Day 1, April 8, 2018, Malawi

We’re here! After two days of cars, airplanes and vans we are settling in with my last year’s host family, Alice and Andy in St. Andrews Hospital compound in Mtunthama.

There are twenty of us. The group is made up of high school students, medical experts and just plain interested folks who want to do some service work in beautiful Malawi. My friend Kelly de la Rocha and her best friend and college roommate Lori Ludlow have joined me to do the MoonCatcher part of this trip. Kelly has been wanting to do this for years and finally found time to come. Kelly is a journalist (she used to write for the Schenectady Gazette) and Lori is a Librarian on Long Island. I am so pleased to have them along for this adventure.

I was met at the Lilongwe airport by Emily Phiri and Mary Khunbanyiwa. Emily is from Chituka Village where we will be working later in the trip. Mary, a charming and savvy Malawian has agreed to help with logistics and translations. They had come to say welcome and to meet me face to face. I was so touched by this generous gesture.

The countryside is as beautiful as I remember with those lush trees covered with yellow blossoms and skies that go on forever with magnificent big billowing clouds. The extinct volcanos rise out of the ground right in the middle of vast open fields and seem unworldly sitting there all alone.

It is good to be here to check in on our tailors and expand their work. We’ll see them tomorrow and see what needs to be done. I’m so happy to have Kelly and Lori here. I believe we will be a good team.

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