First Impressions

Just want to say this first: the internet here is a lot worse than I thought it would be! They are trying to improve the connection speed, but it remains to be seen if that will work. It’s a lot better on weekends, so I will try my best to upload a blog post on either Saturday or Sunday, but I will not always be on the base on weekends so will not always be able to do this. I also can’t currently upload photos. I will try to upload some later, but for now will have to leave them out as they take too long to upload.

Malawi is great! I had uneventful flights and arrived safely. Apparently it was a lot cooler before I arrived, but warmed up considerably just the day before. It’s been pleasant – fairly hot but not so hot that it’s uncomfortable. There’s also a pool to cool off in, which has been great. (Several of the Malawians don’t know how to swim but one has been going in with swim noodles and practising. Today, he jumped in without them and managed to make it across the pool twice! Mind, the pool is over 6 ft deep and he can’t touch the bottom at any point! I can’t say I could have done the same!)

The school officially begins tomorrow, and the last student arrived today. There are roughly 15 Malawian male students, 1 Canadian male, 1 British male, and 1 Malawian girl, 2 American girls, 1 German girl, 1 Canadian older lady, and 2 English girls (one of whom is me!). It’s a very big team – the biggest that YWAM Blantyre has ever had. The official language of the school is English, as that is the language that we all share, but here in this area of Malawi the first language is Chichewa. We sang a few songs in Chichewa during the orientation and again in church this morning. (I say sang, but I mostly listened!) Church was a mix of English and Chichewa, with an interpreter who switched between languages depending on which one the speaker was using. We white girls got stared at a lot, especially by the children, but also by a few of the adult members. However, we were very warmly welcomed and when we were introduced almost the whole church came over to say hi and shake our hands!

I will post more later on the school, food, etc.

Malawi

On the 17th I will be leaving the cool, green shores of England for the warmer climes of Malawi. I’ve known this for a while but avoided writing it up here after what happened last time, when I announced I was going to Thailand only to then find out that I couldn’t go. But this time I’ve bought the plane tickets, gotten my vaccinations done, and gathered together the information required to apply for a visa once I arrive. I still have stuff to do but everything is slowly coming together.

I will be in Malawi for 6 months. I can’t wait! I will be going on a course organised by a group called Youth With a Mission (YWAM) and there will be others on this course as well, although I won’t know who they are or where they come from or even how many of us there will be until I get there. What I will be doing on the course is still a little hazy for me; the first half will be spent in discipleship, mainly looking at God’s character, I think. We will also be learning about issues of justice and how this is viewed through the Bible, as well as more practical aspects I assume. The second half will then be spent carrying out what we’ve learned. What this will look like no one really knows. Once everyone has arrived, we’ll pray about it and look at the different gifts and passions that people have and then decide. It might be that there are a few separate groups that go and do different things.

So, why am I doing such a thing? I love going to visit different places, want to find out what I really want to do with my life at least in the near future, and also want to really root myself and my faith in God. This seemed like a great opportunity to do all of those things – especially as I’ve recently been discovering a passion for sexually trafficked children. So learning about this on the course is like an added bonus, although I chose the course particularly because it had a focus on justice. I’d like to look at all the different options that are open to me if I decide to work in this sort of area, and learn my strengths and gifts so that I can really help. It’s a bit difficult for me to really articulate right now. I still know so little about human trafficking, or what I really want to do with regards to this, which is why I’m so looking forward to this course. Hoping there will be some clarity so that I can really look forward practically.

Less than a week to go now! I’ll be updating this blog while I’m away so drop by and then I’ll be able to tell you what I’m doing and you’ll get a better idea of what’s going on! I’ll also drop prayer requests. Right now the only requests I really have are that I would be organised and get things done before I have to leave! My procrastination is kicking in with a vengeance right now and I’m struggling a little to kick it back!