Hello friends and family!
Merry Christmas to you all! Although it doesn’t feel like it to me, in this 90-degree weather, Christmas season is here. I am reminded of its presence by the Christmas carols playing in the grocery stores, and the Christmas trees that are starting to appear around town.
The rains have started, which is a good thing. The rain is essential to this nation in particular, where 80% of the people are farmers, and the main exports are agriculture based. Last year was a very difficult year for the growers, because the rain came all at once, and caused a flood, and then stopped altogether. The affects of the hard growing season will begin to be felt in the next few months, as food stores run low, and the new corn crop hasn’t reached maturity. So far this year, the rains have been regular, coming about every other day for a few hours. There won’t be snow on Christmas for me this year, but there is still a chance of precipitation, which we are all grateful for.
I have now officially started working full time, which I am excited about. I have spent most of my time so far getting to know the other people on the team, and having meetings to figure out exactly how my role will fit in with the rest of the team. Speaking of the team, I wrote an introduction to everyone on the team in my last blog update.
Here are a few quick thoughts about my time here.
I have found a church that I feel very comfortable in so far, and I am excited to get more involved and meet new people.
Tomorrow I will be going inside of the refugee camp for the first time, and I am excited to start some relationships with some of the people who I will be seeing on a regular basis.
All of Malawi relies on one hydroelectric plant for power. When the rains came, I thought we would have less frequent power outages. But rather ironically, whenever it rains, the power always seems to go out.
I don’t have any decorations in my house for Christmas, and I am trying to figure out how I will spend my first Christmas away from my family. Thinking about being alone in this Christmas season has made me feel sad. But today I was looking over a list of everyone who has supported me, and was reminded of all the conversations we had, and the relationships that I have with all of you. I am so thankful, and so encouraged by what you all have done to partner with me. This is a memory that I will hold tight to when I am missing home. Thank you so much for this early Christmas present!
I uploaded some pictures to an album that I will hopefully be able to keep updated throughout my time here.
Finally, I have decided that instead of writing both blog posts, and email updates, I will now start sending all of my blog posts in email format as well. Please send me some messages back as well! Whether a comment on a blog post, or a reply email, I love hearing messages from home!