Toasted Cheese, a Dead Chicken and a Rainbow
04/07/2011
Saying Goodbye and Starting the LONG Flight Home
04/10/2011
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Putting Everything Together and Getting Ready for Goodbye

Woke up in my cozy bed at the lodge and sat out on my porch for a time just enjoying the view. The clouds were low and were resting down in the valley over the houses and trees. Just a few of the trees were popping through them and the tops of mountains were also visible coming up out of the sea of clouds. It was a beautiful morning. I had been told by Guy and Maureen that they both get up early (like me) and that I was welcome to walk over to their house and join them for coffee. They both seemed surprised to see me there in the grass peeking up to see if they were in fact there.

I sat for a while just enjoying the birds and the coffee and then both of them were off to work. I was to meet with Guy, Andrew, and Scott at 10am to discuss all that we had seen and talk about how we would move forward with projects and with the itinerary for my group in June. Guy told me to help myself to breakfast in the lodge and gave me the use of his laptop to check emails and type my entry about yesterday. It was a lazy few hours, but I needed to organize all my notes and jot down all the questions I had about the group in June and figure out just how we wanted things to go and make sure that Scott, Guy and Andrew could provide what I had come up with. I’m so glad that I decided to change things this year for the group and I can’t wait for them to experience this new and improved experience!!! SO EXCITED!!! I really need 3 more volunteers to sign on for the trip in order to make myself feel like we have enough people to complete the project we came up with (so if you know anyone let me know..)

We all had our meeting at 10 on the deck looking over the property. Beautiful place to talk business that’s for sure! We ended up sorting everything out and I hope everyone left feeling as I did that much had been accomplished and that we have a lot to look forward to. Since we had decided on the project for this years group Andrew and I needed to drive back to the site so I could take a few more specific pictures and we could map out how the day to day would be for the volunteers. I wont go into to much detail here about the project here, but I will send details out soon.

Then Andrew and I stopped over at the restaurant for a bite to eat and sat there talking in more detail about what Andrew could do in order to help get things ready for the group. A few people and things I needed him to find out and talk to in the coming months and now that I had all the information I was able to really get things down on paper and make some lists about what needed to be done in order to have all of this ready once the group arrives in June. If people only knew the number of things I think about when I bring a group of Americans into Malawi!! I worry about every detail and since I have done this a few times I know what people will want and what they feel their “needs” will be so I’m trying to make sure I have everything in place to make this new itinerary wonderful for everyone…..fingers crossed!!!

Back to the house for a nice dinner with Susan and the kids 🙂 The last one 🙁 and then back to the restaurant with Andrew while he closed up. I met a few of Andrew’s friends and had some great conversations about the country, the government, the current issues in Malawi and really enjoyed just learning so much about life there. One of the men I met has taken on the task of helping to save the trees in Malawi and has an amazing story of how he has done this…just amazing. He is in his 60’s and has lived in Malawi most of his life, he is south African. Now that he is retired he has decided that the saving the forests in Malawi is up to him. The program that is set up in Malawi isn’t working and he plans to fix it. He has been spending his days wandering through the forest reserves with his dog by his side monitoring the situation there and making sure people who are entering into the forest to chop wood have the proper tickets to do so and if not he is chasing them out! Hard to explain, but this man is doing a good thing and is so proud of what he hopes to accomplish. He was also happy to lend his advice to my potential projects and answer some of my never ending questions about Malawi and the government, etc….(Andrew says I talk to much)

A good day ….everything sorted out and I went to bed a little sad I was leaving in the morning, but A LOT happy that I would be seeing my girls and Patrick soon!

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