Day 9, April 16, 2018 Malawi

Today we woke up in Chituka and are now back in Mtunthama getting ready to go to sleep. It’s been a long day, mostly one of travel. It’s nice to be back here and the best part is that Chrissy’s baby has been born and is here. Erika came into the world on Saturday, so we are now living with a 3-day old child.

While in Chituka, we met with a group of women and taught the menstrual management and reproductive health curriculum to them. It was fun talking to adults about this and hearing questions that we never get from schoolgirls. There were lots of concerns about getting pregnant, trying NOT to get pregnant, etc. We laughed about lots of the things that women everywhere always giggle about.

We decided to give the school teachers in the group the supplies that we bought for the sewing guild that we had hoped to start. The teachers will work with schoolgirls to make our kits. They already have a sewing class each month for the girls and these teachers now have first-hand experience on how to put the kit together. I think this is a good solution to our problem. We will give some supplies to Mzum too. She's the one woman who brought a machine with her. Mzum uses a wheelchair but when she sews she gets down onto the floor and uses a hand cranked machine. She will try to get her sewing friends to help her make the kits we have given her and to see if she can get a guild off the ground.

At the end of the session we were presented with the traditional pieces of fabric that are worn tied around one’s waist. It’s called a chenjwe. There were plenty of photos taken of us in our new finery. Once the group dispersed we divided the kit supplies between the school teachers and Mzum. 

After heartfelt goodbyes, we got into Peter’s car (the magnificent driver we found in Chituka) and headed for Kasunga. It took us seven and a half hours to get back. We were stopped 9 times by the police and passed through another 3 police stops without incident. I must say the drive was spectacular. The mountains, rubber tree plantations, deep dark woods and stone outcroppings were amazing and made the drive go by quickly.

We had dinner this evening with Peter. Kelly loved listening to me talk with him about periods while he blushed and laughed. He is a dear and we would certainly ask for his help again. I’m beat and must go to bed.

 Our school teachers from Chituka

Our school teachers from Chituka

 Peter (our dear driver), Kelly, Ellie and Lori

Peter (our dear driver), Kelly, Ellie and Lori

 Magnificent Mary in the waves

Magnificent Mary in the waves

 Kelly and me with friends, wearing our new chenjwes

Kelly and me with friends, wearing our new chenjwes