One of those weeks (13 of 52)

Sunday, March 19, 2017
Lilongwe, Eastern Province, Malawi
Well readers... I've been pretty conscious of what I write and try and balance the very real challenges of living in one of the poorest countries in the world with the many wonderful things that Malawi has to offer.

This week ... well this week has been tougher than most. We knew coming into it that power would be problematic; particularly in the dry season. Since we arrived in the midst of the rainy season the power situation hasn't been awful; though we would regularly lose service.

This week though, we've lost power every single day. Multiple times each day. Yesterday (Wednesday) we had no power more than we had power (about 15 hours altogether).

The last week or two our hot water tank has not been working very well (I can barely remember the last time I didn't have a frigid shower), but then this week we had a fun new development! No water! We don't know why, but yesterday the water just quit running. We're not sure if the company isn't supplying us with water and our backup tank ran out, or if there is a problem with our particular unit, but two days with intermittent running water (we were able to flush the toilets once or twice) does not make for an enjoyable (or good smelling) couple of days . Turns out a cold shower is infinitely better than no shower.

It's Thursday morning as I write this... we have a visit with a member later today. Tomorrow we are meeting with a potential new member from Nkhotakota; and then we have the Sabbath. After all that goodness, I'm sure I'll have more positive things to share.

But Wednesday first! It was Lewis's 34th birthday. I started the day out by making him breakfast (egg sandwiches made with homemade bread). Then we went for a hike (nearly five miles). After returning home and discovering still no water we cleaned up as best we could and headed out to a nearby cafe (Hill Coffee and Spa). It's owned by a really lovely Vietnamese woman who makes fresh bagels each day. Lewis had bagels and lox and cream cheese, and I had a chicken pho served in her garden. We'll definitely return.

I then took Lewis to get his birthday gift; he wanted some new headphones .

I took advantage of the few hours of power we had and made a chocolate peanut butter cake for Lewis and pasta with a homemade sauce for dinner. The base recipe for the sauce was given to me by my dear friend Darlene Helterbrand; I then added grated zucchini and carrots, and marinated beef chunks. It came out pretty good.

Thursday afternoon we spent several hours with Mwai Chonde in her home. It was lovely to get to know her, about her family, and the very real struggles that she faces. Despite her challenges she is good-humored, kind, and quick to help others.

Friday was a typical day; Lewis went to the office and I worked from home. Water, power, and internet are all still intermittent.

And finally it is the Sabbath! Unfortunately we were still without more than a trickle of water, I was able to eke out a sort of shower; everyone else had sponge baths before heading to services. Gracious Mpilangwe, the pastor of Blantyre, joined us for services and gave the sermon.

Brennan has been learning hymns on the guitar; he did accompaniment this week; it's really nice to have live music.

After services we went to visit Juliana Guza. She's been very ill causing her white blood cell count to elevate. She said she was feeling much better, just very tired and weak now.

Supposedly our water situation will be fixed on Monday. Next week will be interesting since we'll be traveling to Mzuzu.
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jeanne thorne

Your bread looks amazing!!! The scenery looks amazing!! I see you have not posted any bugs lolol... Have a wonderful week

Lori Holladay

Happy Late birthday Lewis. I am keeping up with yall's journey. Holding your hands from afar. Incredibly encouraged by your service and humor and bouncing back from some difficult trials.

Nancy Morgan

Happy late birthday Lewis! I'll bet your 5 mile hike had some beautiful scenery to enjoy. We miss you, but looks like you are doing well in Malawi.