Day 10, April 17, 2018 Malawi

We took it fairly slow today and didn’t get to the sewing guild until close to 9:00. Sophie and Esme were already there and Elizabeth came soon after.

We spent the day organizing the space by sorting out goods from various cardboard boxes and continuing to fix pads that had been sewn incorrectly. I had a chance to show the women pictures from last year as well as photos from our recent trip up north. They asked questions and in general were delighted to see themselves in last year’s photos.

Esme is picking up a charcoal iron tomorrow so that we can start to press some of the pads. I have mixed feelings about this after finding out that they start the charcoal with plastic bags. They feel that any kind of lighter fluid is too dangerous to store. I keep thinking about the fumes from the plastic being so toxic. This is a hard one to step back from and just say “this is the way they do it here.” I don’t know what the alternative is though.

 Mary holding our new charcoal iron.

Mary holding our new charcoal iron.

We met with Emmanuel, Elizabeth’s son, today about having shelves built for the sewing room. He has agreed to make 3 shelves that will be secured to the concrete walls with brackets and be 2 meters long by about 18” wide. I guess I just mixed measuring systems, but I don’t know the conversion of either. Emmanuel says he will be finished with the project by the end of tomorrow. That would be great as I am dying to get things up off the floor.

Our supplies didn’t show up from Lilongwe, and Emily hasn’t gotten back to us about what will happen. I am trying to get them sent by bus tomorrow as I don’t want to wait until Thursday and have to worry about where they are. We were hoping to go to a village tomorrow and see a school but I’m not sure I can comfortably go with this problem looming over us.

As Americans we have expectations that things will happen in a timely manner.  Africa is a continual lesson in patience for me. I often think that I’m not a very good student.

Lori and Kelly are playing scrabble with Andy in the other room. I’ll go join them.

 Moon the cat pays a visit to our sewing room.

Moon the cat pays a visit to our sewing room.

 Playing Scrabble with Andy

Playing Scrabble with Andy