Saturday, June 19, 2010

Meeting Our Dreams Face-to-Face

After departing Lake Malawi, our hearts were filled with excitement as we knew the meeting of Mtendere Village was soon to come. Before traveling to the village, we stopped at the wood carver’s market where Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs was seen once again. Their needs, versus our wants played a large part of the “shopping” experience. As many of the men running the shops were eager to have our money for their hand crafted works of art, they were even more interested in our personal belongings. A feeling of emotion and guilt set in when we pulled away, as they were still continuing to plea for our business. The special talent of creating such beautiful works of art is most definitely another sign of the creative soul found in Malawi.

The last stop before meeting Mtendere Village was at Blessings Hospital, which became a unique experience, especially for Carrie Darling and Christy Armington. Carrie Darling is the wonderful world traveling, eleven year emergency room nurse who is accompanying us on the trip. Christy, the author of this blog entry, is an emergency medical technician who also has worked at an emergency room for the past five years. These two were not only able to experience the visit with the group, but had many additional thoughts and feelings of Blessings Hospital, as compared to hospitals back home.

As we entered the hospital, we were able to learn of the detailed history the hospital holds. Even though it is not currently being used for financial difficulties, the plaques of remembrance of those who made it possible for this hospital to first open their doors. The people of Mtendere Village plan to re-open the hospital in July in order to serve the patients of Malawi. Much like a new, loving and eager teacher with an empty classroom, this hospital remains filled with hope and potential, and is beginning all over again.

After Blessings Hospital, we traveled to the Mtendere Village. Unexpected of what was to come, we traveled down as a group to discover the true heart of Africa. For the first time, we felt the open hearts and welcoming smiles of the house mothers, teachers, and children. Time stood still as the children welcomed us with a heart opening song as a greeting for our journey. As the sky cleared, showing the sun’s rays, the children shone through their roles as students and became teachers. They showed us how to not only embrace, but love and truly believe what was surrounding us.

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