Closing Time

 

Tomorrow is my last day here in Malawi.  Tonight we’re having a closing Malawian dinner/party since Friday night most people are going to rest up for their return flight to the US.  As you know Chelsea and I are spending an extra week in South Africa between Gauteng/Limpopo and the Western Cape.

It’s hard right now to reflect fully on my time in Malawi and what it’s meant to me.  I’m sure my previous posts have conveyed my thoughts as they more or less happened but for me to try and sum it all up into one cathartic expression is very difficult.

I think what I can take away the most from my trip is a more thorough understanding of the poverty trap that plagues international development.  I’ve also gained a greater appreciating and empathy for the people of Malawi as they gracefully continue onward each day.  It’s truly an eye opener to realize how negligible our concerns back home are to those that Malawians have to preoccupy themselves with.  I don’t know anyone in the US that is worried about where their food will come from in the next six months, or what’ll happen to their livelihoods if there is a poor tourist season and they cannot sell their goods.  It’s certainly put such things into perspective for me, and to anyone given the opportunity to come to Malawi or any other impoverished African country I definitely encourage you to do so.  You’ll gain an appreciation for life that would be much more difficult to attain in the states.

There were parts of my time here where I was frustrated and irritated by how some people here always want something from you.  The minibus drivers in Chitakale have been the subject of much of my ire because they are just simply ridiculous.  I’ve discussed them before and will stop here before I go onto a tirade of how much I loathe them.

But on the whole the people of Malawi are remarkably friendly and incredibly generous with what they have.  Too often we were the beneficiaries of favors that we neither asked for or deserved from Malawians simply eager to ensure that we enjoyed ourselves in their promising country.

Undoubtedly the challenges Malawi faces are serious as they are immense.  However, having lived in one of the poorest countries on Earth for the past 30 days, I can attest that even when the night seems darkest, the promise of light still lingers.

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