Thursday, December 17, 2015

Breaking Ground

The cogs are in motion, and we arise strongly for another day.

On the way to Kumponda in the minibus, a mysterious man was riding with us, and we were not sure what he was doing there. He slurred his speech, spoke very broken English, and was very comfortable trying to get to know us. Turns out, he had been drinking from the night before (this is 9 am). So we stopped in a marketplace called Lunzu to pick up some water, and the guy asks to see Chris’ water bottle, so he gives it to him. We all come back to the minibus and he is nowhere to be found. Shortly after, we are driving through the market and all of a sudden the man is on the side of the road with Chris’ water bottle, half filled with some suspicious liquid. In a matter of minutes, he was able to find somewhere in the market to get liquor, and had filled Chris’ bottle with it! We retrieved the bottle and emptied it, only to say farewell to him, but overall had a laughable experience. Here he is:

The team received a wonderful blessing in finding quality lumber at this market, which we were able to purchase for the day’s work:

Starting the construction process, we were welcomed by the community members singing and dancing for us. A wonderfully unexpected greeting to represent the joyous occasion of beginning construction on The Amaizing Mill. The team here is shown with community leaders breaking ground (literally) digging out the site of old bricks and dirt where they wanted to place the maize mill.

We are so excited to understand the community even better by spending more time with them. Working together, laughing together, sweating together -- it was everything we could hope for in community involvement and ownership. The team is so proud of the work we are doing so far, and continues to strive to push ourselves and overcome the challenges ahead.

I wouldn’t be able to sleep well without first giving a warm greeting to all of our friends and family back home. We love you so much, and appreciate your support in following and being a part of our journey. A special shout out goes to the Cal Poly EWB teams of India, Thailand, and Nicaragua, for we know you are all working hard as well. Keep up the good work everyone. I have utmost confidence in your success.

Night y’all,



  1. How inspiring it is to see all of the EWB Malawi's team's preparations for this journey begin to unfold into the project finally beginning. Community involvement and support, solid supplies, laughter, surprises here and there - it sounds like things are going great! Thank you so much for the posts and pictures, as your supporters here at home are looking forward to each new post and enjoying watching your journey from afar. Keep up the good work.
    *** Julie Apple (Chris' mom)

  2. Thank you for the great post, Spencer. Best of luck to you! Dave (Cate's dad)

  3. I have been reading your blog every day and the work the team is doing is truly inspirational!! Your project is going to have a great impact on your community which is really amaizing! Embrace the challenges you face and keep having fun out there!! Kellie (you're biggest fan)

  4. This is awesome!
    Keep up the great work guys!

    - Homar

  5. Go Team Malawi! Glad to hear the materials needed for the project are available. Love the updates... we're all rooting for you.

    Wonder if time and weather allow if you guys can have a pickup game of soccer (football) with the village/ school kids... I think they'd school you. All the best, Dave (Spencer's Dad)

  6. ... also Netball (modified basketball), Volleyball and Cricket I understand are popular.