Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Things I Will and Will NOT Miss

As I sat in the London Heathrow Airport waiting for my flight, I wrote a list of things I will miss and not miss about Malawi.

I will NOT miss…

…risking my life every time we walked somewhere.  Malawians are crazy drivers and always speed through our neighborhood, despite all the school children walking home.

…being squeezed onto a minibus.  Minibuses were made to seat 14 people, however, 20 was usually the lucky number.   

…the constant obnoxious honking.  Malawian drivers are obsessed about hearing their own horn.  I wondered what would happen if all the horns were taken out, well, I found an answer a couple days later when I saw a car with an air horn taped to the window sill, yeah.    

…being called “Mama” when walking in town.  “I’m not your mother!”

…women breastfeeding anywhere and everywhere at any time.  (I just never get used to that) 

…Malawian vehicles that are always falling apart!

            Story number 1:  Getting off a minibus is never graceful and this day I had to balance my backpack and a grocery bag as I climbed out.  I rested my hand on the side of the bus as I stepped down to steady myself and the whole door popped off the track!  I felt really bad! “Pempani (I’m sorry), Pempani!”  People were laughing.  Thankfully, Francis explained to me that it was no big deal and that it happened all the time.  Go figure it would happen to me!

            Story number 2:  We took Miles, our friend and taxi driver, to Mt. Mulange.  On our way there one of the back seat windows gave us some troubles.  First it would not go down, then a little while later it decided to go down by itself.  Well, once we parked the car the stupid window would not go up, so Miles had to pull the whole door apart to get the widow to go up.  All us ladies could do was stand by and try not to laugh too hard at how typical the situation was. 

…the confusing currency or balancing my finance book.  (Kelsey, can I get an Amen?!)

…the mosquitoes!!! The sound they make in your ear, teasing you, is utterly obnoxious and they are fast little boogers!

I will miss…

…my African Mama Maribeth and my sister Kelsey. 

…the Team.
            Paul’s singing, Simon’s videotaping, Yamikani’s “Oh, thank God!” ‘s, Abbie’s sweet heart, and James’ goofiness.

…the Montessori Teachers.

…the beautiful view from our backyard.

…the orange African sunset.  It truly gives the color orange a new vibrancy, a new life.

…singing with the children at the Montessori School.  The song “Father Abraham” will always be special. 

…being able to get fresh baked bread at any and every corner.

…surprising people on the streets by greeting them in Chichewa.

…getting the sick children in the orthopedic, oncology, and Moyo ward to smile and laugh.

…walking everywhere.

…the beauty of Malawi.  The variations of bright green, the good weather, and the tropical bird noises. 

Frances’ weekly Chichewa lessons.

…Silvester, our cat, though he was a pill.

…Arnold and his beautiful family.

…Maribeth’s baked goodies, they were all delicious but the banana bread had no competition!

…the great chats the 3 of us had during dinner and often afterwards as well.  “Ona!!” *squirt!!!

…the staff parties! The food, the singing, the laughs! Great times!

…looking into the eyes of a Malawian baby and seeing your reflection in their big black eyes. 

…the great meals we always made for dinner. 

…the street boys.  I love them all and they hold a special place in my heart. 

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