Saturday, August 6, 2011

100 Days at site so what do I have, random thoughts to give you

Well guess it's been long enough since I updated my blog. As of today I have been in Malawi 159 days and at my site, Namandanje, 100 days. Time has gone by very fast. I really don't know where to start, but I've been very busy, check the end of the blog for the newly updated list of projects that I'm planning, working on, and/or have completed. 

I've met many great people and have been a few places. Don't want to give away too much information, because you never know who's reading :-). But I've heard Lucius Banda put on a good concert last weekend and the Black Missionaries aren't to shabby either.

You might have heard on the news about the protests that have been happening around these parts. Malawians aren't happy with the lack of fuel, lack of foreign currency, and human rights issues. 18 people were killed in the last set of protests, July 20. The next set of protests are on August 17, so pay attention to the news. The government doesn't seem to be doing much with the problems expect making statements. But read this article for yourself - http://bppmw.com/national/42-all/2031-callista-tells-ngos-go-to-hell.html

I especially like this part: “Eighty-five percent of Malawians live in villages. Do these people need fuel for vehicles or forex to travel outside? Maybe I should ask you villagers: do you need fuel as if you have cars or forex as if you do cross-border trade? No!"

Well who knows what's going to happen around these parts. I'm alive and well and that's all that matters.

Next month I travel back to Dedza for inservice training and get to see all the volunteers that I went through training with, will be great.

Well that's all I got, oh one more thing. List of foods I've eaten here that I never ate in America:
White corn
White corn nsima
Yellow corn nsima
Sorghum nsima
Caterpillars
Fried flying ants
Live flying ants
Goat
Mice (whole with fur and everything)
Pigs liver
Rabbit

Talk to you all soon. Email me sometime, it's always nice to get emails here.

-Matt

Peace Corps Projects at Namandanje

- Library consolidation, 2 into 1
- Book donation grant
- Library committee formation
- {•} Grant to get the laboratory retrofitted with lab desks for the secondary school - $300/Mk44,780 7/4/2011
- {•} Electricity at the secondary school - 7/2/2011
- Grant for 25 computers at the secondary school
- Advising Namisangu Community Based Organization (CBO) to create an Income Generating Activity (IGA)
- Advising Ngongondo CBO in peanut butter and peanut oil production
- Business training for Namisangu CBO
- Advising the Honey Girls to improve honey production
- Business training for Honey Girls
- Advising the Honey Girls to in opening a community store
- Working with Mgona Group Village Head (GVH) to get a borehole for his 6 villages
- Working with Health Surveillance Assistants (HSA) to fix boreholes in Thierry catchment areas
- Working with Machinga Water Supervisor in borehole repairs
- Advising Mbonerchera Youth Friendly Group to increase participants
- Creating primary school feeding program
- Working with local organization, Dream, to create positive children program
- Create scholarship for girls at the secondary school
- {•} Facilitate training for Ngongondo HIV/AIDS support group 8/3/2011
- {•} Helped local soccer team acquire a soccer ball 7/1/2011
- {•} Assisted a widow with a monetary donation 6/25/2011
- {•} Advised Teacher Development Center (TDC) committee in funding issue 6/1/2011
- Help with the reorganization of the local health center
- Book donation from Pittsfield, MA to the new library
- Planning a fundraising campaign back in America to purchase 1,000 desks for the primary school - Rotary International - $45,000
- Planning vision day were people get their vision checked then given glasses if necessary - Lion's Club