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December 28, 2009 Day to Day 0 Comments

Update from London Heathrow Airport

I’m writing from London Heathrow. I’ve been here for about three hours. I had a coffee and charged my iPod. I walked around a bit. It’s boring.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how people are overall good. This Christmas people were very generous to the orphans and I really appreciate it. Most of my family has shown me great support and encouragement on this journey. The parents of my students were very supportive of my decision to go to Malawi. I am very lucky to have that support and the resources to take this journey.

At first I was very nervous, scared and sad about leaving home, friends, work. Now I am just curious about what will happen. I look forward to a lot of adventure, some growth and a lot of learning.

I spoke with Azikiwe last week. He told me that Johnny passed his standard 8 exam and has been accepted to the local secondary school. Unfortunately Annie did not pass her exam and as such can not attend secondary school this term. I plan to speak to Annie and her family to determine what happened to make her fail. If she doesn’t continue in school she will have to leave Itatu. Johnny can no longer attend either as his school hours will not permit him the time to come to the day care for meals. He does have a sister and I will suggest we take her in his place. The family will still get some relief in this way.

Please keep the responses coming. I love them.

Jennifer

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December 9, 2009 Day to Day 0 Comments

Messages from Malawi

My new manager, Azikiwe is so much more responsible and thoughtful than the last one. I have included two recent emails he sent to me. I think people should know how grateful the Malawians are for all of your help.

Azikiwe is not paid. He volunteers his time to go to the bank, meet the cooks and visit the day care centre at least once a week.

Jennifer,

I would like to thank both you and your parents for the great effort you are taking to raise money for Itatu, it can not go without sincere thanks from this end and in particular from me, You are just wonderful and for the church i would like to ask God to bless them all and to give them many days for the great work they are able to render to the orphans of Itatu day care.

In the same way let God bless your Aunt and Uncle abundantly. We do not take the assistance lightly, it will surely go along way to alleviate the sufferings.Thanks once again for everything.

yebo (thanks in Tumbuka)

azikiwe

Jennifer,

All the children did well except Kettie who will have to repeat standard 5,
Otherwise,
Maggie moves on to standard 5
Fanny …….std 7
Mayamiko…….std 5
Roggess……..std 6
Susan………std 7
Henry………std 8.

I was there today,all are begging for notebooks and pens since they have just began a new term. They looked to be very happy whilst they waited for their lunch.

yebo
azikiwe

December 9, 2009 Day to Day 0 Comments

Random Thoughts

Three weeks from now I will be in Malawi starting the adventure of my lifetime, so far. The idea that I’ll soon be there is still so surreal that it sometimes shocks me to the point of gasping when I actually realize it. There is still so much to do. I’ve got to rent out my apartment, wire some money over, move money from ING to a regular bank account, cancel the phone and internet, pack, get medication, book a spot for an extra bag and who knows what else.

I am so amazed by the generosity of the people around me. The members of the Port Rowan Community Church of which my parents are members, have been very generous in supporting my orphans. My staff and the students at my school have also been incredible. I am still nervous because I’m taking a massive pay-cut and may lose a lot of money on the apartment but these donations certainly ease the pressure tremendously. I also have to say that the words of encouragement from unexpected people, like parents of former students, are incredibly comforting. I am feeling much fear and anxiety right now and the words of encouragement and praise help me realize that I have made the right decision.

One lesson I am slowly learning throughout this process is that I am, unfortunately, dispensable. My job has been filled. My replacement came yesterday and I know that “my” kids will soon fall in love with her.

Although some are very clingy now and say, “I don’t want a new teacher,” the reality is the new teacher will replace me in their hearts. The unselfish part of me thinks this is good but the selfish part feels a bit sad at the short term memory functioning of six year olds.

I am also learning about relationships and how different people respond to change in different ways. Some of my friends are going out of their way to be kind to me, even bringing me home-cooked lunches while others have been very critical and distant. I have definitely been very emotional.

I am now quite excited about the adventure. I can’t wait to really get to know Malawi and experience life there. I know it will be exciting, enriching and intriguing. I know it will also be lonely and scary at times. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to follow this passion of mine and see where it takes me.

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and gestures.