Zikomo

Zikomo

Today was the first day we split up between villages. First though, we started off the day by going shopping for food in the market. Emma and I got to experience the hustle and bustle of the market as well as hold live chickens by their feet. I wasn’t sure I liked the latter, but the market was cool and reminded me a bit of farmer’s markets at home.

Next, Jordan, Becca and Vince went to Chilimani to help with resistivity testing and to do household surveys, and Emma, Kim and I went to Mphero to do household surveys and meet with the water committee.

We were welcomed to Mphero with open arms as usual. We gave them the lowdown on what we would be doing today and jumped right into our surveys. It was great to sit down with individuals in the village in a more intimate setting than we usually do to speak about their new wells. They all gave glowing reviews. They said that children were able to get to school on time now because they didn’t have to wait for their mothers to come home from log distances with water in the morning. Some also mentioned that they noticed less illnesses in the community and that the water tastes very good. Though I don’t speak Chichewa, one word I do know is “zikomo” – thank you. A common theme I heard in today’s surveys was “zikomo”, and though we were honored that they were thanking us, we stressed that we were very grateful too that they welcomed us into their community and allowed us to partner with them. Zikomo Mphero! Also while we were surveying we saw a few feats of engineering, including a homemade bird cage/trap (shown below), and a homemade speaker.

After lunch in the community (RIP to those chickens I held earlier), we spoke with the water committee. They expressed that they still felt confident in their ability to maintain the well, even calling themselves the “village engineers”. After our chat, we conducted a couple more household surveys, did a bit of dancing with the kids, and it was already time to go back to the farm. I can’t wait to continue household surveys in both communities tomorrow so we can better understand Mphero’s progress and Chilimani’s needs.

Teonana mawa (see you tomorrow),

Ashley

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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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