First Fresh Day in Lilongwe
Trip Start Sep 11, 2010
25Trip End Oct 06, 2010
She lives about an hour ride out north towards Mzuzu. She moved out here to near the town of Madisi in the Dowa district because her husband Frazier has long-term construction work here. We stopped by her home first where she has her sewing machine. Her 19 year old daughter Chisomo was with her. The last we saw Jesse was two years ago. Chisomo has just finished high school with the helpd of a LifeNets scholarship.
LifeNets has given her a grant to build another shop in the new area she lives. She started work in March. After talking some at her home, we drove another ten minutes north. Workers were still working on the structure which is close to being done. Grand opening will be right after the Fall Feast. Her mainstay will be school uniforms and blouses. She said that actually in this rural community she will have more business than if she were back in Lilongwe where there was more competition. There is a greater demand for what she does well out in the country. We are considering helping her with a one-time start with bolts of cloth.
On our way back to Lilongwe we carried on a conversation with Wordsworth about the success of the various LifeNets initiatives…..about how various people did, who was successful, who was not and why. All in all, I think our scholarship program is the one that nets the most result for the money invested. We asked aobut Chiphale and Lester Njewa --- the ones we where we put in a high quality borehole and called it "Rebecca’s well ." He commented about how good the water was from that well and how much it was appreciated in the community.
Some of the sparkling examples are Cephas Chapamba who went to medical college and now does various procedures at his Jumpha Clinic. We help the clinic with medicine and with the extra education, Cephas has been brilliant. Loveness is doing well with her “Lovely Looks” beauty salon. Of course, Alfred Gama and his farm that we visited is great. There is also Elia’s Oasis of LifeNets school and Wordsworth’s grocery and more.
We drive by many places of business called "so and so" Investments. What are these “investments?“ Who would want to invest in anything here? I find that “investment” is somewhat akin to “incorporated” or “enterprise.”
We passed the Blessings Hospital by the airport that we had visited in years gone by. Just before arriving back in Lilongwe we drove by the Girls Academy that Madonna is building. Looks like quite an auspicious project.
Then we dropped by Emily Chifumaka whom we had helped with sewing machines and helped build a storefront shop. She looked in good health. Two years ago she was very sick and we were concerned about her life, but she looked much better now. She talked about her daughters Mbumba who is in form 4 and her other daughter Memory who taking qualifying exams to enter nursing school. She cares for her mother Linnes who is sister to Gladstone Chonde
Finally, we stopped by the director of the first clinic we built in Malawi, Gladstone and Alice Chonde. We first met them in Zimbabwe in 1996. We had a friendly visit for about an hour before going home. Bev and I spent the rest of the evening talking about the days’ events and