Hullo!

I am finally in Mzimba where I will be spending my next three months volunteering at the District Water Office (DWO) working in the Water and Sanitation sector.  After a five hour bus ride from Lilongwe, I arrived here last Sunday evening with my coach, Alynne.  We spent the night in a guesthouse just outside of the boma where we were treated with a delicious supper and hot showers (I shared mine with a frog!).  On Monday morning, Mr. Dambula, the man I will be working for/with this summer, came to collect us and brought us to the office.  Mr. Dambula is one of the most inspirational and intelligent beings I have ever met; I feel very privileged to be working with him and I know that he will teach me alot this summer.  

Monday evening Mr. Dambula took me to the village where I would be staying: Chimembe.  Everyone was very welcoming, but it was very difficult to try and remember names when I could not see their faces in the dark so Tuesday morning we had another round of names.  The village has about 40 people in it and the majority of them are children.  The children get quite a 'kick' out of me when I attempt to converse in my limited Tumbuka, when I did my laundry, when I was helping gathering maize to arrange in a stock, when I read, when I smile, when I sit, when I stand... so, yeah, they just really love laughing at me. Life is very different in the village and I am still adjusting, but the people are loving and truly remarkable.  

Because the national elections took place yesterday, not much has been happening at work.  I stayed home yesterday and today Mr. Dambula briefed me on what the DWO did last year and their plan for the upcoming year.  After next week, I am sure I will have alot more to share!

Tears, sweat, and blood.

colleen.