Settled Life 6/52

Monday, January 30, 2017
Lilongwe, Malawi
The week was off to a slow start. We spent Sunday hanging out at the house watching cartoons with our seven year old neighbor, Muhammed. He's a cute kid, but tends to overstay his welcome. We’re trying to teach him some manners; he now knocks and asks to come in before walking in. We’re working on him not saying OMG anymore and not walking all over our furniture. We’re also working on him not pouting when we tell him it’s time to go home. I feel badly for the kid as he has no siblings (or any near his age), and there are no other children in our compound. We still have five empty units in our compound, so I’m hopeful that this will change.

We walked most mornings this week, at least two miles each time. We’re learning more and more about our neighborhood.

Lewis went and visited a young man from the congregation who had malaria and wasn’t able to get out of bed. He took him some juice and anointed him.

The rest of the week was spent on working our jobs. Even when we’re on adventure real life must continue. I’m grateful that I have a job to do.

On Wednesday I decided to experiment making a chocolate cake. This might not sound like a big deal to you; but seriously a big deal for me. I can bake/cook just about anything. I've successfully made caramel, cheesecake, flourless cakes, bread, pretzels, and so on. The one thing I've never been able to make successfully is a plain chocolate cake. Simple, right? I don't know what the problem was, but they would always fall, or taste terrible. So, with much trepidation, I set about making a chocolate cake; and wonder of all wonders! It came out perfectly. So I made another one to take for snacks on the Sabbath. It was quite delicious, and I think was enjoyed by all.

On the Sabbath we had special music again, which is such a lovely treat. The church hall is slowly coming together; I look forward to when it will be completed and we can start thinking about decorations and landscaping; to really make it our own. After services we had our second English lesson. Lewis and I aren’t ESL teachers, so we’re doing the best that we can! We’re going through the hymns from our hymnal line by line to find words that they don’t necessarily know in English. We find the proper definition and corresponding Chewa word. We’re hoping that it will add more meaning to the hymns that we sing.

After services Lewis and I dropped off one young man near his home (so he wouldn’t have to walk so far or take a minibus); and then brought dinner to the young man who had been suffering from Malaria. He said he is much better and will be returning to work this week. We’re thankful for his healing.

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Wendy Englehardt

I love the variations of frangipani...such a wonderful scent too!

Michelle Dean

Wonderful photos, Lena. So happy you are able to take walks and see some of the beautiful countryside. Very glad that the young man is recovering from malaria! Thank you for your service in teaching the members English through translating the hymnals. We hope you and Lewis have a great week!

Beverly Kubik

Lena thank you so much for your blog. We just realized that you had a blog along with Lewis's. I love reading both of them and enjoy when you mention names of those we know. All the very best! We look forward to visiting you in a couple of months.


are you learning the local language as well as teaching them basic English?


Hi Karin, we are learning some. However, English is the official language of Malawi; so it's really a good thing for them to learn it. Only 57% of the population speaks Chewa; 12% speak Chinyanja; Chiyao (10.1%); and Chitumbuka (9.5%).