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.