Jenni has described some of the themes we are seeing as we live within the community here. It is truly a magical place. I love that we walk down the hill and children (and adults) shout out Jennbarr. We are trying to teach them Fiona as well in the hope by the end of our time here it will be Jennbarrandfiona.
As always I have found the young children to be mesmerizing which is reflected in all the pictures I am taking. The children love having their photos taken (we ask first) then scream in delight when we show them the image on the back. I have been overwhelmed on a couple of occasions when young children have walked beside us along the road or through the village and spontaneously held our hands.
The bank was fun today. Excellent service inside to exchange pounds and dollars (although they couldn’t accept a £5 Scottish note!) and then we headed outside to get money from our pre-deposited cards (safer to travel with). Here you can only get the equivalent of £80 out at a time so we stood there as the line got longer and longer behind us, making transaction after transaction until we reached our daily limit! The line was already long enough because the machine had run out of money but was certainly longer after us!
I was humbled at the visit to the hospital. I enjoyed speaking to our friend Jane about the Committee’s goat project and her very important role in helping to facilitate it. We also met with Dr. Ruth, the Director of the hospital, and discussed some of the problems experienced by women in childbirth in Malawi. There are women who walk miles upon miles and even travel across the border from Mozambique to receive treatment at the Mulanje Mission Hospital while in child birth. We met a lovely woman at the Waiting House (very sparse, concrete rooms but close to the labour ward) who looked like she was going to give birth. Jane suggested she call the baby Fiona....that would be fantastic! Jane also took me on a tour of the labour wards which have changed from a huge room with curtains separating birthing mothers to individual rooms which encourage partners and family to support the mothers. I also had a wee peak at a baby born just this morning via c-section.