Hold onto your Satchels

Hold onto your Satchels

On Thursday morning we began our adventure to Blantyre. On the way to Blantyre, the streets were lined with police – the president of Malawi would be traveling from Blantyre to Zomba. Eventually when we reached the city, our car was stopped in a line of traffic. In the distance you could see black SUV’s driving. One equipped with bulletproof glass and 2 Malawi flags at the front of the car, where the president of Malawi sat. I’d like to think when I am older I will retell this story to my grandchildren, but stretch the truth a bit more and tell them that I got to meet the president of Malawi.

After we checked into our hotel in Blantyre, we set out to do some bargain hunting at a souvenir market. Grab onto your satchels kids, because its going to be a wild ride. As soon as you walk into the market you get swarmed. It is like ants to a half finished lollipop. From all sides your being called to come see the different peoples stands – “Sister! Sister!”, “Come look at this.”, “I will give you Malawian Price”, or “I see you are a student: Student Discount!”. Although at first this market may be a little bit overwhelming, I love bartering with people. It is a fun game to see how low you can get the price of a wooden bowl by mixing just the right amount of disinterest, negotiating, and pitting the other competition against them.

After lunch, we met we a company who specializes in solar panels to discuss their product. We are trying to collect information to see whether or not we would be able to put a solar panel pump one of the boreholes we hope to drill in 2018 in Chilimani. We also headed out to meet with a local driller to collect information about their capabilities about their drilling rig, and company. Both of these meetings where very informative and will greatly help with our decision-making when we get back to the states.

Most anyone who knows me knows that I am absolutely obsessed with ice cream. The hardest part of this trip has definitely been not eating ice cream for two weeks. Today we passed a restaurant with a sign that said “scoops” and decided to stop to get some ice cream. Although it was not hard dipped ice cream, the vanilla soft serve almost made me cry of happiness. This wasnt even the only time we got ice cream today! We ordered a chocolate molten gooey cake with ice cream at dinner. I don’t think I have ever been more grateful for ice cream in my life – I could live in a vat of the ice cream and cake!

Overall, the hustle and bustle of Blantyre has been a fun change to Zomba, a much smaller city. Although it is sad to have to leave our partner communities, the farm and the magnificent view of Zomba Plateau, it is always fun to be able to explore a new city, and I am excited to see what Blantyre has to offer us on Friday!

 

Tionana,

Emma

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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