Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The First Day in Kumponda

We woke up at 7am. TODAY WAS THE DAY. This was the morning Daniel took us five and our translator, Jarvis, to Kumponda to meet with the committee especially made to advise and help us achieve our dream of creating a bicycle powered maize mill in their community.  As we drove out of the depths of the city, our surroundings gradually changed from local stores and milling people to farm land and frolicking children. 

As our car bumbled down the bumpy roads to Kumponda, we were met with waves and smiles from everyone, especially the children.  One boy with his school backpack chased us all the way down the road, not stopping his smile for one second. 

Once we got in front of the chief’s house for the meeting, we discovered some interesting playground equipment. Definitely missed the seesaw back home!

After a few playground shenanigans, the committee members started to arrive and warmly welcomed us in Chichewa.  Not all of the committee members were able to attend the meeting due to being busy in the community, but we met five out of the ten members! Their names were James, the committee chairman, Erissy, Agnes, Flone, and Alice. It warmed my heart to see such a representation of women as well, seeing as other places in the world are still working towards equal representation in their leadership, including our own!

During our meeting, we discussed the goals of our trip and how we want to work together with the community.  Our goals are to build one sustainable bicycle powered maize mill, learn more about the community and their agricultural practices through surveying, continue to build a relationship with the community, and build a map with the community members to better understand Kumponda as a whole.  The committee members were very supportive, excited, and asked many questions to understand the project! It went incredibly wonderful, and in Daniel’s words, the project is a “dream come true” or “maloto akukwaniri tsidwa”.  We ended the meeting with some cold Coca Colas :)

After the meeting, we saw some local Kumpondan children along with path smiling and looking our way.  I asked them if I could take their picture, and as you can see, they enjoyed seeing the results!

Their beautiful smiles couldn’t even truly be captured by the pictures taken :)

Showing me the ropes on how to make my derpy faces even derpier!

When we said goodbye, we waved out the window to each other as the car drove away.  This made us even more excited for the next visit to the community!

We then headed to various mechanical, hardware, and agricultural stores to start our hunt of materials.  For the next few hours, we found many of the materials we needed to begin the construction of the maize mill. A successful day indeed!

Big love to the other EWB teams, India, Nicaragua, and Thailand as they are on their trips! They are doing big things and deserve lots of support :) Thank you for everyone supporting us back home, hope you are all having a majestic break!



  1. Great post and great pictures, Jennifer. Keep it up! -Dave (Cate's dad)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.