I’ve been reconsidering the purpose of being here. I spend most days chit-chatting at the office while waiting for Peace Corps to call and say “YOUR GRANT IS APPROVED!!” I have a feeling it’s going to take awhile for that phone to ring. But I was coming back from lunch today and I heard someone calling my name. It was Blessings. It was only 70 degrees today so he wore black pants, a black hoodie, and a black leather jacket. So cold. Sorry I can’t get over the Malawian definition of cold. I had on a tank top and skirt and a fellow co-worker said he couldn’t look at me because it made him so cold. Ha ha. Ok back to the story.
About a month ago I had met with Blessings to discuss herbal gardens and how to incorporate them into HIV positive support groups. It was so excited. A skill-exchanging, capacity-building, sustainable project? YES! But nothing more happened, typical. Since then I was invited to ANAMED, a natural medicine training. So when I ran into Blessings I was excited to catch up and share with him about this development. He was thrilled and started talking about how we could incorporate this into working in Machinga (where I live). That means I can walk there, no minibuses for me! Wahoo! So this Sunday I’m meeting with a support group in Machinga and going to ask for a volunteer to attend the natural medicine training that we can later train the group. Wow! That’s magical. Nothing I planned. I’ve tried to find work. But it’s Malawi so it happens when it happens.
Sunday I was trying to get a hold of Blessings to confirm that we were actually going to see the group. No answer. I spent the weekend in Zomba (40 mins southeast of Machinga). It was a wonderful weekend filled with a 7 hour hike on the Plateau, which is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been in Malawi. The lookout literally took my breath away (see picture above!).
So Sunday morning I was enjoying endless cups of French press coffee, fresh baked bread, and good company! What a treat! I really just wanted to stay and chat but Malawi logic is that if I don’t go back to Machinga Blessings will be there. So I headed back despite the fact that he wasn’t answering his phone. The minibus was about 5 mins outside of Machinga and my phone rings…Blessings. Haha. I just had to laugh. THIS is Malawi. So we met up and went to visit the group. It was beautiful. The Women greeted us with song and dance. The group only speaks Chichewa but Blessings was kind enough to translate for me. We took a tour of the herbal garden, which was small but a great start. They are even growing a vegetable garden for an income generating activity. It was so empowering to see these Women despite it all: health, stigma, gender issues…standing up and rising together. I feel blessed to have met them and look forward to working with them and the garden. They came into my life just when I needed them. If we only understood what we can give each other oh! what a world we would live in!!
Then this morning I read this: “We already have everything we need to be magnificent; it is simply a matter of allowing ourselves to be who we are. Suffering comes from own resistance to being who we are. And so I am brought back to the questions of how and why I am choosing to suffer? Having felt the job of doing what I was meant to do, and having witnessed that job in other as they allowed themselves to stand authentically in the world, I can only wonder: From whence comes this attachment to suffering? What beliefs hold me back? What patterns drain me? Do I trust the inevitability of success when I say yes to my dharma?…The questions will be followed by answers, the answers by actions , and the actions by growth.”
Much love to you all always.