A Whirlwind First Week!
My goodness! What a week! I'm going to give you a short rundown of how it went, and will hopefully be able to share some more about my work later on this week.
Sunday: Left Stuttgart, flew to London where I stood in the customs line for over 3 hours before finally reaching my connecting flight's terminal, and then in the evening, got on a flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.
Monday: Landed in Jo'burg and, as told by the airline staff, exited customs and went to get my suitcase to recheck it for the connecting flight with a new airline... but they had checked it through after all, so went to check in again and was told the flight had been overbooked by 12 people and I'd have to sleep in a hotel in Jo'burg. Thankfully, I had a friendly staff person assist me and then got to spend the next 20 hours in a lovely hotel waiting for the next flight.
Tuesday: Made it onto the once-again overbooked flight to Lilongwe, and landed in Malawi just after noon, where I was picked up by WUSC staff, proceeded to the Garden Court Lodge to drop off my bags, and then caught up with the other 5 volunteers (one is Anna - a fellow INDEVOUR) just in time for a city tour via mini-bus.
Wednesday: Had a morning of orientation at the WUSC offices, and lunch with some settled WUSC volunteers who gave us some thankfully received advice. In the afternoon, we were all introduced to our organizations, and got to talk over the job descriptions once again.
Thursday: First day of work! And, it was a camp day, so I arrived at the offices just in time to check my emails and then hop in the back of the Land Rover to head 1 hour north of Lilongwe towards Dowa, to spend the day on various tours of the JRS projects within the Dzaleka Refugee Camp.
Friday: JRS had a staff team-building day at Lake Malawi, so within four days of arriving in-country, I was able to see and enjoy the beauty of the lake! It was about a 2 hour drive from Lilongwe and was a great way to get to know the staff and have fun at the same time: there was swimming, yummy braii (BBQ - many types of meat including fresh fish bought from local fisherman as they brought their catch in), soccer games, and more! I saw cormorants diving for fish, and shortly after we set up the BBQ, a monkey came running from behind the rocks and stole our onions!
Saturday: The new WUSC volunteers who are based out of Lilongwe, Alisha, Brittany, Mylan, and I went into town on the mini-bus and did some much-needed groceries and essentials shopping, and then visited the Lilongwe Wildlife Center, a rehabilitation sanctuary, in the afternoon, followed by a dinner with some of the more settled WUSC volunteers and their friends.
Sunday: We had a relaxing morning trying to figure out internet and then went for lunch to a beautiful restaurant and plant nursery with Nikolaus, a Malawian friend from the dinner on Saturday. We walked back to our Lodge and played some Euchre until our taxi driver came to move us into our new house for the time we are here! We finally got to meet Jo & Jo, the couple who live in the house, and had a lovely evening moving in, making dinner together, and chatting. They also have a cute little cat named Artemis who is super cuddly and decided last night that the best place for him to sleep was on my pillow and/or head.
So that is what I've all experienced in the past week! It's been pretty busy, and I am expecting that to continue, as the JRS offices are humming with activity and the projects I am going to be assisting with seem to need a lot of work!
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Welcome! My name is Katiana and I am a development professional pursuing my dream to live out Isaiah 1:17 to the best of my abilities. I am passionate about teaching and working with vulnerable families and children to improve their lives sustainably.
This blog is composed of my personal opinions, which do not necessarily reflect the opinion or views of institutions or organizations that I may be or have been affiliated with.