We arrived safely Friday here in Lilongwe with wonderful food on our flights and with happy, yet tired team members all around! We arrived just after noon and our process through the visa line was our quickest yet, though still a hand-written, hand-stickered, hand-stamped, and hand-checked process (yes – four people checked each of us in one by one by one). We are staying at a beautiful hotel in Lilongwe with a cook who is an expert in food from India and we will also have African food too. The hotel staff members are all lovely and accommodating and have been anticipating our arrival.
Last night, we unpacked our 4,500 pounds of donations that we brought and divided it among many orphanages, hospital and medical facility/school as well as a nearby church congregation with a large orphanage program. It was touching to see all the wonderful donations that everyone collected, lugged, packed and unpacked to serve so many! Our 45 team members represent hundreds and hundreds of wonderful people who are all helping with our efforts and we are honored by your support. Today, we visited Child Legacy International (childlegacy.org) and then met the chiefs, top leaders and villagers of Selengo where we will build a 3-classroom school block, library and repair a teacher’s house. They gave us a very formal warm welcome with the leaders in their Sunday best and we toured the site, walked down to the well that we are having drilled for the community (called a borehole) and then had a lot of fun with about 150 kids. The headmaster for the school is grateful for our assistance and support and the villagers are excited to work alongside us. As part of our permaculture and sustainability focus, we work with the community to build a sustainable food source.
From our co-team leader, Dr. Melanie Carlone:
We are very keen on finding sustainable ways of supporting the work of our Malawian partners as they struggle to restore health to themselves and their rather devastated environment. Over the next two weeks we will be dedicated to helping increase educational opportunities with our school building and also into the root cause of poverty with our support and training in permaculture awareness, a systems approach to individual and community health.
Team members are jumping in, serving, helping, working, laughing and learning! Today we bring our hearts and tools to begin a major building process.
We all send our love and appreciation to our family and supporters and are REALLY excited for our adventure!