Our first morning in our new apartment, we awoke to a knock at the door at 6am (11pm Washington DC time). It was bright outside by then. It was our house-keeper-to-be, Cathy, introducing herself and welcoming us. She agreed to start working with us the next day.
Around ten, a wonderful Malawian guy came and picked us up and offered to help us run errands. He first took us by Sandy’s new office to meet a few people. Bless their hearts – I’m sure we were so charming – wearing a wild collection of clothing and still not recovered from the trip. I would be surprised if we even offered responses to questions that made any sense. I imagine it was something like this: “When did you arrive?” “No, thank you.” “Where are you from?” “late last night.” or “What do you think of Malawi so far?” “yes.” Yet they were kind and understanding.
We then went to the “WalMart of Malawi”- ShopRite. It’s in a busy strip mall that could be in any small town. It is right next to the “Target of Malawi,”- Game. While these stores had a lot to choose from, please understand that neither were as big or shiny as the WalMarts and Targets in the US. Both were busy and expensive – so expensive! but we were able to find some things we needed and got SIM cards for the cell phones. It’s a real comfort to know that I can get Lay’s Sour Cream and Onion chips here, and it only costs $17 US.
We visited several places to figure out internet. It sounds like we can get a little thing that goes in a USB port and get wireless wherever. Unfortunately, they are all out of these devices and no one can tell us when more will be in.
Later that day, we went on a short walk outside our apartment. On the way back, we bought fresh avocados and bananas from a farmer sitting by the side of the dirt road. He seemed pleased at our attempts at Chichewa (or at least didn’t laugh to our faces). He was really warm and kind, as was everyone we passed on our walk.