This is ridiculous. I didn’t think I’d have this much trouble getting internet connection before I even left the country. This is going to be very brief.
Training is so far above and beyond our expectations we’re reeling a bit! It’s like getting a whole tropical medicine course in one week. I keep looking over at George to see if he’s apoplectic with the parasite photos. They really were quite enough to make one compliant with the cooking protocols. And we’re as likely to wade in standing water as we are to drink lighter fluid. They made their point quite well. It’s been fabulous. We’ve had incredible lectures on cultural diversity and sensitivity. We’ve done exercises on effective teaching methods. We’re learning how to improvise. We are doing this with others of similar energy and values. We’re sharing stories of previous adventures and coping mechanisms. We’ve got something to share and we want to use it for the good of humankind. I love it.
We’re with the sixty others embarking on this adventure. There are a wide span of ages and experience, all with great energy and enthusiasm. It’s thrilling to be together with them. Twenty-four are going to Malawi, eight of us will be in Blantyre, all in different specialties. A group going off to Tanzania discovered there is a half marathon there on the 7th of February near Kilimanjaro and we giddily agreed to meet there to run it. There is a mixture of excitement and anxiety present at any given moment. My worries swirl mostly around technology, others vary from snakes to setting limits.
There are several couples going together besides us. I’ve heard the comment several times that it must be nice to be doing this with someone else. I agree it can be very nice, but I also have worries that if one of us is having a great time and the other not, that could be a downer. If our swings are opposite each other’s, we could be miserable all the time. Risky. If you are alone, at least no one else has to be subjected to your moods. We’ve already run into that this week. It’s a lot to take in and it’s hot here and we’ve been a little testy with each other. We even had an all-out fight that surpassed argument within about three seconds. That was an interesting experience, but the tension had been building and something had to give and, oh boy, it did. I, of course, love a good fight, but George isn’t much of a fan. It must be an acquired taste. When things simmered down and we were taking it out he said, “You know when you take a sip of a good scotch, and it burns and startles you a bit, and then as you start to absorb it, the flavors spread and you taste the smokiness and the fruit and the sweetness? That’s what it’s like being with you.”
I liked that.
That’s all I can muster and it’s after midnight so I missed Sunday for the first time in a long time! Busy three days ahead then Ethiopian Air to Addis then Lilongwe. We’ll see how the connection is there next Sunday!