After the posting on Thursday night, we returned to our hotel and enjoyed a great dinner. The next day we waited (some of us in extreme anticipation) as we awaited the arrival of 2 additional World Vision sponsored children. Due to errors, these 2 live in southern Malawi. The staff drove them about 4 hours for us to see them. Jennifer Wagg was especially happy to see her child. When they arrived, they initially were shy, possibly due to being a little car sick as they had rarely travelled from their village. After some gifts and a meal together, they were enroute back to their homes.
We then went out of the city to Children of the Nations (COTN)where we visited the place where Adijah calls home. We were able to give her and her brother Happy some gifts from the Ankerbergs. We also toured the farm and took some pictures of little Steven, who worked the room with his smiles.
Our travels next took us to the Crisis Nursery, where abandoned and orpahened infants are cared for. A quick tour ended with us holding and playing with a dozen of the about 20 infants being cared for there. It was evident from the children's reactions that they are well cared for and loved there by the staff. We returned to our hotel (The Madidi Lodge) for a refreshing and filling meal. Not to disparage the meals we had in Nkhoma, but here we have been treated to some exceptional meals.
Today was a break day where the plan was simply to go out to the various markets and do a little shopping. Dallion from FTS and his wife became our guides, translators and negotiators as we negotiated the tiny back alley ways in search of treasures we didn't even know we needed.
For those who were wondering, Louise and Dallion assured us that our little portion of the wall was still standing, and without the wood supports we'd left to keep it in place.
The day was successfull and a lot of fun as we learned the art of bartering, something new for most of us. It was a challenge as we stood there with anywhere from 3-6 or more vendors around you, each telling you what he's selling and why you should buy from him.
After returning to the hotel, several of us took a walking tour and came across a soccer game. A local Lilongwe professional team was playing against an apparent rival from Blantyre, in the south. We rarely experience the passion and fever displayed by these fans. We paid and entered the stadium, in which the best seats seemed to be by sitting on the top of the exterior wall. Well since we had other things to do, we only stayed until halftime with \blantyre leading 1-0. We did hear the crowd as we walked on our way.
We are on the way back now and are planning to have a BBQ at the hotel and possibly have some "S'mores. We would have had some earlier on the trip but a couple of people entrusted with the chocolate couldn't keep their hands off and ate all of it. Chocolate is not easily found here but we've managed.