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Door-to-Door & Up a Mountain

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Door-to-Door & Up a Mountain

Today was our first day traveling door-to-door in Malawi instead of working at a static clinic location. On these days, we typically walk several miles, often through difficult terrain, but the challenge is certainly worthwhile.

Joseph, Jessie, and Thoko on the mountain

Joseph, Jessie, and Thoko on the mountain

Our Giraffe group split into smaller sub-groups today so we could cover more ground. On these workdays, we get a better chance to get to know our Malawi team members. Dawn worked with Samual and John, while I traveled with Thoko and Joseph (and had a chance to catch up with Vincent, whom I worked with last summer)—we spent much of the walk chatting and laughing.

The area of Malawi we covered today is built on the slopes of a mountain—we walked approximately 9 miles, hiking up steep hills and crossing ditches and ravines on makeshift bridges as we trekked from door-to-door. We were lucky to have overcast weather today; although the sun broke through the clouds a few times, the weather remained relatively cool.

Lauren and Kelsey 

Lauren and Kelsey 

At noon, we stopped briefly to eat lunch. I was able to snag a tiger puff! These are excellent—they are essentially enormous Cheetos with a bit of a spicy kick. We have also been greatly enjoying the food at Fisherman’s Rest. Dinner is typically nsima, a Malawi-staple made from maize flour, served with side dishes known as relishes. There is usually a protein side, like beans, meat, or fish, and a vegetable side, often curried vegetables or various leafy greens (eg, pumpkin leaves, amaranth leaves, mustard leaves, cabbage). I tend to avoid the meat and stick with the beans, nsima, and the vegetables. The desserts are also fabulous.

We are all having an incredible time so far—as always, this trip is as rewarding as it is challenging. There are 2 more hard workdays ahead of us and then we will travel to the lake for the weekend, before we jump back in to work next week. Keep checking in with us to read more about our progress!—Jessie Foley


JESSIE FOLEY has a degree in veterinary technology from Cedar Valley College, as well as a degree in advertising and public relations from University of Arkansas. She was previously on the veterinary nurse team at University of Tennessee Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Currently, Foley is the audience outreach manager for Brief Media and also plays a key role in Brief Media's partnership with Mission Rabies. In 2017, she joined the Mission Rabies Mega Vaccine Drive in Malawi, Africa for her second year.

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