2015 Visit to Malawi
Anja's first report

After a 22-hour-flight Leena and I arrived in Malawi. At the airport all passangers' temperature was taken because of the Ebola risk. My temperature was +36,6 Centigrade, but the next day my own thermometers (two of them) showed temperatures of +42 and +38,8 C. I had a swollen throat, so we spent a few days in the capital Lilongwe.
Friday morning we took the bus to Blantyre. Saturday we bought school supplies: 500 notebooks, 500 pencils & rubbers and chalk for the teachers. Sunday was a day of rest, and I got a check-up at the Adventists' clinic to make sure I hadn't caught malaria. I hadn't, but received medicines against fever and the sore throat.

Monday we travelled to the south by car through a mountanous region to Bangula, in overwhelming heat. Bangula happens to be the hottest place in Malawi. +35 C during the day and pretty much the same at night. The road to Bangula has been in the process of construction for a long time, but had now been tarmaced until the end, making the journey a lot more bearable.

As my house is full of the stuff from the container, Leena had to sleep in a tent. I managed to clear a small path to my bed. Poor Leena was suffering from the heat and some stomach problems. Tuesday we spread the school supplies outside on the ground and packed individual school bags for each godchild with the school supplies bought and the parcels godparents had sent off in the container last autumn. There were lots of English children's books, learning games, colouring pens, drawing paper etc. After finishing we realized that it would take two trips to the village of Nanchiri, 33 kms away with no proper road, crossing many dry riverbeds. Consequently Leena and I decided to stay behind to make room in the car. This turned out to be a good decision, as it gave us an opportunity to discuss with the staff how to develop the school.

The corn harvest will be meagre this year. We decided, therefore, to reintroduce a school meal (nsima – maize flour paste or porridge). The school committee asked for a meal for other children, but that is impossible at the moment. The teachers were very happy, though, as a school meal ensures attendance. Unfortunately five schoolgirls aged 14-17 have got married and will therefore lose a godparent. We also agreed that villagers will start making bricks again, this time for the next school building, and they will get a meal at the school.
Thursday all godchildren received a blanket, school bag with contents and had their picture taken for their godparent.

Friday we packed a wheelchair, rollators and 31 pairs of forearm crutches in the car for the state hospital in Nsanje. This equipment was received with great joy as they don't even have any forearm crutches in store in the hospital. We also delivered 5 computers to the Nsanje Secondary School. Pupils there have received computer tuition, but until now they have had no computers!