Friday, July 2, 2010

Malawi Education Project

Hello Everyone!

Austin and I started a website to promote our project dedicated to assisting our two Malawian counterparts to pursue their lifelong dream of a college education. Please check it out!

malawieducation.blogspot.com

Thank you so much for your consideration and amazing support!

Austin & Sarah

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

There's No Place Like Home

After saying goodbye to our friends and family in our village and completing all the necessary Peace Corps paperwork, we are finally home, safe and sound. To say the least, Peace Corps has been a life-changing experience for us. We will always carry a piece of Malawi in our hearts and use our experience as a lesson in all faucets of our lives.

In the fall, we will both return to school to obtain Master's Degrees in public policy. We'll be making the big decision about location within the next couple of weeks. Wish us luck!

Thanks for following us these past two years. It's been a long and winding road.

On to the next adventure....

Austella

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's a Small World

To teach about different countries and regions around the world and to beautify our community center, we recently completed a world map project with our local youth group. The project, which has been done for many years around the world by different Peace Corps volunteers, consists of drawing and painting a world map. Our map which is 7 by 3.5 feet took us about four days from start to finish. It was a great way to bond with our youth group, to teach about other places around the world and to empower their creative sides!


Friday, January 8, 2010

Holiday! Celebrate!

Hi all! We are back, safe and refreshed, from our vacation to Tanzania and Kenya. To say the least, we had an amazing time! We spent the majority of our six-week vacation in Kenya with friends (Jill, Kristal & Anna) from back home. It was wonderful to spend time with our friends and share the holidays together. Our first stop was Lamu Island off the coast of Kenya which was absolutely beautiful. The island and its people, mostly Muslim, are rich with culture and spirit. The only form of transportation on the island is donkeys! The "streets" are narrow corridors busy with women going to mosque, donkeys carrying goods and men selling fresh fruits and vegetables. We spent our time swimming, reading, drinking fresh fruit juice and eating delicious seafood. The view from our apartment (picture #2) was breathtaking. After Lamu, we traveled to Nairobi for a night before heading to Isaac's village. Isaac is a dear friend of Jill's. We spent ten days in their village relaxing, speaking Swahili, meeting friends and family and enjoying the beautiful Kenyan countryside. Isaac and his family were so welcoming to all of us and made our trip to Kenya genuinely special. After the village, we relaxed by the hippos of Lake Naivasha for a few days. We spent one day in Hell's Gate National Park on a bike safari. What an experience to be riding bicycles next to giraffes, zebras, warthogs and buffaloes! In the park, we also hiked (and rock climbed!) through a gorge to a place called "the devil's bedroom" where they filmed movies such as Tomb Raider 2. We shared our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the magnificent wildlife of the Masai Mara. We saw elephants, lions, hippos, giraffes, cheetahs, and many more animals. After safari, we headed back to Nairobi where we spent two days exploring the city. We saw "Avatar" and "Christmas Carol" in the theatre. We ate popcorn and drank fountain soda with big smiles on our faces! We also visited an elephant orphanage and a giraffe center. After saying the sad goodbye to our friends in Nairobi, we traveled to Arusha, Tanzania. We spent three days simply relaxing and enjoying the fresh mountain air. After Arusha we took the 18 hour bus ride back to the border town of Tanzania then back down to Malawi. Home sweet home. It feels good to be home. We're ready to get back to our village to spend the last 2 1/2 months hanging with our friends and family and enjoying our peaceful life in Chipelera.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mulanje

Beautiful Mount Mulanje

Tea Fields and Jacaranda Trees

Waterfall on Mount Mulanje


Friday, October 16, 2009

picture update


shelling peanuts with women's group




pressing oil with women's group




teaching record keeping for women's group oil press business


phase one of fish pond project with Grace




checking records of CBO's cell phone charging business




baking oven built by women's group





women's group with bakery business



crossing the river to leave our site




our hot season bedroom!




our thermometer: the farther down the bats, the hotter it is!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Irrigation Farming

With dry season in full swing we have been very pleased with the irrigation projects in our area. Starting in September and October the temperature is in the mid 90's then continues to rise up to at least 120 degrees in November. Needless to say, not much survives this kind of weather without a little help. This is where some irrigation technology comes in. Pictured is Catherine using her treadle pump to water her maize.



Sarah and our friend Smith gave it a try as well.



She has also planted tomatoes and onions which she is proudly showing off.

In addition to Catherine's irrigation we continue to be amazed by our friend Grace's ability to pursue innovative farming and make things grow. She has recently installed a drip-irrigation system which is less work than the treadle pump and conserves more water.


Also, we had given Grace a bunch of American seeds that we had of some of our favorite vegetables and without fail we have been going home each time we visit with a bag full of veggies. First it was cucumbers and now it is green beans. It looks like soon it will be watermelon.