Tuesday, December 20, 2016

This Took a Little Longer than Expected (Plus Cliff Bar Series #1)

 When they say getting there is half the trouble, they really mean it. With our original flight to Washington D.C. delayed by two hours, we figured we would barely make it to our connecting flight to Ethiopia. However, upon arrival, icy conditions forced us to ground in Virginia, before we could get to D.C. As a result, the Ethiopian flight was pushed back and we missed our flight to Blantyre. So we ended up with an unexpected night in Ethiopia before we could fly out the next day, without our luggage. And if things couldn’t get any worse, they couldn’t even find our bags so we had to go to Blantyre without any equipment or clothes.

But we finally made it to Malawi! With no fresh clothes and no idea when the bags would come in, we had to go into the town and buy some news ones until our bags arrived.  We ended up going to a kids store where the whole team all bought matching shirts and shorts like one big family. Minus the bickering. Which I’m sure is coming.

After buying food and supplies, we moved into our living arrangements in a nice little townhouse outside the community. Exhausted, we all went straight to bed and got to experience a typical Malawian thunderstorm, complete with lightning, thunder, and literally the loudest rain I’ve ever experienced.

The following day we met our translator Ruth, by the far the sweetest person I’ve ever met. She always has a smile on her face and we’re super glad she’ll be working with the team again. We drove out to our first meeting with the committee prepared to detail our plan for this trip and our goals for assessment. After speaking to and conversing with the members and Chief Kumponda, it became clear that leaving them with a mechanically sound and safe maize mill was the primary goal of the community. We also reiterated our commitment to understanding their needs and collaborating to find a new solution. The community is super excited to work with us, and we are looking forward to as well!

 And ending on a good note, our bags came in today as well! Tomorrow we go into town to speak with the machinist and buy supplies for the maize mill. Thanks for reading!

Cliff Bar Series #1: Cool Mint Chocolate

In addition to my blog posts, I will also be providing a rating of the various Cliff Bars we brought on this trip. Number one: cool mint chocolate.

A common flavor found in many types of cookies, ice cream, and protein bars, this one is a classic. With a flashy white icing drizzled over a mint chocolately chewy bar, it’s a perfect sweet pick me up when one is feeling hungry. The only downside is it melts easily under the heat, and becomes quite the handful to eat when trying to eat it discretely.

8/10 would recommend

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