After a full day of travel, we finally made it to Lilongwe! The 13 hour flight from Canada to Ethiopia proved easier for some (the ones who got to sleep) than for a few members of the team who only slept about an hour. The Ethiopian Airlines treated us well and made sure our bellies were never hungry! A quick layover in Addis Ababa and another four hour flight and we finally arrived in Lilongwe!
We were greeted at the airport by Rebecca Bartlett (one of the Australian audiologists here), Gospel (one of the ABC audiology technicians), and of course Lazarus (our bus driver). They were all extremely welcoming and helpful with all of our luggage! Once we got to the ABC Clinic, we were also greeted by Peter Bartlett (Rebecca’s husband and the other Australian audiologist), Fletcher (another ABC technician), and Jessica and Eloise (2 of the Bartlett’s 3 daughters). Fletcher welcomed us by saying we are all Malawians now too.
Lazareth drove us to a few different stores so we could exchange money, buy water, and get internet access. The roads here are a bit scarier than the roads at home! There are always people walking and riding bikes on the side of the road and crossing in front of large vehicles. It seems like we come within feet of hitting pedestrians and other cars, but nobody thins anything of it! The sound of car horns is also a common occurrence.
We arrived at the Mabuya Camp in time for dinner. The options were: beef stew, pasta with roasted vegetables, or the Malawian staple rice and beans. Everyone enjoyed their food, but we were all more than ready to get to bed!
For our first day of work, we are splitting into groups: half stay at the ABC Clinic to teach the ABC students and half go to a local refugee camp to begin outreach work. It should be an exciting first day of action!