Entering the warm heart of Africa

Entering the warm heart of Africa

Moni! (“Hello” in Chichewa) Muli bwanji? (“How are you?” in Chichewa)


We flew to Johannesburg, South Africa, and from there we flew to Blantyre, Malawi. Our friends Joe, who works for VIP, and Alex picked us up and took us first to set up cell phones. We then met with Mr. Stambuli of Rodu for lunch to discuss our budget and the drilling process. He is very interested that we students understand what his company is doing, and is excited for the implementation of our project! After heading to ShopRite to buy supplies, we went to Naming’azi Farm Training Center to unpack, discuss, eat dinner, and get much-needed sleep. We met briefly with Liz, the director of VIP, who gave us great insight and suggestions. We were welcomed with great kindness and hospitality!



Today we had breakfast with another group connected with VIP, and then went to local a church with them. Mr. Bonongwe, a water and well expert who works for VIP, and Mr. Mwalabu, who coordinates VIP’s projects, helped lead the service. It was “Paper Sunday,” meaning a collection plate for paper money was set out. There was much worship, insight, energy, and kindness! After stopping at Naming’azi, we went to lunch in Zomba with Joe and Mr. Bonongwe, where we discussed the next day and plans for meeting with Rodu tomorrow. The food was delicious but inexpensive! Unfortunately, the gas we then purchased for our rental car was not so cheap. We went back to Naming’azi to nap, think, and then eat dinner and reorganize, again meeting with Liz about our plans for the next day.



Tomorrow Rodu plans to mobilize drilling equipment to Mphero. Three of us plan to go to Mphero to meet with Mr. Bonongwe and Mr. Stambuli in person, and hope to meet with the Thorneycrofts at Chimpeni Farms, which are next to Mphero. Drilling will hopefully commence on Tuesday. The other three of us plan to accompany Liz to a presentation by a Malawian engineer regarding irrigation schemes that utilize tanks in order to reduce evaporation. As irrigation was one of the main concerns the five villages in our potable water program had, this information may be very valuable. All of us will meet back together in Mphero in the afternoon for a Bible study rally that involves multiple communities, which will be a fundraiser for the project. We look forward to bringing Mphero reliable access to potable water!



Tionana mawa! (“See you tomorrow!” in Chichewa)

~Rachel Schaefer, second year civil engineering student at University of Delaware




Malawi Project
Malawi Project
The Malawi Project Team is currently partnered with the community of Mphero in Malawi, and is investigating how The Engineers Without Borders, University of Delaware Chapter, can best aid the community.
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  • Debbie Simon

    You guys are great. We are so proud of you.

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