I was happy to arrive back in Nkhoma during the rains. They shouls have started in ernest 2 months ago, but have been somewhat scanty over the past weeks. The crops are surviving in the central region and over the past week we have had a number of huge down pours to soak the fields and keep fears in the villages about drought, failing crops and possible famine at bay. The country is completely different now… a green garden of Eden!
Some awesome electrical storms pass over Nkhoma. I was in the house during one two nights ago, and the thunder and lightning happened simultaneously as bright flashes surrounded the house. Poor Ellie ran for cover under the bed. I found out the next day that two cows were struck by lightning in neighbouring Dzuwa village. The owner of the cows fainted at the time, but is absolutely fine now. She still has six more cows, and villagers have been coming around to buy beef.
After less than two months of rain
CBM UK has launched its Haiti Emergency Appeal to raise money for those who desperately need help.
We have worked in Haiti since 1976 to ensure that people with disabilities receive the treatment, support, and rehabilitation that they need.
One of our partner projects is located in Port-au-Prince – the capital city which was devastated by the earthquake on January 12.
I have gathered strength from family and friends over the festive season, and am ready for the new year. It’s not going to be easy. We have much less funds, and I totally understand. With the past two year’s international financial crisis, we all perhaps have less to give; and this ultimately boils down to affecting Nkhoma Eye Hospital. Our goal will stay the same. To aim to tackle poverty by eradicating avoidable blindness, with our work in central Malawi. Make no mistake, we will find under-served and impoverished and blind people; and we will serve them. We will try our very best as the team in Malawi to make this happen, in spite of the reduced funds; and we will do it. But I have to say it makes me a bit sad that all this will slow down a little.
I feel, as I’m sure many of us do just before the end of the year, a bit tired and exhausted! I am looking forward to spending time with my fiance, Jenn and our families. After a few days of rest and relaxation with those dearest to me, I can begin to join in the global festive cheer and goodwill. I am incredibly thankful for what we have, and what we can do.
I knew this year was going to be filled with milestones! Getting engaged, Nkhoma Eye Hospital passing the 25,000 cataract surgeries mark (since the year 2000), and completing the full second year of my time in Malawi. It has been a great year of teamwork with over 5,000 operations performed in rural Nkhoma Eye Hospital! The staff there are now taking a well deserved break with their families for the next few weeks!
I had just driven back from dusty Dedza Friday morning, and arriving at Nkhoma the heavens opened for the whole afternoon and most of the evening. The first rains of the season. It’s still 3-4 weeks earlier than usual. Fantastic to see an entire storm system from my house across the valley, slowly move closer, then engulf the house and village in rain and thunder and lightning; to then move on and leave crystal blue skies and finally quench the parched earth. Very sunny now on Saturday morning as I walk into hospital to see a few patients. Lucky really as it’s busy market day in the village and the sun guarantees good trade.
These eight days visiting the CBM UK projects in Bolivia have passed so quickly and I am sad that today is my last day.
I spent the day with Gonzalo getting all of my notes in order and asking a few last-minute questions that would fill in the gaps in my research. Gonzalo and I had got on so well and he had been the perfect ‘walking guidebook’ for Santa Cruz. We’ve swapped email addresses so that we can keep in touch (I think he wants me to recommend him some good audio books!).