Our last full day in Malawi has been bittersweet. Most of us (except the supervisors and Wen) had a nice sleep in this morning, as we had no clinic planned for the day.
After a late breakfast, Lazarus took us for some last minute souvenir shopping. Many of us brought small items that we won’t take home to use for trading during our bartering. We all left with a lot of beautiful souvenirs and little to no money in our wallets… A successful shopping trip to say the least!
When we returned to Mabuya Camp, we all headed straight to our rooms to start figuring out how to pack our new purchases. Bartering for things and buying them is a fun challenge, but figuring out how to get them all home is another challenge altogether! After some rearranging and puzzle solving, it seems like we’re almost all done. Thanks to David and Jonny, we even have a clever jerry-rigged scale to make sure we come in under weight!
In the afternoon, some of the group headed out to climb Bunda Mountain with our local tour guide, Peter Bartlett. It was a tough hike that had everyone huffing and puffing (apparently our exercise routines have taken a backseat since arriving in Malawi), but the feeling at the top was worth it.
We had our farewell dinner at a local restaurant called Spur. Our table set for 37 seemed to take up the whole restaurant! It had interesting Native American-esque decor with a mix of American and Mexican food options. I think we all enjoyed dinner, but the company was the best part. Peter asked us each to write on a single piece of paper one thing that we will remember about our time in Malawi a year from now. We came up with three main categories of answers: “crazy clinic stories,” “incidents and accidents,” and “people.” Some papers shared the same stories, but most had slightly different details. The over-arching theme gathered from all of the papers combined was one simple word: friendship. We have created and grown in friendships with each other and the Malawians we’ve met that will last a lifetime. It’s amazing how quickly we’ve grown to love Malawi and the people that live here. I think I can speak for every one of the ASU students when I say this has truly been the trip of a lifetime.
A most sincere thank you to the Bartlett family and everyone at ABC for hosting us again this year! This trip has been an amazing experience for each of us and Malawi will always hold a special place in our hearts. Zikomo kwambiri!