Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 11 Our day at a Malawian farmer Jan 27, 2011

     I woke up at 3:30 as I couldn't sleep and started working on the info to put in the blog....when I get internet access. I will have a big chore ahead especially with my typing skills. I thought I would put a smile on the faces of my co-workers.

    We went for breakfast at our usual time of 7:00a.m. which works out to 11:00 p.m. home time. We headed to Phindu by 8:00. Today was kind of an off day for me and Scott and I often discussed what we thought was happening at home and were wondering what they were thinking. If they were concerned as we hadn't contacted anyone.

   We worked at the SACCO until lunch and appear to have our report pretty much complete and just to fine tune things.

   We found a new place to eat....YIPPEE. Patrick accompanied us for lunch and we went to Matunkha Safari Lodge. Scott and I both ordered an American burger...what a delight. Scott also got some info. on a Safari tour that one of the people there hosts. Sounds like a plan.

   After lunch Patrick had arranged a trip to visit a farmer. We went to visit his Maize and Tobacco farm along with visiting his home. We never got to go inside but were welcomed outside by his wife, children, brother and sister-in-law, and mother who is 73 years young. His home was plain but was of higher stature as it had a steel sheet roof. Harrison who is in his mid 20's has farmed tobacco since he started and even though the past several years has been tough, still believes in the crop. By what you see ( a tobacco press, a wagon, his house), he has been successful, as few farmers enjoy these, and I can see where it is hard to move from what has provided these successes in the past. Unfortunately, our review of the SACCO has shown that this SACCO has been severely hit by the tobacco industry, and with the worlds anti-smoking campaigns, it is hard to see it returning to previous profits. It would have been a real missed opportunity not to vist a farmer and we were so welcomed by Harrison and his family, as we are pretty much all of the Malawian people.

   We went to our staple restaurant for supper, as it is in walking distance even though that may be challenging, and had a glass of wine...then called it a night. Tomorrow we do the final touches to the report and meet with the board.

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