Perhaps a bulleted summary of our travel is the best way to share the events of the last 36 hours or so…
– Seattle to San Francisco without a hitch. I said Evening Office in a secluded spot on the concourse, watching the sun set. Sweet.
– We had a relatively tight connection to make in San Fran, and one of our team members had a few minutes of panic when she misplaced her passport, but it turned up after a hasty search.
– The flight from DC to Addis Ababa was looooooong. 12 hours in the air, 3 movies, 2 naps, 4 chapters in a book, 3 meals. Phew.
– Another stress moment in Addis Ababa Airport when three of our team were mistakenly sent in the wrong direction and were briefly lost.
– We landed in Lilongwe and were greeted at immigration by a man with a digital thermometer, screening every person from the plane for Ebola. We passed.
– Our host, Sam, and a few others met us with a bus and we piled in and made the 30 minute drive to “the compound” where we’re staying while in Lilongwe.
– This is a very comfortable setting with a cook, groundskeeper and some other household help…just part of the Malawian economy of which we are temporarily a part.
– Everyone settled in at their own pace. Robyn essentially collapsed before dinner. I tucked in beneath the mosquito netting at 10:00 pm and didn’t move until 6:00am.
– Sang some songs with Opile Kayia, one of our helpers, and a member of the Kayaia family which is famous amongst many AC3rs. Singing together is a natural, spontaneous social activity here. I think I’m going to like that.
– Got a quick botany lesson from Peter the gardener this morning. I can now identify Papaya, Mango, Guava and Tete trees (maybe).
– Great breakfast this morning, and today we plan to begin sorting and inventorying medicines for our first clinic later this week. We will also visit the crisis nursery this afternoon.
– I’m sitting on the patio and listening to the team laugh heartily as they play the the “which would you rather game” that Kristi brought along. She’s a genius.
– I will make an effort to say this only once in the blog, because it is such a strong impression that I fear repeating it to the point of annoyance, so here it goes once and for all in this blog: this is SOOOOO MUCH LIKE N.E. BRAZIL IT’S AMAZING!! The smells, the colors, the weather, the architecture, the pace, the sense of welcome, the poverty, the joy. Name a category of experience, and at this early stage of my trip, I would wager it is very similar to Brazil. I will be extra observant of potential differences from here on out, and I reserve the right to report on those…
– Dave and Becky (our team leaders) are doing a great job in every aspect. I’m super-grateful for them.
-Robyn is doing well. She slept for 12 hours straight, and is her normal charming self, if a little punchy still.
…off to sort meds now.