Monthly Archives: February 2012

Finding Joy in Small Things!

I have come to discover there are many things I may take for granted in America, yet I also have noticed the things that can
easily be underappreciated here in Malawi too. Take a minute, close your eyes and think of the tiny victories in your life, today. Or
think of the small things that made you smile today, and be thankful. Wear this joy on your sleeve, make it contagious!!

Some of the things I am grateful for while being in Madisi, Malawi are:
*Power during my bucket shower: Lights on during my morning or night showers make pouring water on your body so much
better than knowing where to put your flashlight or to just go to be dirty….

*Spices! Tinashe is a wonderful cook! Last night I came home later than dinner, and the smell of curry decorated the house
so nicely. Mmmm Curry beans and Rice! (I loved it so much, I had it for breakfast the following day!)

*Time to say Hello! Now since I have been in town a few weeks, Tinashe often heads to the office prior to me. I do like walking
alone, since I rarely get to. The best part, it is disrespectful walk away while someone greets you. You should stop and have a
conversation, not just talk while walking away. I really like this. SOmetimes I forget how to say it in Chichewa, but there is
always grace! ūüôā

*Skirts! Its a cultural norm for women to be wearing a skirt knee-length or longer, and now im grateful for it half the time. (I miss
skinny jeans) However its HOT, so its soo nice to have my legs free!!

*Water! We have water. Sometimes. Yet the way it’s collected here and the hours people spent filling containers with it, prevents sleep,
time in school and perhaps so miss out on work. SInce being in Madisi, We flush my toilet only when needed. When you flush your toilet
at home, do you ever wonder how my gallons or litters of water it takes simply for one use?

For us, when we flush we have to take a pitcher that is hung on the wall, fill it with the water that was hopefully refilled with the
tap water that sometimes comes in the middle of the night and refill the tank up to the top. I NOW know how wasteful that can be even
if you have water coming continuously out of your tap. As for us, it’s the only option. I am grateful every time there is water, and
it seems as though I would only come to this personal conclusion through such experiences.

YOU! Friends and Family: I am also very thankful to you my friends and my family. For financially supporting me. For praying for me.
For attending my events. For emailing me, keeping me updated on facebook and for visiting me in my dreams. ūüôā

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Short and Sweet

Close your eyes, imagine a beautiful sunny day, lush green pastures, a simple road with no signs, a car every 30 minutes, if that…walking along the road with 4 new german friends, no care in the world, and spontenaity all around!
Now, Google Image Search: Lake Malawi and Nkhotakota
and know I had a lovely time, and God faithfully provided a means of transportation after walking for 2 hours. Life is good. I hope you have a story for me too!

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My “9-5”

So you might wonder, “What is Molly doing today in Malawi?” As I was walking home from “work” today, I was reflecting on my daily routine. I even told noted that I love my week more than my weekend. ūüôā I look forward to a hot day in the sun with the youth, laughing and teaching, planning and praying. So for all of you who are interested, I thought it might be helpful to know what my “9-5” is everyday.

I live in a rural town, with a trading center called Madisi. The trading center is a roadside “pit-stop,” where there are vendors, shops and a market. I live slightly behind it a few mins with Tinashe, Co-founder of Rise Malawi, and her 16-year-old nephew, Chikondi (means love). ¬†We are seriously like a little family.

8amРWake up:  Unless the roosters or dogs, or even children who are playing outside have not already woken me up.

  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Imagine climbing out of bed, but uncurling from your¬†mosquito¬†net, and tucking it back in, so no friends find you later.
  • If there is power, I might switch on my light and decide what skirt to wear. Culturally women need to cover from their knees down. Thighs showing or lower back is deemed¬†provocative. Skirt on, shirt on, spray on some bug spray, sun screen on!
  • Breakfast is either oatmeal,¬†porridge, or¬†cereal¬†(but dry for me since I am intolerant to milk)

 9:40amРleave to walk to Rise Malawi Office: The walk is about .8 mile and I love walking there and back everyday. In Malawi, its rude to pass someone as they greet you. So we leave with enough time to walk to the office and greet people along the way in the Trading Center.

  • Walking is awesome! If you sit at a desk, please get out and walk just for me! It is usually about 85-90 degrees at this point and people love to greet or stare at me since I am the azungu. Kids in the market, seriously follow us.
  • Tinashe is well-respected in the community b/c of the work of Rise Malawi, so many people stop to chat with us.

10am — devotions and prep for Program:¬†Tinashe, Za, and Movutu are the leaders of RiseMalawi. Along with them, 2 camp leaders, Lucia & Gerald.

  • Tomorrow I am sharing the word of God, and every day is different.
  • Mondays we share what we are thanking God for
  • Tuesdays & Thursday — Bible study, we just finished the books of eph.
  • Friday¬†–Testimonies and prayer: We share what God is doing in our lives.

This time is extremely helpful to my growth in my walk with Christ, as I am challenged, like leading for 20 mins tomorrow, and encouraged to pray with and for one another. It is a true gift from God that we have the time and the opportunity to gather like this.

  • This time is also for planning who will run arts and crafts, who will run the bible lesson, who will run counselling and who will run recreation. Each day is a different topic… Guess what! Today I ran Arts and Crafts! ūüėõ Recreation is also, everyday!

145pm– Prayer and Head to the School buildings we use for program: Youth have started showing up outside the office between 12-145 and they help carry supplies, such as the food prepped for program, soap to clean the dishes, and water to wash our hands with.

  • The youth start program with singing a few songs as we all gather. We welcome and start camp with a prayer and the youth all wash hands and then are served a heaping plate of food. (Rice, greens and sometimes chicken, or a hard-boiled egg in “soup” which is onions and tomatoes suatueed over heat or soy)
  • The sound of peaceful children eating, once the youth are served, we also join them in eating! Praise God for Maria & Damanda, these 2 women who cook all this food everyday, no matter if there is power or they have to cook outside on the fire.
  • Tutoring: Camp leaders help with homework, if they even get homework, or the camp leaders research a topic to teach the youth. ūüôā
  • I have two girls, I am tutoring in English. So far so good! We sit on two wooden benches under a tree.. I love¬†incorporating¬†the camera into a lesson or creating a game around learning English.
  • Art & Craft, Memory Verse, Counselling, or Bible depending on the day..
  • Recreation!! The kids love playing games, Capture the flag, steal the bacon, or other such games. Rain or shine, God always allows for recess!
  • Announcements and if its a Friday we encourage the youth to attend Church.
  • Many of the youth offer to carry my bag, my tutoring materials and the food buckets back at the end of program. The office is about a soccer field away from where we hold program. They youth are very loving, fun, and silly. We take A LOT of pictures on the walk home. The youth teach me new words and I speak to the ones who want ¬†to practice their English.

5pm ish.. Closing words and prayer with staff: Back at the office, the youth have cleaned the dishes from lunch and stored them away. We say goodbye and then the staff has a final prayer.

  • Tinashe & I walk our .8 mile walk home, rain or heat. Its dusk by then, and I am usually hot b/c the heat is so intense, or b/c I have been running around with the kids.
  • Sometimes if the power is out, its a dark walk, with many people walking, carrying thins on their heads, bikes and bike¬†taxis, so it busy for a small town.

End of the work day however things at home that might take place….¬†

  • Bucket shower: boil water + cold water. sometimes I just go with cold water. ( I need prayer for when the power is out and I am showering by flashlight)
  • Walking to Peoples, the nearest grocery store to refill my water bottle supply, add minutes to my phone, ect.
  • Putting away my hand washed clothes that might have been dried by the sun, if I woke up that morning before 8am to do my wash.
  • Tinashe is a great cook, and she hates dishes, so as she preps dinner, ¬†Chikondi and I sometimes practice reading, speaking English, coloring, ect and after we all eat together, him and I do the dishes every night.
  • Read: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, SUCH A GOOOOD BOOK, seriously! ¬†Or I will try to check emails, if the network is good!
  • Sometimes we stargaze, there are millions of stars, and I am so lucky to be surrounded by this beauty!
  • Bed… I climb into my netted bed, with my flashlight, books, and water bottle. Sometimes I need music to block out the sounds of the dogs, and roosters, but so far… I am settled and when I am tired, I feel good. The work is hard and my body is worked.

Tonight I am thanking God for no power outs tonight, a great internet connection and 3 new friends in town from Germany.. ūüôā ¬†If you see this before Wednesday morning please pray I am giving the right words to say during my “preaching” during devotions time tomorrow. ¬†Thanks family & friends. Thinking of you!¬†

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…Love Note…

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†“Odi, Odi?” Is a very common phrase here in Malawi. Odi, basically ¬†translates to “may I enter?” I have the pleasure of living with Tinashe ¬†Saka, a college graduate from African Bible College and graduate of Urban Promise Entrepreneurial Fellowship. ¬†She is co-founder of RiseMalawi. Due to that she is highly respected in this community, a different one than where she was raised. ¬†Also, she never says no to “Odi.”

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Friday night we told stories and laughed until the early hours and then grinned big knowing we could sleep in. We joked about not opening the door ¬†to the early morning “Odi’s” because Tinashe needed rest. Despite what was said, many people came, asking, “Odi? Odi?” with no refusal from Tinashe. ¬†The love and hospitality she shares is indescribable. She drops what she is doing knowing she may lose time to herself to lend an ear to a broken soul.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Over dinner she told me of the “tears that were shed in this house today…not down cheeks but displayed on faces…” I was at a loss for words with the selflessness she possess and the brokeness of this world. ¬†In this community women are suffering with men who practice polygamy, ¬†broken marriages due to differing religious beliefs and children ¬†struggling to obtain the basics, like underwear and soap. ¬†Join me in prayer for those who come and sit; lets pray for them to find hope. Also pray that living with Tinashe I will emulate the patience and love she exudes. I hope Tinashe can help us connect to the ways Jesus loved. John 15:12-13 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Great love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

If you know Tinashe, encourage her. She is carrying quite the load.

Zikomo

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Worth the Wait

My 1st Soccer game

My 1st adventure. One of my favorite pictures so far. The community event, futbol match. Despite the rain drops, people come around for the games…before I got inside, I snapped this picture. Once I entered, all eyes were on me. Once people saw I had a camera, people wanted a portrait of themselves. It was a lot of fun, smiles and laughs.

I made It!

…The land is so many shades of green with air smelling of

wood burning. It feels incredible to be back! I know I stand

out, (I hear childrens¬†saying..¬†“azungu”..) but I feel

comfortable and at home. This car ride from the airport, if

only you can experience each of the five senses with me!

Many variations of clouds dance in the sky; beautifully

scattered about. Oh, and this breeze… cool cool air flying in

and out of the windows. Sunglasses on and I gaze into the sky

searching for the source of heat I feel.  Then I stare into the warm sun

as if I had been in hibernation for half a year. Regae pop music from the

car radio ignites my ears with joy and I smile, for I am happy to feel all these

emotions.  In every direction the road is adorned with people in beauiful hues

of colorful clothing; bicyclists go to and fro  and vendors

 roadside selling goods. 

Malawi is not called the “Warm Heart of Africa” by mistake.

… this is a journal entry from my car ride from the

airport with my friend Movuti and to my dear sister, Tinahe’s house.

Traveling went smooth. Thank you for the prayers. More to come when I buy my internet card next week. Prayer for no power outages, or limted ones at least, and you will hear from me!

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