Many First Time in Lilongwe
Malawi — Uniterra
Who would have thought that this beautiful blue sky would lead to a heavy, pouring rain in the afternoon? Yes it did: Welcome to the rainy season in Malawi! The rain last for about 30 minutes; and the sun was back, which make the weather more bearable and not too dry. This was the first rain that I have seen since I arrive.
Today, I met with COWHLA and I was able to discuss the potential projects that await me. It’s so exciting because I will have the opportunity to go to the fields where most of Malawians live! I will mostly work on 2 main projects: OBOL and GUSU. OBOL stands for U our bodies, our lives and GUSO stands for Get Up, Speak Out! OBOL focus on women’s access to quality antiretroviral treatment in Malawi and GUSO focus on youth to be able to freely speak up about their condition and to break the stigma that is around it. Unfortunately, my first day was cut short because of a power outage in the area; since everything is computerized, they couldn’t provide me with the necessary reading for my assignment – they release us for the afternoon and I was able to do a bit of grocery for the rest of the week. I say us because we’re 2 volunteers working for the same partner which it’s awesome – she’s a big help since I’m still not familiar with my surrounding (but eh, it’s only my second day in Malawi!)
On my way to the grocery, I have experienced my first travel in a mini-bus. A mini bus is a small van that fit at least 10 peoples and drives around the city – and it’s commonly used by Malawian in the capital. It was so pack inside and uncomfortable, but I was glad to have taken it because it save us a lot of walking (there is always a good side to anything bad!) From the mini-bus stop, we ride a tuk-tuk (again, my first tuk-tuk ride in Malawi!!) to go to the Game Center where most shops of Lilongwe are. You can find anything you need in the Game Center, from restaurant, grocery store, pharmacy and even specialized shop with imported toilet products.
So many first time in this post and I’m pretty sure many more first times are to come! Before the next power outage, I will stop my post here and download relevant articles to read at the partner’s in case of a power outage tomorrow… Stay tuned!