Molly in Africa

Monday, August 04, 2008

And so the journey begins...again!

I've said my goodbyes and I leave today (Monday) for Karonga, Malawi to begin my two year commitment as a volunteer in the Marianist Volunteer Program (MVP).

I'm excited about this new adventure.  I'm excited about all I will learn, excited about cultivating new friendships and about learning the language.  I'm excited about living in community and learning how to do that in a mutually supportive way.  I'm excited...

And yet, it's hard to leave this country where I have SO MANY amazing friends and an incredible family that really loves me.   Saying goodbyes were hard because I know that I will miss people a lot.  I have been blest with so many positive, enriching relationships that it will be hard to be gone for two years from all of those people.  On the other hand, I think all of those relationships have helped prepare me for this journey and will continue to support me through this journey.

I'm traveling over with three of the five other MVP volunteers places in Karonga, Malawi- Andy, Matt and Kat.  We will be meeting the remaining two community members (Sarah and Emily) in Malawi because they have already been there for the past year.  Together, the six of us will live in a volunteer house- sharing meals and prayer time, along with countless hours of conversation and hopefully fun!  The other five volunteers will all be teaching in the Marianist secondary school there called Chaminade.  It's an all boys school and our house is basically on their school's property.

Unlike the rest of my community, I will be working with a Women's Empowerment Program through MIRACLE (the Marianist technical institute in Karonga).  While I am not completely sure of all my duties there, I can tell you what my mindset is for right now.  I believe a large part of my job will include going to the villages to visit the women receiving loans from MIRACLE and my goal will be to build up the relationships between the groups of women and the MIRACLE Office.  With strengthened relationships, the hope is that more loans will be repaid faster.  I think I will also have responsibilities around the office, helping to keep records of loans and continue to plan and run workshops for the women's group.   I will also be spending time learning the local language (Chitumbuka) since the vast majority of the women I will be working with will have no understanding of English.

Hopefully this helps to give some of you an overview of what I am doing and a sense of where I am at as I am entering this new chapter of my life.

Since I'm moving to Malawi tomorrow, I should probably get some sleep.  Next time I post, it'll be from Africa!

PS- For those of you who missed it, here is a link to my interview with Chicago Public Radio about CROSO: 


At 2:41 PM, August 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have a good sleep sweet Molly. We are all going with you, you know, and your heart is full.


At 5:11 PM, August 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Molly,

It's Thursday now, so I know you are in Africa and your journey is underway. It was so good to read your post, and I look forward to hearing more. As Sally said, you have many of us with you in Africa.


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