Greetings family and friends from Africa!
Before we got here to the city of Ilongwa where the UNC research hospital is located, we went to a beautiful place on a river where we stayed in charming screen houses. We went on 3 small safaris, one at night in the land cruiser, one at sunrise walking, and one on a boat on the river. No big game this time but lots of hippos, monkeys, baboons, crocodiles, birds, warthogs and some animals I don’t even remember the names of! So exciting. I love it!!
Then we spent one night in a lodge on Lake Malawi which is one of the largest lakes in the world! We kayaked, paddle boarded, swam and enjoyed a lovely picnic breakfast on a boat. Cocktails around a fire by the water was nice too.
The drive through the countryside was breathtaking and eye opening. People here are beautiful and friendly but so incredibly poor you would not believe it. And so many of them! Most live in small shacks with dirt floors, no furniture, no electricity, no running water.
Yesterday I went to a beautiful wildlife sanctuary where they rehabilitate wild animals. Our driver, Thom, took me and I had a guide who showed me all the animals and then we hiked the beautiful trails along the river through the jungle.
Today I am going to the big market with Joyce, our fabulous cook, and then to the hospital to volunteer. We are going to put gift bags together for the Christmas party we are going to Friday for some local school children.
Tomorrow we are going to a small village where they make pottery and wood carvings.
One night this weekend is the big holiday party for all the hospital employees. My friend Sarah says it’s a great dance party. Should be fun. And Sunday we will have dinner at the house of a local family that Sarah and her husband Irving have helped out. Looking forward to that. Love seeing into the culture.
We are having a small party for all the staff who cook and clean at the house. We brought them all gifts from home. I brought solar Luci lanterns from the shop because the power goes out all the time. Being here fills me with gratitude for the abundant lives we live.
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