DO Diaries: Days Eight and Nine

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Day 8

After a quiet, peaceful rest, getting up to an amazing sunrise on Lake Malawi, watching a three-foot long monitor lizard sunbathe near my tent, and eating breakfast, we returned to the mainland shore for a day-long meeting with our team and marketing volunteer from Blantyre. We set up a makeshift conference room in a grass-roof hut, with sheets acting as a projector screen. We brought sticky notes and Sharpies to help plan out the next 12 months in Malawi and Zambia. The discussion was great, and we were able to set “rocks” for our Malawi Field Office.

About two years ago, we started implementing a management tool call EOS/Traction, and now we’re introducing that in Malawi. It was very well received, and I think it will help with planning as our team continues to grow in Malawi and Zambia. Praise God for Jim,our EOS/Traction coach. During the meeting, we were invaded by small ants that kept crawling on the screen and table. Life in Malawi! Please continue praying for God’s wisdom as we’re planning, for safe travels back to our office in Lilongwe, and that we can change the status quo for millions of people in this part of the world who desperately need physical and living water.

Day 9

In the morning, we enjoyed a few hours at Lake Malawi. When at Lake Malawi, one must enjoy God’s amazing creation. It’s so beautiful with the boulders on the shore and crystal-clear, fresh water. Lake Malawi is known worldwide for its brightly colored fish called cichlids. In fact, there are cichlid clubs in the US and fish stores dedicated to just cichlids. I should admit that my own family in Ohio has a cichlid aquarium, and it’s a wonderful reminder of Malawi. Ray and I borrowed a two-person kayak to go out on the lake. However, the waves were very choppy, and we went in before barely getting off shore.

Plan B was to take the ferry boat to the other side of the island where the water was calmer. We did that and snorkeled with the cichlids. I had the opportunity to do this once before, and once again was in awe of the beauty. There are also fishermen in the lake, day and night. At nighttime, they have bright spotlights and use nets to catch the fish. We wrapped up our morning outing and had a meeting with World Vision on the mainland.

We’ve been working with World Vision since 2013 in Malawi, and they’ve been a strong partner. They are very excited about LifePump and are requesting 15 more for their water programs starting in October. Praise God that we’ve been able to solve a problem, and our solution is being used by major nonprofits like World Vision. When an organization like World Vision, which has been around since the 1950s, invests in DO’s appropriate technologies, it further affirms the need for what DO does and our ability to solve problems for people in extreme poverty that others are unable or unwilling to do. After our meeting, we drove back to Lilongwe through the mountains, with hairpin turns and fog, on our way back to our hotel. Malawian roads aren’t for the faint of heart or those affected by motion sickness. Ironically, I do get motion sick fairly easily, and I have a bottle of Dramamine on hand for all trips. Life’s little hacks!

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