About US

I did it… I finally joined the blogosphere.  As we head off to Blantyre, Malawi for two years, we thought this might be a good way to keep in touch with our family and friends and keep from flooding their inboxes with emails and pictures.  So, we hope you enjoy reading about our adventures and learning more about this amazing country!  “Muli Bwanji” means “how are you?” in Chichewa.

A little about us: Sandy is from Virginia and Kate is from North Carolina.  We both graduated from Davidson College in 2005.  Until very recently, we lived in Washington DC.  Sandy has a position with his NGO and we will be based in Blantyre for two years. 

Sandy has spent time in Malawi before.  He is excited to return, get started on exciting projects, and play some golf.  A lot of golf.

Kate has never been to Africa before but has always wanted to go.  She will miss her Folgers Instant Mocha Chocolate Cappacino and is looking forward to trying Jungle Pepper Pizza in Blantyre.

Kate and Sandy, June 2009

39 responses to “About US

  1. Darla Wier

    I am looking forward to following your amazing experience in Malawi. This is my first time on any kind of blog so I’m thrilled that Ginger shared it with me.
    Stay safe and know you will be in my daily prayers.

  2. Mary Thompson

    I came across your blog while researching an upcoming 7 1/2 month trip to Malawi starting in early October. My name is Mary, I’m originally from Tennessee but currently a grad student going to school in South Carolina. I’ll be staying primarily near Mulanje but hope to make it over to Blantyre fairly often for supplies. Would love to meet up with some fellow southerners there or at least hear any advice!
    Regardless, I enjoy your blog and hope you keep having great adventures!

    Mary Thompson

  3. Amelia Taylor

    Hi Kate and Sandy. I was wondering about the cost of living in Malawi. What is expensive and what is cheap? How are rents or buying and running a car?
    Thank you

  4. Hi guys,

    Loved the blog, any chance you could add faceofmalawi to your blog roll? many thanks.

    Also please join our community there.


  5. Yaiza


    My name is Yaiza Garcia and I am thinking of moving to Malawi, can you please provide me an e-mail address so I can conctact you and if you dont mind ask you a couple of questions?

    Thanks a million

  6. Leslie Harris

    Hi Kate,
    I’ve been relishing your blog as one of the very few up-to-date web sources I can find info on expat life in Blantyre. I’m very probably also going to have a two-year stint in Blantyre while my husband is there for research. We are actually down for a reconnosaince trip this week (in Blantyre from Monday 14 Feb for five days) and if you have any inclination or time, I’d absolutely love to meet up and pick your brain about relocating to Blantyre. We could even take you and your other half out to Jungle Pepper and chat over a glass of wine…

    If you are able and would like to meet up, please get in touch. Might take me a day or so to reply depending on Internet access, but I would really value the opportunity to meet you.

    Regardless, keep up the blog. It’s a great read!

    Best regards,

    • Quirine

      Hi Leslie, Hi Kate,
      I have recently moved to Blantyre as well (coincidentally also for at least a two year stint due to my partner’s job) and am anxious to meet people and chat (preferably over wine!) about Blantyre and Malawi in general. If either of you would like to meet up please email me at quirine_b@hotmail.com.

  7. Mark

    Hi Sandy & Kate. Hope all is well in Malawi, now please don’t think I’m insane but I’m sure I recognise your faces! We were in Malawi last November (Myself, My wife Marike and our 4 year old Ella). Any chance you visited the Open Arms orphanage in Blantyre around the 12th/ 13th / 14th of November 2010? If so, drop me a mail and say hi, we are from England and we are planning to come back to Blantyre. Thanks, Mark

  8. Anonymous

    Hey, I ran into your blog whilst doing some research. I would love to have one of your stories published in our magazine. Do you have an email or number i can reach you at, I am also based in Blantyre Malawi. you can email us at media@hiscohouse.com

  9. Ivana

    Great Blog, Hope you have continued fun in Malawi. I do miss it! I stumbled across your blog and its very interesting. I was born and brought up there alot has changed. My family still reside in Blantyre however, I live in Malaysia now. I will be visiting on holiday and come back every year. The fuel shortages are something of the new era and times we never had those problems years ago. Load sharing of electricty was not as bad as it is now either.

    There is alot to see and the people are very frinedly hence Malawi is called the Warm Heart of Africa! The country is relatively safe and people are always willing to help. If you looking for adventure and excitement Malawi it is. However, I must add Blantyre is a small city and after a while it can get boring as there is not much to do one has to come up with their own entertainment with friends. The community is very small too that everyone knows someone and are connected some how.

    Do keep your blog going and I wish you all the best in a hidden paradise Malawi!

  10. Abbie

    I’m a soon-to-be college grad planning to move to the northern region, near Sangilo, to teach at a secondary school. I’d love to pick your brain about different things such as cost of living (mainly food, I will have a house), buying a bicycle, and internet and phone usage.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Abbie,
      I do realize that your reply/post is nearly 5 years-old, but I just found this blog and saw your entry. I too am planing on moving to Malawi to teach at a school. What was your experience like? Where the money you’ve earned for teaching enough to cover your living expenses? Did you feel safe while there? Would you be willing to email me and share some more info. Thanks.
      My email is: timecopsgirl@aol.com


  11. Elfriede Coetzer

    I just stumbled upon your blog and absolutely loving it! My husband and I moved to Malawi about 10 days ago. We will be here for about 18 months for his work. Will definitely keep on following your blog to keep up to date with the Malawian life!


  12. Please nurture your relationship with plenty of honest talk.

  13. Hello Kate and Sandy,

    I am Erika from TravelerVoice, a new social network for travel bloggers.

    I just found your blog and I really like how you described your travel story in Malawi with beautiful pictures and assertive comments! It’s exactly the kind of writing we are looking for our Living abroad section, please feel free to register 🙂

    In the meantime I am running a contest to reward the most outstanding travel blogs on the web and I am still looking for new members 🙂 so please check it out at http://www.travelervoice.com/contest.aspx for further details.

    I am looking forward to hearing from you 🙂


  14. Daniel Low

    Sandy and Kate,

    I just came across your blog as I prepare for a 9 month stint in Blantyre on a Rotary Scholarship. My name is Danny Low, I’m from Seattle but considering UNC for medical school next year. I am going to be starting a Masters in Public Health at the College of Medicine and was wondering if you had any suggestions on how/where to find housing/apartment? I am coming November 9 and will be in Blantyre until early August. I’d love to meet up with you as well! Thanks for the help!

  15. I was born in Malawi – amazing country. Now living in London but always consider myself an African – great blog.

  16. Morgan

    I’m so happy to discover this blog! I’m a graduate student at Washington State University and will be traveling to Malawi for the month of July and part of August for work on sustainable agriculture. I’ll be stayiing at the Bunda College of Agriculture outside of Lilongwe. This blog will be a great resource. I’d love to visit Beany!

  17. Hey Kate an Sandy
    i am so glad to come across this blog, i am originally Malawian and own a safari company in Blantyre, is there any way i could include my contacts or my site on here for those interested in tours in Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania. We also do community projects in Ntcheu that mainly empowers women, and for those interested in volonteering to teach english at village school . our site is http://www.nqobile-tours-safaris.com or email me

  18. Anonymous

    I would love your reference for a mechanic. I am living in chigumula outside of blantyre, and will need a good one. I’ve been here since january (from the US) and will be here 3 years…I’m from Ohio 🙂

    • Hi Megan! I’m sorry it’s taken so long to respond! Our wonderful mechanic was Salim Mojoo – his number is0888963551! In my opinion he’s the best in town!


  19. tammy jenkins

    hey kate and sandy, i to am here in bangula, malawi, been here for a year now running a feeding center and caring for orphans. i noticed that u sandy are from va.; me to, i am from va beach, i was wondering what exactly r u guys doing and would lov to meet up when i come up the mountain which is, i never know when.

    • Hi Tammy! Unfortunately we’re no longer in Malawi – we moved back to the states in June and are missing Malawi terribly! But a good way to connect to people is to check out the BTXP+ group on facebook! Enjoy your time and it sounds like you’re doing amazing work!


  20. Kirsty

    Hello What a wonderful experience the two of you are having. I stumbled on your blog whilst looking for malawi cane chairs. I live in the Whitsundays on a cane farm in Australia. Do you know anyone would export Malawi chairs
    Thank you

    • Hi Kristy,

      So great to hear from you! I hope you’re doing well! I don’t actually know about exporting chairs – I know that many artisans have struggled to export their work as logistically it is expensive and difficult. You might trying calling a few high end shops and see if they have any information – I would tryLa Carvena and La Galleria or African Habitat. Hope that is somewhat helpful!


      • The claytons

        Dear Kate and Sandy

        Thank you for your reply. I will contact the shops you metioned and see how I go.

        have a great day


  21. Cyndie

    I just read where Sandy loves golf!! I am from the home of Davis Love III and my brother used to be a teaching pro with his dad, Davis Love, Jr. My mom used to play with his mom, Penta Love. I will hopefully be able to bring my mom’s clubs to Blantyre with me and play. My brother warned me not to get too serious before I could afford the time and the money. Teaching in Georgia, US, prohibited that.. but possibly Blantyre will not be so costly. They do accept female golfers, don’t they?? Thanks for the info.!! Cyndie Chr31522@gmail.com

  22. Joyce

    Dear Kate and Sandy,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in Malawi, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,

  23. Hi
    I am trying to find out what betting shops are there in Malawi , please assist as i am trying to do market research but can not seem to find anything on google .

  24. Joe Pinzone

    Dear Kate and Sandy

    My name is Joe Pinzone and I’m casting an international travel show about expats moving abroad. We’d love to film in Malawi and wanted to know if you could help us find expats who have moved there within the last 15 months or have been there for 3-4 years, but recently moved into a new home. The show documents their move to a new country and will place the country in fabulous light. The contributors on the show would also receive monetary compensation if they are filmed. If you’d like more information, please give me a call at 212-231-7716 or skype me at joefromnyc. You can also email me at joepinzone@leopardusa.com. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Joe Pinzone
    Casting Producer
    P: 212-231-7716
    Skype: Joefromnyc

    • Hi Joe – thanks so much for reaching out! I posted your query on the BTXP+ Facebook group as I couldn’t think of anyone who specifically fits your requirements. I hope it works out!

  25. Laura

    Hi Kate and Sandy. We live in South Africa and have a wonderful young Malawian man working for us as a housekeeper/gardener. He came here to make his fortune but this country is hostile to foreigners. My husband and I would like to help him become a mechanic and haven’t a clue how to set about finding a good college for him in Malawi. I have searched the web and, in desperation, am turning to you for guidance hoping you can point me in the right direction. Here in SA they will only allow people with visas to study and, at the same time, they refuse them the visas. Catch 22. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    • Hi Laura, I’ve been wracking my brain trying to think of a good option – I’ve been following things in SA and it sounds like things are getting harder for migrant workers. If we were still in Blantyre I think I’d be of more use but we’ve been back in the states for three years now. The one idea I had was to reach out to a religious organization if your housekeeper is religious. For example the CCAP (presbyterian church in Malawi) has a great network and might be able to help find him a program to become a mechanic. I wish I could be of more help – thank you for reaching out, though, and I hope it works out for him and you!

  26. Laura

    Hi Kate, I so appreciate your answering my post. I shall follow up on your suggestion. I have a feeling something may well come of it. Yes, unfortunately this country is in trouble. I lived through the apartheid regime and now we have it again. Unbelievable. I think Eamon will be better off in his homeland. We will be worse off without the Malawians and Zimbabweans. Hopefully we will get a more mature government next time round. Best wishes. Laura

  27. Hi Kate,

    Enjoyed reading your blog! I am moving next week to Zomba, and while I have lived in quite a few places on the continent before, it’s always good to read more about any new place you are moving to 🙂

    A quick question I had was whether you knew of any Indian grocery stores in Blantyre; based on experience, there is bound to be one, but they can be a bit difficult to find sometimes. No worries if you don’t know, I will check out an Indian restaurant and ask them for help!


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