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News & Updates

Malawi Trip, Entry 3

› Posted July 22, 2010

July 13 | Blantyre, Malawi

The audiology team was scheduled to provide a clinic at a school for the deaf located outside Blantyre. Of course we had heard it was ‘close’ but we found out it was much farther beyond the city than anticipated and we stopped several times for directions—each time the implication was that it was only a short distance. Neither roads nor the school are clearly marked and we had just about given up finding the school when we came upon it well off the main road.

By the time the team was set up, it was almost 11:00 and easy to tell there was concern that they would not complete the task by the end of the day. The school had designated 30 students to be tested and since many are truly deaf, each series of tests takes longer in order to properly determine their condition.

Kyle Karber was along and we waited until the team had started the testing to take some photos. The headmaster promised to return the team to our hotel so I would not have to drive back to get them. We headed back toward the hotel and watched for a hardware store to purchase bolts to further strengthen the top carrier. Along the way we found a garage and had them install the bolts as well as fix a loose tailpipe; all at a reasonable price.

By the time we arrived at the hotel, it was 2:00 PM and Clarice was beginning to wonder what had happened. The three of us had lunch and spent the afternoon catching up with email.

The day before, we had made arrangements with McDonald Ganisyeje’s aunt, Meria, to meet us at the hotel for dinner so we wanted to be sure to be ready when she and her son, Tito, arrived. The audiology team returned at 6:00 and reported that they had tested over 30 students and identified many who were truly deaf.

Meria and Tito arrived at 7:00 and, after introductions to the others, we four sat down for dinner. The conversation focused on many of the projects, to include the Kuroiler chicken and Malawians with disabilities, and Meria said she would contact people in the office of the minister of Agriculture as well as the Minister of Disabilities. As it is, the President (Mutharika) is also the Minister of Agriculture. She does not know him personally but knows people who work in his office. She will attempt to set up appointments for us in those offices as well as with the new tribal headsman at Njewa Village before we depart for the US.

We showed videos of one of the projects for a disabled boy in Senga Bay and President Obama’s speech in which he spoke about our project. She asked if I had anything on the Kuroiler project that could be shown and I pulled up a PowerPoint presentation then provided a copy on her flash drive.