was or even what continent I was on! Sorry, enough about me… onto the trip!
Sunday May 16th ~ End of our Travels and Day to Adjust.
After spending a few hours in the Johannesburg airport, we then boarded our last flight for Malawi. It was noon when we took off and 2.5 hours later, we had landed! The flight was rather uneventful (which is always a good thing when it comes to flying) and I ended up getting to meet some interesting people in the process! I sat next to a man that worked for the UN. He was a really neat man that worked on behavior modification with people suffering from HIV/AIDS. I was really fascinated by this (especially after just coming out of a psychiatric rotation where behavior modification is key) and probed for more details. To give you an example of what this man does, let's address a common myth in the African culture. When diagnosed with HIV, men are told that if they have sex with a young virgin girl, that they will be cured of the disease. Thus the transmission of HIV continues and now add to that the trauma of rape which leads to lifelong struggles and often times promiscuity. It seems like a sinking ship. So this man, submerges in the culture, addresses the myths and works with the people to change their thinking (which leads to a change in feelings and ultimately behaviors) so as to prevent further transmission of AIDS. Like I said, I was fascinated! Also on this flight, we enjoyed a really yummy meal that included a fresh salad, really tasty beef, scalloped potatoes and a roll. After landing in Malawi, we exited the plane by stairs and walked across the runway to a bus. While on the bus, I met 3 people that JP had visited with on the plane. 2 of them were natives in Malawi, and 1 of them was a white woman from the States. When I inquired about what they were doing here, they informed me that they work with Doctors Without Borders! My response to that: SHUT UP!!! (no worries I didn't actually blow my professionalism on that, I was just blown away) I hope to work for that organization some day! They had wonderful things to say about the organization, and they were in charge of running an AIDS clinic here in Malawi. Oh the gems that are waiting to be uncovered in an airport!
Moving on, we were picked up by the Somebody Cares staff (this is the organization that Mission Community Church partners with) and escorted through customs. From there, we were delivered to our quaint little home-away-from-home Cluny Lodge. *Side note: I recorded a video at the end of every one of my days I was gone, but for some odd reason blogspot won't let me upload them and neither will youtube! AND, they're too big to email so I'm stuck with all of these videos that summarize my days on my computer and can't share them with anyone! Talk about tragic.* We spent the rest of the evening dining on Malawian Pizza (the pepperoni definitely didn't taste like pepperoni -- uh oh) and playing cards.
At one point in our evening, just as the sun was going down, Chris complained of being bit by mosquitoes and quickly went to fetch some bug spray. He had remembered seeing some in our kitchen (we had an entire guest house to ourselves ~ it slept 8 and I only wish I could show you the vid!) and brought it out to share with the group. Chris loaded up on it, making sure not to miss his face and ears and then passed it around the table. By the time it had reached me, it had already been used on 4 other people. I put one streak of it on my leg and commented it's consistency. It felt like I was spraying myself with spray Pam. I then decided to look at the can and low and behold it was roach killer! Ew ew. Chris that grabbed the bottle to take a closer look and it cautioned having this stuff touch skin! We all went running for the showers and definitely shared some great laughs!
This day was great and it was nice to unwind a little before the craziness picked up again!
Here are a few words in Chichewa (the primary language in Malawi).
Muli Bwanji = How are you?
Nili Bwino = I am well!
Zikomo = Thank you
Buss = Cate
Busse = Goat
Dzina Lanu Endani = What is your name?
Dzina Langa Endi Kelly = My name is Kelly.