Session 1

Sahar Eftekhar, Zuie Wakade, Rachel Brim, Kayla Kester

Where to buy fabric: Lambat, ask for Yunas. Then have Lawrence the tailor make you clothes.

Daytime things to do around Blantyre:

  • Cinema – nice theatre w/popcorn! Usually has 2-3 movies playing, showtimes at 2:30, 5:30 and 8:30 on weekends. Ticket is 1500 kwacha.
  • Volunteer at orphanage
  • Satemwa coffee/tea estate tours
  • Carlsberg brewery tours Wednesday at 2 p.m.
  • Mount Sochie — very nice hotel w/pool. 800 kwacha to use the pool and lay out.
  • Malawi Sun Hotel food court – great food and view, very nice bakery and pizza shop. Yummy tikka burger and calzones.

Nighttime things to do:

  • Doogles is an azungu hangout, good place to make friends with randos
  • Mibawa Café has live jazz music
  • Blue Elephant has great music for dancing
  • TJs by the hospital is great for beers after work and watching football matches
  • Twigga Lounge
  • Mustang Sallys
  • Kaya Lounge, close to the casinos


Session 2

Yvette Gross, Dana Mande, Jeff Magnatta, Anna Gladstone, Angela Andrews, Elizabeth Schut

Great Ways to Spend an Afternoon in Blantyre:

  • Open Arms Orphanage – Under 2 years old, near to Chez Maki (near Casa Mia). You can go play at have 20+ 2-and-unders hanging on you if that is your thing. There are also a few special needs kids who can use some extra attention (help with crawling and walking)
  • Tidzalarena – Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m., Hamilton the carver can take you to Ndirande to this club for children and adults with disabilities. They do crafts , some physiotherapy on yoga balls for kids with spasticity and a great opportunity to spend time with people who need the extra attention. It was such a treat!
  • La Caverna – Yummy iced coffee and gelato, a great place to sit and read and have some quiet time in the afternoons. You can buy postcards here.
  • Noah’s Art Orphanage – Infants to high school. They are a school for younger kids and they feed, clothe and watch the other kids in the morning up until it’s time to go home in the evening. They will dance, sing and play with you. They love bubbles!


  • Surgery: General surgery can bog you down mentally depending on the physician but worth spending first 2 weeks (croc bites, etc.). Then highly recommend plastics/burns.
  • Peds surgery: Tia, the Malawian registrar, is very nice and approachable.  Dr. Johnson, American general surgeon on 5A ward, hard to handle, very opinionated with NO sterile technique. Avoid him if you can. Dr. Nandi (British Indian man) is very nice, loves to teach and will direct you on how to spend your time.
  • Internal medicine: Your translators and allies are third-year med students and student nurses (purple on shoulders). Read up on TB and HIV — ¾ of my patients had one or both.
  • OB/Gyn: I spent most of my time on labor and delivery where it was either crazy busy or crazy slow. There were lots of nursing/midwives/med students and sometimes they are slower to jump in so use that opportunity especially with neonatal resuscitation, assisting in patient positioning.


Malawi 2012 Session 3

Katie Mowers, Ashley Brant, Brian Holowecky … and Ian

Mt. Michiru is a great way to get acclimated to the altitude early on + a technical climb. Watch out for grass rash!

Ashley Brant

This is probably one of the most disorganized departments in the hospital — which can either work to your benefit or drive you crazy. … This rotation is what you make it. Spend one day at family planning clinic and visit all 3 rooms. There are lots of medical and clinical officer students so you have to be assertive if you want to be hands-on.

Katie Mowers

It was amazing to see the variety of cases and pathology here. Prof. Borgstein is great to work with so is Bip (Dr. Nandi). Bip loves to teach and is a great go-to person. Expect Tuesdays and Wednesdays to be full days, but if you stick around you will definitely get to scrub cases. Don’t be shy to demonstrate your surgical skills — they were happy to let me get very involved once they knew what I was comfortable doing.

Brian Holowecky

QECH has the first ER in all of Malawi. It was an amazing rotation. You will really feel like a doctor as you are the main/only provider for many people you will see. You can do as many procedures are you’re interested in. Don’t do them until you watch how they do them here though.

I was the first student of MSU to do this rotation. Your physical dx skills will get much better. Patients go to the resuscitation bay and feel free to check there too. Often there’s deathly sick people being tended by only a couple junior nursing students. Feel free to take your own patient to radiology. You can learn so much from seeing films immediately.

Your skills are needed and appreciated!