Monday, March 30, 2009

Bad Day!

Let me start by saying this is probably the lowest I've felt in the four different trips to Malawi... If you don't want to be depressed, then you probably should stop reading now. My day was supposed to begin like this...

8am: Meet Kingsley Thom at house with building volunteers. Travel to the site that we just put a down payment on (yay!!) to begin clearing off the land so we can build a proper shelter for the feeding program. I have looked forward to this day since the program started 8 months ago. Finally, we have some land to start the beginning of what will become a Children's Village, complete with feeding center, tutoring center, crops, fishpond, etc...

12:00 pm: Meet Harry Komwa at Monkey Bay Secondary School (High School) to discuss the sending of our teaching volunteers to this school.

3:00 pm: Meet headmaster of Lisumbwi Secondary School for the same reason and plan out our basketball training program (they are the only place in 100 miles that has a basketball court...although it is outdoor on broken asphalt and they only have one raggedy ball!).
Well that was the plan. Here's how it really went.

8 am: Wating for Kingsley...
8:30 am: Call Kingsley. He informs me that he is at the hospital where his son almost died from Malaria... I guess that's a pretty good excuse for not showing to work!
12:00 pm: Waiting for Harry...
12:30 pm: Call Harry. He is in Blantyre where he had to rush his wife to the hospital due to her worsening condition of Malaria. We don't know if she'll make it...
3:00 pm: Drive to Lisumbwi. The headmaster welcomes me in, but looks distressed. I hand him our written proposal to offer volunteers for school and sports. This is when I am informed that we are going to have to postpone our meeting. He tells me that just 30 minutes before a Form 4 student (our 12th grade) died in the middle of class from Cerebral Malaria (This form of Malaria usually kills within 24 hours). They are trying to figure out what to do with the body.
3:30 pm: I sit to write. I don't know what else to do!

Three meetings, more importantly, three lives interupted by Malaria. I don't know what to do about this. I am sad, even angry that this stupid disease is killing the future of this country. This disease that I paid $5 to protect myself from by purchasing a mosquito net and $70 for anti-malaria pills. I am happy to be helping the one village here. We have distributed nets to everyone in the village of Namakoma. Next is the village of Chizula. Thats all we have nets for right now... One down, 96 villages to go!
Ahh... Gotta go...

Well I just got back from an emergency run to the hospital. The volunteers called from the wound clinic that we ran saying they had a guy bleeding profuseley from the head and he needed transport to the hospital (10 miles away), which was to close 30 minutes from then. We rushed him there and he got there just in time. He got some stitches in his head. He's fine though.
Another day in Malawi!

Please keep the people here in your prayers. Especially because this is high Malaria season...

God Bless.

Shane Mast

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