Monday, 30 January 2012

A stream of people to rival a Tim Horton's back home is what we witnessed today at the POLYMED SACCO. 

This is a very busy operation with members lined up from early morning through to closing.  Dave and Bev spent the day reviewing their operations and board governance processes.  We will continue on Tuesday morning and meet with the Board to deliver our report and recommendations in the afternoon.  This assignment concludes our official SACCO visits.  We will travel back to Lilongwe on Wednesday for the de-briefing with the national organization.

Some stories of the weekend adventures were shared today.  The animals in Majete Wildlife Reserve were spectacular because the park is pretty much the natural habitat, and we were able to get very close.  Witness this shot of a bull elephant charging us during the early morning game drive.  Yes, we really were that close.  This was not your typical Sunday morning in Canada!

The perfect finish to the weekend was a visit to the village of Chikwawa were we learned about the traditional way of life.  We saw how grain was processed for flour (and the women of the village had a good laugh when Bev tried her hand at the process and sang along with the women. We were told after the fact that the song was about the woman's husband cheating on her.)

A very special moment was when we met the oldest woman in the village who is not really sure how old she is but estimates about 90.  Bev showed her the picture of her family, including Mom Marie who is 86.  The Malawi woman was very excited to see a photo of someone near her age.  

The highlight of the afternoon was when the entire village turned out to honour us with song and dance.  Incredible experience that we will remember always!

We have indeed experienced the warm heart of Malawi everywhere we have travelled. 

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