Last Weekend in Malawi

We left SAFI today. I never imagined I would fall in love with a place so quickly, but SAFI just seemed to steal a place in my heart. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to spend a week in the village with the BYU girls and my dear husband.
We were able to learn about drying fruits and vegetables in reed dryers (a project Eliza and Emily are working on), and improving the calcium content of local corn flour by letting it soak in ashes (Ana and Anika’s project). We also had the opportunity to visit many villages and a school with Ivyann and take lots of photos. We met many locals who welcomed us into their homes without a second thought.

Yesterday we all gathered together during dinner to celebrate Marissa’s birthday. The girls made her a cake and decorated the “classroom restaurant” that we eat in with happy birthday signs.

Throughout the week Andrew and I spent our spare moments walking around SAFI and the nearby villages. We will definitely miss the peace of Africa when we return to the United States. That being said, we are both ready for a more fast-paced environment.

As I am writing we are on our way back to Lilongwe with the girls. They are headed to the immigration office to renew their visas, and we are headed back to the CBF office and George and Flossy’s home to say our goodbyes. On Monday we will be leaving for Blantyre to stay with an innovation consultant for most of the week and observe the projects that he is working on in the area. After that, we will be heading south into Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.  

Between now and then Andrew and I have many exciting things planned. Tomorrow Emily Bade (the BYU film student here on Malawi) is going to film a short cooking segment with Anaphiri, Angela, and myself. This video will be showcasing an East African spice mix that I have come to love during my time in Malawi. I am excited to share it with you all when I get home!

   
         (Below: Andrew’s post)Today I finished the Innovator’s DNA, my old professor Jeff Dyer’s 8 year study on how to develop innovative characteristics. While I had delved into the early chapters while the book was classroom material, it was an entirely different journey reading it for pleasure here in Africa.
I found myself naturally more inquisitive and self-reflective as I sought out ways I can continue to develop my own innovator characteristics now and in the future. 

The principle argument of the book is that those who have the characteristics of observing, questioning, associating, experimenting, and networking will naturally be more innovative because they’re exercising the right ‘muscles’.

This marks book 6 since we’ve arrived in Africa and I should have 3 more finished before we leave!

This morning we were fortunate to have fully functioning Internet at SAFI and Kylie and I took full advantage of this by emailing, writing, and recording various things we needed. Most of my tasks were focused around gathering info for our upcoming travels, including the locations of the embassies and addresses of the people we plan on staying with. I’ll be honest it’s somewhat nerve wracking to have the final journey leg ahead of us! 

Kylie’s also begun working on our Africa trip video! This will be a compilation video for my parents and BYU to summarize the many wonderful experiences on our trip. Kylie loves these types of projects and always does a great job.

When we finally set out from SAFI (returning to Lilongwe), it was already late into the afternoon. We didn’t end up pulling into Lilongwe until 3/4pm. We quickly got ourselves organized (stopped by CBF, dropped books at the library, and shopped at the food market), and returned to George and Flossey’s home. 

The best part about being back in Lilongwe at George’s home… Was the chance to shower with cold, clean water (the cold part was not enjoyable… But being clean was). Kylie showered first and I followed. The feeling of dirt, sweat, and grime leaving my body was the nicest feeling in the world!

With our bodies clean, our clothes washed, and our things organized, Kylie and I are getting ready for the last leg of our adventure! 

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