High Fives and Hand Shakes

High Fives and Hand Shakes

Today was an exciting day for me. Yesterday I was sick and had to miss half the day, but I was feeling a lot better today and was super eager to get back into the villages. The day started out at the local Zomba market. I helped buy the produce and goat meat which was used later in the day for our community lunch.

The team then went off to Liti to continue with our surveying. I was partnered with Nicole, while Jordan and Travis separated into other parts of the area. This was done in order to diversify our survey results. After we finished surveys at that location, we saw a woman pealing beans. Just as I was about to try one, I was told it was poisonous and I quickly dropped it. I found out that the beans must be boiled repeatedly until the water is no longer black; once the water is clear it means that the poison is gone. 

Once we were picked up in the truck, we stopped to get cooking oil and sugar cane. It was extremely difficult to peel the bark off the sugar cane, but not for Malawians. I was extremely impressed with how the local Malawians were easily able to bite into the sugar cane. The sugar cane was extremely sweet but many people on the team enjoyed it. At the next survey sight, Nicole and I were lead into a homeowners local farm. Mr. Gogidos chopped down even more sugar cane for us and gave us a lot of tomatoes. We also saw a lot of banana trees and pumpkins that were starting to grow.

Afterwards, the team went to Nkagula for our community lunch. We played soccer and hand ball with the children and adults of the village. However, before lunch I went with Vince and Lexi to continue resistivity testing. While the resistivity testing was going on, I began to bond with the nearby children. I played peekaboo and made silly faces at them which made them laugh a lot. I also made up a bunch of different handshakes with the children which they also loved; they kept coming up to me asking to do the handshakes over and over again.

Then we went back to Nkagula and ate lunch with the community. This was my first time trying nsima and it was very interesting; it tasted like a mix of rice and potatoes but more grainy. I really liked the goat and chicken meat with the vegetable sauce. 

To end my day, I continued resistivity testing with Vince and Lexi. Our last location was the borehole at the Sakata school. We did this in order to have a control for our data. While at the borehole, I met even more children and continued to teach them the cool handshakes. I also met a child with the same name as me which was so cool! I cannot wait for what we have planned for tomorrow, but you will have to come back to find out what we do! 

-Erin Potter

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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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