Friday, June 8, 2012

A Day of Exploring

 Table on our porch.
 UNC Project Guest House.
 The girls' side.
 Our yard chickens.
 Sign from Joyce, the keeper of UNC Guesthouse
 Mine and Alex's room
 Clothes hanging
 Joyce, housekeeper, and Fatniss, her helper.
 Joyce and our house dog, Fumu.

 Our exchanged currency, the Malawian Kwatcha

 The Lions Sight First Eye Hospital

 Everyone rides these bikes here.  I love them, love the hand brakes.
 Bible (?) outside

 Pensive Amblessed
 Papaya tree
 Peace Corps SUV

 Love this van for the Ophthalmic Outreach Programme
 The Afri CAN cafe, with drinks and pastries on the hospital campus
 Malawian nurses
 Inside the Afri CAN
 UNC <3 Lilongwe
 Lighthouse HIV clinic on the KCH campus

 School children...

 Hospital gate
 Guards at the gate
 Home sweet hammock
Days here start around 3:30 AM, with the morning call to worship from the surrounding mosques waking you.  One mosque must start the call, and then it is followed by all of the surrounding mosques, because you begin to hear gongs, instruments, and noises from all sides.  Being blessed with the gift of falling back asleep immediately like a narcoleptic, I kept on. I legitimately woke up when our housemate Brian (MS3 from Vandy) came over, bringing a Malawian doctor named Frank who is going to see about getting our Yellow Fever cards for the border in Zambia when we go on Safari in a few weeks.  Our housemates left for various corners of Lilongwe for work and Amblessed and I scrounged around the house for some breakfast. Not wanting to steal everything from our housemates, we walked over to the drivers' office and asked for a ride up to the ShopRite, a local grocery store.  A very kind man Tom (and by the way, all Malawians have been wonderfully kind to us) took us by the store and waited for us to pick up some groceries.  We bought canned fish and tomatoes and rice for dinner tonight, and picked up some corn flakes, box milk, and orange juice which Amblessed suspects is closer to Sunny-D than real juice.  We had planned to also buy a cell phone at the market across from ShopRite to make local calls, but we ran out of money during our grocery shopping.  We only brought 8,400 kwatcha (27ish dollars).  Tom brought us back to the UNC Project guest house where we found one of our housemates, Urooj, who is a post-doc doing research on water systems in Malawi.  She's been here a week and is in the know about the lunch situation at the hospital, where a local woman sells cooked rice, fish, chicken, beef, and veggies.  I wish I had taken a picture of my lunch.  At the suggestion of our Chichewa teacher in Chapel Hill, I had the fish, which was a local Malawian fish that had been fried.  As Chifundo promised, it was delicious.  The veggies were too, especially the cabbage slaw and the cooked greens.  All of this by the way was 350 kwatcha, which is less than two dollars.  Amazing.

After lunch, Urooj went on with her work, interviewing people at the Ministry of Water and Amblessed and I went back to the guest house to grab more money before walking into town.  Our driver Tom had taught us a short cut to get out to the main road from the hospital that probably saved us 15 minutes of walking time.  We walked past a group of school-aged children who smiled for us.  We made it back to the center where ShopRite is and found a person selling cell phones.  We bought a phone, sim card, and 1,000 kwatcha minute card for 5,000 kwatcha (bargain shopping).  Then, we went exploring in a little shopping mall with another super market, Spar, a Malawian Wal-Mart (which is owned by Wal-Mart for real) and a Creamy Inn, which sells soft serve.  I ordered a coke float and the guy behind the counter told me that he only had pink ice cream- it was totally delicious.  After all of this fun, we walked back to the guest house.  Mission accomplished. 

I was able to set up the hammock in the front of the house.  There are only a few trees in the yard, so I had to hook it to the columns.  We relaxed for a little while before Dr. Shores arrived.  She had just flown in from Johannesburg where she was after her All-African ENT Conference in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.  I can't wait to see those pictures.    Tonight we are going to an ex-pat bar called Harry's.

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