Monday, August 25, 2014

Malawi in July 2014

 After church Stanley wanted to take my picture with this mother and her two children.  We love how the women carry their babies on their backs with their chitenges.  The babies also love it.  One of our sisters told me that they have to be careful with the babies because they get so used to being carried on the mother's backs that they don't learn to sleep anywhere but on the back.  It is a precious site.  No need for expensive baby carriers or strollers -- just grab a chitenge!
 Just a sample of food we eat.  We thought this was pretty colorful so I took a picture.  We have no shortage of fresh vegetables and fruits.  Squash (they call it pumpkins), fresh green beans, cabbage, and tomatoes are plentiful.
 There is no wonder we have fallen in love with the people here.  They are beautiful.  I met this mother and her two-month old baby at church.  The baby was ill and the mom had medicine to give the baby.  She was only given a medicine cup to try to get the medicine down this tiny baby.  The mom asked me for help in giving it to her.  We finally got it down (but mostly spilled out the baby's mouth).  After church we helped the mother find a pharmacy and we got a small syringe to more easily give the medicine.  Later in the week, we were visiting another family.  This time it was an 18 month old little boy who was ill and he just fought his medicine.  I told them about getting a syringe to more easily get the medicine down him.  The father ran right out and purchased a syringe then told me the next day it made it so much easier to get the medicine down his little boy and the boy was doing better because of that.  Just simple things can help.
 Everytime we see calves, cows, goats, pigs, etc., Stanley can hardly pass them up.  We don't see many babies and when he saw this baby brahma calf, he had to stop and get it's picture. 

 We traveled to a village about two hours from the city with a young man whose grandparents live there.  Gift wanted to see if would be feasible to plant his grandfather's farm to start farming.  We were there checking to see if he would be able to irrigate the ground but when we got there the water was too far down the hill to bring it up and there wasn't enough of a stream.  The people think if they have a little water, they can do anything but this just wouldn't work.  The women and children gathered around me for a picture and I am standing by a mother who really wanted me to hold her baby but her baby didn't like "White!"  He was screaming so loudly.  I just laughed and laughed.  Most of the children never see Msungu and it is very frightening to them.

 Gift is giving his grandmother a hug.  He is the only member of his family that is a member of the church but his grandparents support him in his choices. 
 Elder Fisk and Elder Bingham down by the water's edge to see if the project would work but unfortunately it wasn't feasible.  In the middle of seeing what would work, Gift became very ill and disoriented.  We had to walk about half a mile to get the pickup to get closer to him and transport him two hours to a hospital in Lilongwe.  When we got there, it was a holiday and the hospitals we visited were off for the holiday.  I was appalled that we couldn't get help.  We finally found a small hospital who would see him and they checked him out.  We still aren't sure what his problems are but it was a long ways to get him to medical help.
 We stopped along the drive to Malawi when we saw these women carrying loads of wood on their heads.  It doesn't look heavy but they really do carry heavy loads.  The haze in the background is a combination of smoke and humidity.
 We visited in Liwonde where a group of church members meet.  They don't have a branch there but just a group and a group leader.  They have a nice church building and they are so proud of it.  It is so clean and they have planted a lot of fruit trees in the yard for the members.  Their great desire is to be able to go to the temple.  When we asked how far it was to the temple, one of them replied with great enthusiasm, "Why it is less than two days!"  They were so happy to have a temple so close!  We, who have temples close to us, need to be so appreciative of this wonderful blessing and be frequent attenders!
These big, beautiful eyes just melt our hearts.
 Along our way, we saw these men cutting down this tree.  Their tools are just the homemade axes they make here.  This tree stump was so bit and it is amazing what they can do with these homemade axes.  We had leftover pizza in our pickup and after the picture we gave the pizza to them and they were very excited.  As we drove away, we saw their co-workers coming to get a piece too.

We visited with two of our favorite missionaries who were recently transferred to Blantyre.  Elder Barnard is our neighbor from Oakley, Idaho, and Elder Ayubu is from Uganda.  They are great