Thursday, July 26, 2007

July 26, 2007

Apologies, for it has been quite some time since the last post. Since last, I have been somewhat busy! Thank you everyone for your emails! It is hard to convey how much a simple correspondence from you all really brightens my day. Email is so mundane at home in the states, but when you are living out in the bush and have access to a computer about once a month, the simplest message really goes a long way.

So with this update I will try to recap the events of the past month and a half. In the middle of June, I was afforded the opportunity to go to the Malawi - Morocco soccer match which was a part of the African Cup of Nations. Malawi, perennial basement dwellers, weren't able to pull out a victory against a Moroccon side which is usually ranked in the top 50 in the world. Despite the loss it was quite an event and one that I soon wont forget.

At the end of June my fellow environment volunteers traveled to Lilongwe where we discussed the goings on and had a few days of welcomed comiseration. We then traveled to the Ambassador's residence and celebrated the 4th of July with a bunch of other American Ex-Pats. I proudly displayed my strange ability at leisure sports, as I and my partner were victorious in the water balloon toss (we did it one handed to boot!!... yes, the other hand was holding a beer) and I handled the Croquet circuit with ease (this will get me somewhere someday, I swear).

Two weeks later my site mate (Karl) and I traveled to Mount Mulanje. We met up with another volunteer in our group (Scott) and set off for 5 days up on the mountain, the tallest in Malawi. We based ourselves at a hiking camp and worked on improving the trails. On Saturday there was a Porters race (which was ridiculous). 25 KM up 5000 ft. and back down in the misty rain, barefoot in 2 hours and 25 min. YEAAAA RIGHT! -- We watched.

Later in the week, A rural library opened in my village. The project was initiated by the former volunteer in my area and is intended to provide a place where the community can access newspapers books and resources about HIV AIDS and other issues. It isn't exactly well stocked but there is a good variety of books and if used properly will surely benefit the area. I plan on using it as a base to identify and possibly run future projects. As of now, I have come to the realization that i may never have one major project, but a number of smaller projects. I am currently working on getting the local secondary school's wildlife club to Majete game Reserve, so that they may be able to see successful conservation up close. I am also trying to get a bore hole places in my village. As of now, I am about 700 meters from the closest one and many of my neighbors are even further. A new water source would ensure that people, (myself included)will have an easier time growing at least some food all year round.

In between all of this, village life is progressing as usual. I have started a small garden in my back yard even though we are in the beginning of the dry season. Temperatures have been rising ever so slightly and every now and then we get a small taste of what is to come.

I've been thinking alot about home, especially about the family and of course my first place Detroit Tigers!!! It seems as though the internet connection I am using is not letting me upload pictures. I vow to get them to you soon!

And until then, keep the e-mails coming!
With Love,