Sunday, November 27, 2011

Halfway and Playing Catch-up

In some ways the fact that I have not been able to post in my blog recently is a good thing. It means that I have been busy, which I most definitely have. Work has really been wiping me out – between the frequent 1 ½ hour minibus rides to and from AISE, getting the run around for meetings, preparing a workshop, meetings in Lilongwe, World AIDS Day coming up this week and trying to inch towards ticking outputs off my work plan, I am trying to apply to jobs, grad school and keep myself sane. And then it dawned on me last week. I have already hit my halfway point in Malawi. Less than two months and the work left to do feels overwhelming. Alas, such is the nature of short-term posts.

At the height of the dry season - all the animals are hiding!
Enough lamenting, life in Blantyre is moving along nicely. I have found a good group of girls who support and look out for each other, which came in handy last Friday when we had an issue with security here and my housemates and I will be looking for alternative housing. It is sometimes hard to digest the difficulties that expats run into working in developing countries, especially when we are trying to contribute to national development and are treated as though we are not part of humanity. I will just use this opportunity to let you know I had my first medical procedures overseas – a successful if not painful removal of a growth on the bottom of my foot, which I think began as blood blisters from the Oxfam 100km Trailwalker last July. Trying to take it easy as best I can. Other news: The housemates and I went to Majete National Reserve earlier in the month and saw some nice animals – Nyala, Impala, Hippos, Warthog – but no elephants! I ran a half-marathon in Lilongwe on just about the hottest day ever – so I was pretty proud of myself. And WUSC, my sending organization, celebrated 30 years of work in Malawi, where we volunteers did a tasteful display of Aboriginal culture for the event. Sorry I don't have any pictures!

Jacob, the Country Director, opening the celebration
It’s World AIDS Day on Thursday, so I will use that time to post about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Malawi, giving a little more context for the work I am doing here.

Rainy season is definitely upon us here in Malawi – I’m off to scramble home before the downpour!

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