The People of Malawi

If you remember a few months ago I told you I wanted to know the people in the village by name. Each person has a story, each person has value. Therefore here are some of the people of Malawi. These are the people I learned to love in the village, here are a few of my favorites. Something Amazing had the opportunity to help some of these people out.IMG-20170714-WA0060

1. Chino

Chino is a man of many trades, he owns a bicycle repair shop, a few bicycle taxis, is a priest, and he always has a few bee hives in which he keeps. I met Chino on the first few days I was here in Malawi. IMG-20170714-WA0053The first few days I needed a bicycle fixed, at first, he tried to over charge us, but we promised if he gave us a good price we would only come back to him. This friendship formed and we now stop by his bike shop every day. One day Chino invited me and Tarik (the German I lived with) to go see his bee hives. Not realizing we were going to collect honey, it was probably one of the single handed dangerous things I’ve watched here. Chino and his brother, with no protective gear other than long sleeves, started making a fire under the bees nest to make them sleepy. As the flames got higher and the bees got lower, all I could hear is Chino saying. “Don’t be afraid, but be careful.” After about 30 minutes of battling bees, we got the sweetest honey I have ever tasted. Chino recently got he be stolen, which greatly affects his business. Sometimes in life, you have to reward amazing people when life tries to get them down in life.

2. Vincent Msiska.

Vincent is the Manager of the local organization I partnered up with, Kingfisher. He is dependable, hard working, and wonderful family man. IMG-20170713-WA0014Vincent is my number one person here in Malawi. He makes sure we are safe, that we have a translation when needed and that no one tries to take advantage of us. He makes sure everything is in place when we are going to help local people in the village. Vincent has 2 young daughters, Patience age 6 and Theleza age 3. An example of the type of father Vincent is, one day I gave Vincent 6 Oreos from my care package I got. For my knowledge, he ate all the cookies and we went on about our day. Later in the day, we stopped by each of his daughter schools to pay school fees and he proceeded to give 3 cookies to each daughter. I thought this was extremely sweet due to not always having the ability to buy sweets for his daughters. Sometimes it is the small things in life that can make a child’s day better. Something Amazing has sponsored his daughters in order to go to school. Vincent is also our proud manager back in Malawi over one of our new employees.

3. Mr. Konchera.

Mr. Konchera is the standard 6 teacher at the primary school I teach at. He is one of my favorite teachers at the school. In the beginning of my time here he seemed to never show up, but the last month he has been wonderful. Mr. Konchera said once about the strike, “I will teach my students. It doesn’t matter about the money at this point. The government doesn’t know this child, but I do. My kids will not do good on the end of the year test if things

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continue this way.” He was the first teacher to acknowledge that the teachers are directly related to how the students can progress in society. Not many teachers were able to figure that out. I will forever have respect for the man. We also made a deal that if he came on time and to school every day for two weeks we would take him to the lake with us, for a mini vacation. He is in his later years in life and has never seen Lake Malawi which is only an hour from him.

4. Patience

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Patience is a young girl, Vincent met a few months ago. Her mom has had leg cancer for the last 12 years. This makes it impossible for her to work or make any type of living. Patience mom was confined to crawling on the floor due to a lack of a wheelchair, we took her to the hospital and became aware of a program that provides wheelchairs for free. Patience struggles in school but really wants to learn and become better. I tutored her twice a week in English and math. IMG-20170813-WA0018She seemed to improve with the extra help that she got.  Patience lived in subpar living conditions with the lack of food, a proper house and fully taking care of her mom. Patience and her mom slept on the floor of her brother’s house, not receiving a lot of food and unsure how long they could stay in the house. One of Something Amazing’s volunteers decided to help build Patience and her mom a house. Through trials and tribulations, she finally got a house. (I’ll post a blog about the house later.) One of my favorite memories of Patience was when I took Patience to get her new uniforms and asked if she wanted to pick up a little snack since we were hungry. Many children in Malawi do not get a chance to a be a kid since they are constantly taking care of their parents o the family. Patience is one of those kids, so when I asked her if she wanted a snack her eyes lit up as she grabs bags of chips to take to school. Patience and her mom are part of Something Amazing’s empowering the community program, we have and will continue to help with school supplies, school uniforms, and food.

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You can help by clicking the link to the right.

Every day I miss the people of Malawi. Every day I feel as though  I should be back over there. Many people did get on my nerves during my time in Malawi. Just like how a child gets on a parents nerves, that parent doesn’t stop loving that child. I will always love the community in Malawi, and maybe there is more to this story.

Enjoy this video of us at a birthday party. The little kids can dance!

Until next time,

Stay awesome

Jill

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I Almost Gave Up

You read that correctly, after one week I was ready to pack my bags and head to Zimbabwe. This trip is physically and mentally straining to my body. Malawi is a beautiful country, the scenery, the school and the people are all amazing.18641948_1619034941470703_1323574918_o.jpg Riding my bike to school for forty minutes, past beautiful mountains and many Maze (corn) fields is absolutely breathe taking. Saying, “Mwawuka,” (Good morning) to every person and they respond, “Nauka Makola Kwalimwe” (Good morning, I am Fine) gives me a sense of being welcomed into the community. Having all the students run towards you as you ride into school. Or all the students staring while I speak English, gives me a sense of curiosity from the students. Coming home to a wonderfully cooked meal by my Host family and eating dinner together as family. Gives me a sense of a family away from home. Even though all of these things happen daily; a large part of me struggled this past week.

Many times a Malawian sees a foreigner, they think they have money. It has been embedded into their minds that foreigners will give them whatever they ask for. This is extremely difficult for me because many people want to take advantage and lie about their particular situation in order to get money out of you. I have offended people by saying I do not have whatever they are asking for, or told them no because they wanted something of mine(ex. a headlamp, water bottle, my back pack). Teaching at the school was wonderful. There are many loving teachers and students, but many things that hurt my heart as a raising teacher. Many of the students lacked writing utensils, notebooks, textbooks, desk or anything to sit on. 18618263_1619035604803970_1463776994_oThe way that the students must learn is through memorization because there is only a textbook enough for the teacher. Many times teacher will show up to school an hour late or not at all. This makes learning disruptive, or for that day there is no learning that happens. These are  systematic problems that needs to be address. 18676414_1619034668137397_1829814098_o.jpg

The moment that was the straw that broke the camel’s back, was this weekend at the campsite. The campsite was beautiful with Lake Malawi, the lake of a thousand stars, only a 100 yards away. At the campsite, because it is an hour or so away from the village (far away from a town), the food selection was very limited, no electricity, or a lot of running water. I find comfort in food, especially in a period of adjustment. At the campsite we had little fish with eyes in tomato sauce, pap (which is corn flour and water mixed together, very tasteless) and a larger fish(Almost for every meal) (picture below)18641289_1619034498137414_1257772618_o.jpg
. I physically could not make myself eat the food although I hadn’t eaten all day and we were doing physically labor in the sun. Mentally and physically, I was drained and did not think I would be able to last two and a half months in Malawi. I was 5 minutes away from packing my bags and calling a quits. Although I know I can’t leave because I have participants depending on me to be here while they come; I felt defeated. After eating a cookie, some plain bread, and getting a few encouraging messages I felt better. I know giving up is not a solution and pressing forward is all I can do. It is only week one and it can only get better from here.18618591_1619034634804067_1283581524_o.jpg

This journey is not easy, and I never thought it would be, but I could not have prepared myself for how Malawians live daily. I am a privileged American. I do not have to struggle to find food. I do not have to worry about whether I will eat in the morning.  I do not have to worry will we have electricity this month. I do not have to worry about walking to school for hours at a time. I do not have to walk a long distance just to get (sort of) clean drinking water. Many Malawians go through these daily/hourly struggles.

Continue to pray for me, and send your good thoughts my way. Encouraging messages do help me through difficult patches. Remember to subscribe to my website on the bottom right hand corner. Follow me on Facebook: Jillian Marie Bundy or Experience Something Amazing, as well in order to get daily/every other day updates.

Unitl Next time

Stay Awesome

Jill

 

 

 

 

93 days and I cant wait!

We are exactly 93 days until I leave for Malawi for 2 months. malawi 10

For those who are unaware of this trip or what Something Amazing does, Something Amazing is a nonprofit that helps lower the cost of volunteer trips more affordable for anyone to go. Along with, making trips affordable Something Amazing partners up with a local village and school in order to help the children and people in that village. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world where many people lack basic necessities. In order to help, we must raise enough funds before our first group trip this summer! We currently have two people signed up to go on this group trip.

All money raised will go to our efforts to:malawi 12

  • Send more kids to school
    • It cost roughly $45 a semester to $$125 a semester to send someone to secondary school or college
    • We currently send two boys, Andrea and Freddy, to Secondary school and college.
  • School Supplies for the village
    • Roughly $100 to $150 can supply enough school supplies for 200 students for 6 months.
    • We have two schools we are currently helping.
  • Other projects
    • Bring Freshwater
    • Soccer supplies for the local teams.

This is where you can help!

Below are two links where you can donate:

This link you can donate and ALL proceeds go towards our current programs:

This link you can buy a Spa Basket that is fully handmade with all natural oils. The basket includes soap, bath bomb, soap scrub or bath salts and a handcrafted wooden soap holder.

This basket is $22 or two for $40. Half of the proceeds go towards our programs. 16523173_10212420019240511_1042214776_o-1

Our goal is to raise $1000 in order to help a great help while our there this summer. Do something Great today and help! Majority of money will go directly towards the programs we have planned!!Stay Awesome!Jill