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Door-to-Door in Ndirande

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Door-to-Door in Ndirande

We spent another day going door-to-door in Ndirande today, although instead of trekking up and down Mount Ndirande’s slopes, we covered the lower portion of the city, which is set at the base of the mountain. The weather held up for us again today—it was cool and comfortable, and we got a perfectly timed rain shower over lunch. Over the course of the day, we covered approximately 10 miles and vaccinated many adult dogs and puppies—as well as plenty of kittens and adult cats.  

During our work today, I was able to speak at length with Joseph and Thoko. We discussed everything from cultural differences to the day-to-day normalcies of our home lives. Joseph told me that in Malawi, dogs typically cost 40,000 Kwacha ($55 USD). German shepherd dogs sell for more, typically 70,000 Kwacha ($96 USD). I also learned that men in Malawi households typically only assist with cooking and house chores when their wives are sick.

At the end of our day, Dawn told me about a family with whom she and her team had visited. As it turns out, I met this family when I was in Malawi last year, and I helped vaccinate their puppy. Apparently, when Dawn and her team asked for the dog’s name and information (so they could provide a vaccination certificate), Dawn found out that the family had named the puppy Jessie, after me. I have to admit—I did get a little emotional. What a happy coincidence, and what an honor to be remembered this way.

We have so many meaningful interactions with the people of Malawi as we do this work. At one point, upon walking into a family’s compound, Dawn found herself enveloped in a tight hug by the woman of the household, who sought to convey her gratitude for the work Mission Rabies is doing in Malawi. This work is a powerful opportunity to make a difference, and it is deeply meaningful to experience the kindness and appreciation from the people in Malawi.

Tomorrow we will travel door-to-door for the last time this week, in another part of Ndirande. On Thursday, we venture to Lake Malawi for a bit of rest and relaxation, before we start work again next week. The lake is in a beautiful, serene area, and we are all looking forward to the overnight break.

Looking for more about our trip? Follow our progress live here!—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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