I have created this blog for anyone that wants regular updates about my time here in Malawi. I am currently volunteering my time to the Ministry of Hope Crisis Nursery and Orphan Feeding Centers.  I am a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse helping to care for the orphaned, abandoned and ill babies of Malawi.  I will try to post updates as often as I can. I thank you all for your support and prayers. Please send them to the babies, children, and people of Africa too. I hope in the pictures you are able to get a small idea of what life is like here for me, but mainly the people of Malawi.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Long Haul

Wednesday, October 29th:
The day had finally come and I loaded about 250lbs of luggage in the car and headed for Santa Barbara Airport. I said all my goodbyes, boarded the plane, took one last look out the window towards the mountains with emotion stirring inside of me. I was a little sad to leave, but I was ready to get to Malawi. I was not to excited about the 40 hour trip there however. We sat on the plane for a while and then were informed of a mechanical problem with the plane and it would be a while. So we deplaned and went inside. I immediately knew inside the trip was not going to happen. I had a short connection in L.A. and any sort of delay and I would not make the rest of my flights. So, I went to the counter and the agent could see in my eyes I was sad. I started to well up and he took me back through security to the ticketing counter (crying always works btw)! So, to make a long night short, I had to end up going home and rebooking my ticket. I soon found out that my only option was to leave two days later departing October 31st.
Sunday, November 2nd
So what can you do? Here I am writing this in the Johannesburg Airport, now on African soil. My trip thus far is sort of a blur, which I am fine with. I managed to sleep a good portion of my flight to London and once there I had a 4 1/2 hour layover where I found a bench and took a little snooze. Then I got an English Breakfast tea (when in Rome...) and that helped perk me up. I negotiated for a bulkhead seat on my next flight to Johannesburg which they graciously gave me, and I was seated next to two elderly women from Wales. They were so sweet. I took care of them the whole flight; helped recline their seats, turn on the reading lights, open food containers, propped up their feet, etc, etc. My favorite part was that they called me “Love”. The British always remind me of how we do not take advantage of making English as beautiful as they do. One of the ladies was 83 and traveling to South Africa to see her siblings and 60 year old daughter. I asked her about her life and what it was like. She said that her husband had passed 11 years ago from cancer. She said he wouldn’t give up smoking. So she has spent the last 11 years alone. All of her friends have passed away and she said she spends most of her days doing nothing. She is blind in one eye and has macular degeneration in the other so that keeps her from doing a lot of things she loves. She kept saying she was worthless and I kept correcting her saying no you aren’t! She did fill me in on the Madonna/Guy Ritchie saga, that I knew very little about and thought it was funny she did.
Monday, November 3rd:
So, now I am in Malawi and excited to be here. All of the things that I remember being so shocking last time are more familiar and normal. It is kind of like that flash of that familiar smell or memory that reminds you of being a child and how good that makes you feel. Sort of the same thing because inside I get this wonderful happy feeling about being here even amidst the poverty and famine. Maybe it is selfish because one can feel good about themselves for giving service, maybe not. However, what I do know is there is so much beauty in the people of this country. From what I have learned from being in Africa, it is as hard as it is soft. It is all about what you choose to look at. And so, the adventure begins...
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