Well, the Titanic Lodge is elaborate, but we find that at first there was only a tiny dribble of water in the bathroom....diminishing to zero. The bathtub was huge-Jacuzzi style. Everything about the two lodges we've stayed has been fantastic except for the water pressure (if any), no hot water, no air conditioning etc. The Internet is also available, but it doesn't work. I was hopeful to get my Travel Blog updated, but to now avail. At the last place Bev and I had one towel (the same one) to share between us for the entire four days. Other than that the two places have been beautiful.
Today is the Day of Atonement and church services are at 11 am. It's been chaotic regarding transportation as our promised car did not materialize and there have been lots of excuses. We have taken the bold step to ask Dr. Chilopora if we could use his ambulance for traveling around Lilongwe to visit our projects and for transportation to Mangochi for the Feast. Dr. Chilopora will be gone to South Africa and will be leaving his van with his daughter Margaret in Lilongwe. Also, with the Scott Lockwood family arriving from Singapore to Lilongwe today, they will be needing transportation. We busily make all these arrangements.
We have no water and ask the desk below. They assure us that there is water in the building and that they will "pump it up" for us. Water comes, but it would probably take a week to fill the huge tub.
Diverson Chonde picks us up for Church in his Land Rover. He lived in the UK for six years and brought this used vehicle down in a container. He has left his wife and two children behind to complete their studies. They will be returning sometime next year. Diverson is still looking for work as an IT specialist. He has taken quite a few Microsoft Specialization Certificates...some of what were scholarshiped by LifeNets. He has just recently arrived and has his name in to several companies for work.
It was great seeing everyone at services, however there were quite a few new people that we hadn't recognized from our last visit two years ago.
Wordsworth Rashid led songs, Dr. Chilopora gave the sermonette. A new person to us, Julius Kachala from Mzusu gave the announcements. He was there with his wife Patricia and daughters Juliana, Miracle and son King. The two girls sang special music. I followed with a sermon about humility. It was a pretty packed service.
After church we talked to a lot of people. Then Diverson took us to the home of people we had known in Lilongwe for a long time but no longer attended church. We stopped by for a courtesy visit and spent a few hours with them.
Then back to the Wordsworth's new place. He moved two weeks ago from a place where he was robbed. Two armed men had burglarized them at their previous place and stole one of our laptop computers among other things. They were afraid they'd be back so they moved. The new place has greater security with a wall around it.
LifeNets provides Wordsworth access to "high speed" Internet. I was hoping NOW to get some things sent, check my Yahoo email and just see what's going on in the world. It's been a little refreshing to be out of the loop of all the financial crisis in the world....hopefully we can return to the United States on October 28th.
The Internet today is e-x-t-r-a s-l-o-w. High speed is slower than dial up. I uploaded three days worth of Travel things and read some emails, but no chance of responding to anything and I really wanted to. We'll be back here tomorrow.
We visited some with Jame/Loveness Luwanja who are good friends of the Rashid's and are often over and with Wordsworth. LifeNets helped James with a Livelihood Development grant by buying some plumbing equipment. This last year his business is beginning to take off. He has three contracts and is staying quite busy. He employr two apprentices six months ago and would like help to finish his shop. The walls are up, but it needs a roof. With the building finished he will have an office where people can find him to employ him.
The building is to include a salon for Loveness. We have helped her to purchase hair dressing equipment. She is now doing that from her home.
The Day of Atonement came to an end it was good to drink some water and have some snacks.
With Diverson Chonde we went out to dinner at an Indian restaurant. We had a very enjoyable and informative discussion. We really appreciate Diverson getting us around in his vehicle.
Every day here is full of interesting things. We could not have known all that we have learned in these days from the United States. You have to be on the scene and visit the people and projects to fully understand all the logistics and how the people are doing.
DOA in Lilongwe, Malawi
Thursday, October 09, 2008