Newsletter May 2018
The chickens haven’t laid a single egg since we arrived, and the monkeys steal our delicious passion fruits from the trees. As if that weren’t enough, there are tiny, little ants everywhere in the the house. For me, the worst part is having them in the kitchen; no cupboard, no pot, no plate, nothing is safe from them. When I complain about it while cooking, I only get a blank smile from the staff. A few ants in the food, what’s the problem?
Since I found no allies in the fight against the creepy-crawlies, I focused on more important issues. Before flying to Malawi, we are often asked which tasks await us here. Of course it’s always different, but, for example, every year I spend many hours with Peter on his accounting from the previous year and review each document. Diethelm does the same with all the children's health books and studies all the medical reports about them to get an idea of their health. Every year, a visit is scheduled for him with physically disabled children at an ambulatory rehabilitation ward in Salima. Then there are always clarifying conversations to be had about current events.
For example, the parents of one of our mentally handicapped children criminally neglect their son. He has severe epileptic seizures because his medicine is not given regularly on weekends. Also, you often see him in the the village at night, roaming around on his own.
Another Kunyumba-kid, already 20 years old, but yet to graduate from school, has a boyfriend. The children are well informed by our Kettie, but one has to repeatedly stress the importance of personal responsiblity for using contraception. Otherwise, an unwanted pregnancy, with all of its consequences, is to be expected.
Very often, single mothers come from the village and ask us for tuition for their children. Their small income is barely enough to survive.
Last week we had a meeting with our site manager. He builds incredibly beautiful, luxurious houses here on the beach of Lake Malawi, completely different from what we have in mind for our project. We'll probably only commission the foundations, the floor slab and the access road from him. Anything beyond that is simply beyond our means. Peter knows some good local people here who are able to build very simple, stable houses.
Next week we will pick up Dieter Weber, another club member, from the airport and will spend some days with him. The time is already almost fully planned, including a staff meeting and our annual trip with the kids.