James Diener, Josh Dykla, Sophia Johnson, Erin Kevern, Sandra Larson, Madison Yen Phani, Shane Serget, Meagan Smith
Kyle Denison Martin, Tom Pfotenhauer, Katie Matz, Nick Graff, Susan Kasko, Chelsea Duggan, Beth Parker
Weekend 3 – Liwonde Mvuu Lodge
Kristen Strehl, Brittani Thomas, Peter Kelterborn, Kelly Flynn, Megan Fojtik, Lucas Watts, Max Kaiser
Mt. Mulanje (Thurs afternoon-Sun afternoon)
We planned our trip to Mt. Mulanje the week before by talking to Terrie and Rachel and then calling InfoMulanje to book everything. InfoMulanje was very helpful and let us change our itinerary a few times, but you can also change it once on the mountain, depending on how the group feels (nothing is set in stone).
Seven of us went on the hike and we booked 4 porters (3,000 mwk/day/porter) and one guide (3,500/day/guide), which seemed to work well.
We left Blantyre Thursday afternoon after work with Alex our minibus driver around 1:30 pm and spent the afternoon at the tea estates for a tour and tea tasting, which we would highly recommend!
We stayed at the base of the mountain at Likhubula Lodge – CCAP dorms (make sure to get a dorm and not a chalet — it’s much cheaper) Thursday night so we could start our hike early Friday morning. Our porters and guide met us there around 7 am. We hiked about 6 hours on Friday to Chisepo Hut, which is at the base of the highest peak, Sapitwa. It is a great place to stay if you want to summit Sapitwa.
On Saturday, 5 of the 7 of us decided to summit and we were back to the hut around noon. We were pretty tired so we relaxed at Chisepo another night. We did not have a Mountain Club key so we brought our own pots, pot holders, silverware and bowls. We had Simoni make us some food the week before, such as spaghetti and meatballs one night and ratatouille another night, both of which we could reheat over a fire and boil up pasta or rice. We also went grocery shopping the week before and bought a lot of snacks for hiking — trail mix and apples and rolls to make PB&J for lunch.
On Sunday, we hiked down the mountain to Thuchila Lodge and met Alex our minibus driver there around noon. We wanted to take a different trail down the mountain, which was very worth it. The scenery on the hike was so beautiful.
On our way back to Blantyre, we had Alex stop at a great pizza place in Mulanje called Mulanje Pepper (used to be called Basilico). The pizzas are amazing and cooked in a brick oven; recommend everyone order their own pizza. We were pretty hungry after three days of hiking.
Make sure to wear good hiking shoes. It is a tough hike and if you choose to summit you will be climbing on all fours up most of the way. It is amazing to summit but be prepared to get a hole in your pants on the way down.
Sarah, Josh, Elizabeth, Souson, Rasheed, Nick, Katie (and Luke)
Take with you on road trips
Don’t take with you on road trips
Noah’s Ark Orphan Care (with photo Noah)
Contact: Nancy Sisco, 0888515248
Transport: 5,000 mwk one way from Terrie’s
We went on a Tuesday at 11 a.m. NAOC is a school/orphan care facility that provides food and education to local orphans. It is a Christian organization started and still run by Pastor Nancy (80-something years old). She first came here in 1995 doing mission work and moved here permanently in mid-2000s.
The kids range in age from 4-18 although the teacher’s 2 yo daughter also attends the preschool. The do preschool-2nd grade and English. Each child is sponsored by someone in Michigan (Pastor Nancy is from Flint). The kids still live at home with their guardians, usually grandparents or an aunt. The program also accepts kids who have only lost one parent. Usually, the guardians seek out help because they can’t afford food for the child.
The preschools-2nd grade are fed breakfast and lunch. The preschoolers go home at noon and the older kids at 2:30. The kids who leave for primary school get breakfast and a snack for lunch, then return after school at 3:30 are are given dinner before they go home. All the kids get food, shoes, clean uniforms, education and community. They do Bible study and memorize scripture through their schooling.
When we got there, the kids had prepared 2 songs for us, plus the dance to go with it. Josh brought bubbles and the kids LOVED them! After playing with those for an hour or so we transitioned into a bigger yard so they could teach us some games. We ate lunch on the terrace and then we sang more songs so that we could dance with them. It was so much fun and the kids had a great time. This is totally worth taking the day off work!
Amanda, Jessica, Lauren, Christy, Bre, Allie, Elaine Andrea
Amber Cibrario, Lucy Kurtz, Jennifer Walker, Christina Harrild, Zachary Baker, Lauren Hasler, Michelle Medley, Tomoyasu Higashimoto
While in Blantyre:
You know you are in Africa when:
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.
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!