February 2023

Half way

Written by: 
Mark Jongerden


Today marks the halfway point of our trip. 
As we experienced on each of our days, today was again full of interesting events.

Today’s weather forecast is 34 with a humidity of around 90%.

We left our lodge in Bongula just after 7am and headed for the Chigumukire centre just north of Nsanje.

On the way we stopped for some more water and bought some avocados for 500kwacha ( about 25 cents each)

Once we arrived, about half the team spent updating sponsorship correspondence letters and the other half headed back to the garden to finish the raised bed trial drip system. We completed 16 - 50’ long beds with double drip lines on which they will start with growing mustard, Chinese cabbage , and lettuce interspersed with beds of corn.

At 11:30 we all headed over to the common area. Three days a week the elderly come from long ways out for the lunch program. The agogo amunas(grandfathers ) and agogo akazis(grandmothers) were singing Malawian songs and dancing. Some of us joined in and we learned how to wiggle our tongues side to side and make high pitch sounds . They thought it was hilarious and we had a great time!!
Just before lunch some of us had a quick soccer game . Man , some of these boys are very talented !!

After lunch, Steven, our Bambo (father) told a Bible story with one of the men translating. It was about the Lord creating the heavens and the earth and the six days of creation. The kids were very attentive and gave him a big cheer at the end. Steven, ever considered teaching at the centre ? 

Jens got his hair braided by the mibusa ( pastor’s wife) and Hannah & Breanna by the schoolmaster’s daughter!

After cleaning up in the garden and the centre, we headed over to some kids’ home that Mitch’s family sponsors.
The mother was maybe early to mid twenties ( she had her first child at 13) and lives with her 4 children in a less then 180ft2 mud hut/house. It was so sad to experience but a blessing for Mitch to be able to witness and to be a blessing to this family !!

From there, we went to an outside market in Nsanje and roamed around there for a while. Jason gave us all 2000kwachas (about $2) and told us to see what interesting item(s)
We could come up with. The best item was a big machete!

Then we went to Shire River which is the border between Malawi and Mozambique.
We saw some local fishermen and asked if they could take us across to Mozambique 
They gave us 2 rides for 8000kwachas.($10)

The ladies and Collin went on the second ride and they disappeared out of our sight. They told us that they were singing “Amazing Grace“ as they went through some crocodile infested bullrushes thinking one would come after them. But …..they made it out alive!!

We arrived back at our lodge at 5:30pm, took some quick showers, and had another good supper!

Oh … and Steven left his lights and windows open and his room is getting doomed as we speak! LOL

Good night everyone

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