The airport is on the far outskirts of Lilongwe in the middle of beautiful open fields. It was actually how I imagined it to be but without the dirt runway. Modernization! Carson and Jeff brought me to Campus and helped me to settle into my new diggs. Truthfully, I was so exhausted on the ride that I found it difficult to take in the scenery; it was kind of a blur. I was actually really excited to take a shower and a nap when I arrived. I went to turn on the water and it just trickled out. I looked around for some kind of switch, of which there was none. Eventually, more water started pouring out of the faucet. Later I asked my new housemate what the trick was for the water. Turns out the water goes in and out just like the electricity, for some reason that never occurred to me. After laughing at my ignorance, I went down for a nap. I woke up and dutifully took my anti-malarial pill and quickly learned that you shouldn't take those on an empty stomach. I was lucky I didn't throw it right back up. Others haven't been so fortunate.
Carson and Jeff fixed a nice dinner for me and I got the chance to get to know them a bit. Carson is a nurse at the ABC clinic and Jeff will be teaching history at the academy and a couple of courses at the college. Yes, you read that right. I found the Stacy (nurse) and Jon (history teacher) counterparts in Africa on my first day. Carson even had an anthro volcano candle in the living room. Love it! Day 2
I had seen pictures of my lab but it is bigger and nicer than I had expected. On the same note, my class with the largest roster is …… drumroll…. 20 students. I will be teaching grades 6 through 9 science. The amount of prep work will be enormous but I am truly blessed to have such amazing facilities and small class sizes.
After a couple of days of eating PBJ it was time to venture off to the markets. First stop, THE market. I would love to share details but it, too, was a blur. Between vendors selling as you're walking (imagine several mall hand lotion and mobile phone vendors at once), trekking in and out of stalls to different vendors, bartering (which was more like turning to my colleague and asking "is that too much?"), checking out the sights, smells, sounds, and counting my cash I was a bit overwhelmed to say the least. I haven't quite been to something like that before and it was a bit of a stimuli overload. However, I did manage to come out with some beautiful fresh produce and I am looking forward to venturing back soon. Then it was off to a supermarket. Actually, the supermarket was an experience as well. I was surprised to find so many brands that I recognized but I was also wowed by all the things I wasn't familiar with and somehow managed to leave feeling like there wasn't that much to choose from either. Anyone else ever feel this way? From there it was onto the cellular phone company. I giggled inside when I heard my host ask, "Do you have any phones today?" Luckily, they had two to choose from (my housemate went today and they didn't have any). I chose the nicer one and was out the door a couple minutes later. I don't think I've ever purchased a mobile phone so fast.
Since then I've been getting to know fellow ABC missionaries, unpacked, and settled into both my new home and classroom. I've included some pics below. Enjoy!
|My new bedroom, probably the size of my last apartment, with the mosquito netting draped across the bed it does look quite dreamy. I purchased a blanket before I left and it has really helped to make the space feel more me.|
|A kitchen that is very well stocked. My housemates and I are very blessed to have such ammenities.|
|Living Room/Dining Room|
|Home, sweet home!|