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. 🙂 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.
8am– Wake 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)
9:40am– leave 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! 😛 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. 🙂
- 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.. 🙂 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!
Sounds like you are fitting into the Malawian lifestyle so smoothly! Such a lovely routine–getting to incorporate community and serving and nature and good food every day. How did your time of leading go? I can tell that there is lots of learning and love happening between you and the staff/kids, keep up the awesome work!
Thank you Janelle! Leading was fun! We did a drawing of a friend and then showed them off to the group; we had tons of laughs! 🙂 Thank you for the comment. I am missing you!!