Today was another special day. Andrew and I were able to visit a secondary school a few kilometers from SAFI. We traveled to the school with Ivy, who is conducting anthropological research on the interactions of parents and children as well as the relationship between teachers and students in schools. She is an engineering student, but has an interest in anthropological research. Ivy is one of the kindest girls that I know, and everyone here in Malawi absolutely loves her.
Going to the school and meeting the teachers and the students was an incredible experience. I will forever be grateful for my education after observing how education works in Malawi. The students and teachers have little resources to teach and learn. They have a few desks and a few books to use, but no science equipment or computers to use in their learning. After visiting their school, I will forever be grateful for my education!
Breaking from our usual routine, Kylie and I woke up at 7:15 this morning! I don’t know if we’re just more tired here at SAFI or what, but that makes 2 days of later wake ups!
After chatting in bed for part of the morning we went to meet Chundeehwa (I forgot how to spell his name properly), at the chicken coops to give him our innovators DNA survey. However, typical of most Malawians, he didn’t show up until 9am (an hour after I had begun waiting for him). I hurriedly gave him our innovator survey (which led to some very interesting results!) before setting off with Kylie and Ivy for the local form 2 school.
Form 2 is the Malawian equivalent of sophomore year in the United States.
We spent a couple hours interviewing the professors about what they felt were the major challenges their school faces. We found it interesting that the major concerns for the school (and where they planned on directing most of their donor funding towards) were primarily teacher focused.
Despite the fact that some of their female students were harmed along their walk to school (walking several kilometers in the dark as a young girl isn’t the safest way to get to school), it was number 6 on things to fix after teacher homes, administrative offices, sports equipment and so forth.
It was actually quite shocking. But it also made me very grateful for my own educational opportunities.
Once our ride finally swung back to get us (3 hours after their ‘late’ estimate) we made it back to SAFI. We were a bit tired, but the delay gave Kylie and I the chance to chat about plans, goals and the many things we’ve learned since coming to Africa.
I’ve found the chance to reflect and chat with my wife about these many interesting life lessons a great blessing.
We wrapped up the day by passing Ivy our items for transport (she’s taking some of our stuff home! Yay!) and then celebrating Marissa’s birthday. Kylie then did a quick series of photo swaps with ivy as I drafted work emails and notes.
As our time at SAFI comes to an end, I’m grateful for the many diverse experiences Kylie and I have had.