In honor of Geoffrey, Hellllloooo everyone!
I've decided that we should try to blog a lot more in the next couple of days because of our lack of posting here! Hopefully we actually do!
Things to note about this past week:
1. Geoffrey has arrived in Malawi!
2. Attaching sponges to your feet and dancing is a fantastic way to mop a floor.
3. Making nsima for less than 5 minutes will cause your hair to smell like the equivalent of sitting by a campfire for 2 hours.
4. Masamba means vegetables, and ironically Mr. Masamba is a farmer!
The past few days have been jam packed with work and fun!
As Jen mentioned, Wednesday was our very first day of testing! Since then we have been working tirelessly to try to make as many improvements as possible with our last two days in the community.
Here's a view without the hopper
After being slightly disappointed about the size of the maize flour, we headed to meet Levison and his family at the site where their new house is being built! The house was incredible! Even with no ceilings or floors, you could tell it was going to look amazing.
Iwen, the heart throb of Malawi
Only slightly offended that I have been replaced as Jenn's best friend by Angel
Here's a picture of the coolest family in Malawi
And finally we wrapped up the night with an amazing dinner made by Ruth and her family!
Thursday was a full day of testing, but even that allowed for a few detours along the way!
How can you deny these kids a ride in the minibus?
Jen and Andrew were able to stop by to visit Joseph and have him grind down a flat on our axle.
We also took a quick break to walk around with the kids!
We were all wishing we had four more hands
We needed to document Tom with his new best friends!
Sadly, today was our last day in the community.
We stopped for relish (the meat and vegetables that accompany the nsima) along the way. Chicken, because Jenn and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to hold one of them.
Clearly naturals at holding chickens
When we arrived, the committee members were prepared for a long day of testing, adding a chain guard, and taking measurements of the stand.
Here are some final pictures of the mill!
Unfortunately with only a few days to work out all of the kinks, we were unable to make all of the adjustments needed to perfect the process, but we did find a smaller sieve allowing us to sift through to get flour that is actually fine enough to make nsima!
Without an ideal process to get this flour, we informed the community members that the mill was not ready to be used with the final rollers, but could be used to break other things into smaller pieces.
The community members informed us that they have a certain kind of relish where they use pieces of peas, beans, and soy that need to be crushed up. They agreed that they would like to try to use the mill to grind those things up!
But hopefully we can return home to find new ideas for improvement so we can make flour that will make nsima like this!
Harriet, Flonny, and Agnes broke out the dance moves
Our final send off
Though we were sad to leave, we were so proud of what we have accomplished and so humbled to have worked with these amazing people.
Miss you all and looking forward to seeing everyone when we return!