Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Malawi: Getting there

Friday, May 11th, 2012

I’ve just uploaded another set of photos from our trip to Malawi. I realize that these are out of order, but my priorities here are not necessarily chronological. The voyage to Malawi is a long one – we left Toronto on a Thursday evening and arrived in Blantyre at noon on Saturday. The trip included two overnight flights and an 11-hour layover at Heathrow in London. Luckily, the trip itself was uneventful in all the best ways and a rather enjoyable experience for the group as we got to know each other.

20120419-DSC_2777Our group of eleven Presbyterians included four from Winnipeg, two from St. Catharines, three from the Georgian Bay area of Ontario and the two of us from Cambridge. Only a few of us had met before this trip so the journey itself was a good opportunity for the group to bond a little before we were immersed in the culture shock of Malawian society.

These photos are probably more interesting to those who were with us than those who weren’t, but I share them here regardless. (more…)

Malawi: Blantyre Secondary School

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

20120423-DSC_3757

One of the highlights of my trip to Malawi, besides all the official stuff we did, was the opportunity to visit the school where my grandfather, Robert Dale, taught biology from 1965-67. He was sent to Blantyre Secondary School (BSS) as part of an aid program funded by the Canadian government through the External Affairs department. The rest of the family, including my mother at 13 years old, went with him and they all lived on the BSS compound.

As I arrived in Malawi, I wasn’t sure I would get to see the school at all. We had a very full itinerary and the school was just far enough away from where we were staying that squeezing in a visit would be difficult. Even if we got to the gate, I never expected to be allowed inside.

As it happened, the Monday after we arrived was a holiday due to the state funeral being held for the late President Bingu wa Mathurika. This unexpected holiday broke open just enough of a hole in our schedule for me, my wife and our new friend Conrad (from the group) to walk the 1.5 kilometres to BSS.
(more…)

Malawi Trip Update

Friday, January 6th, 2012

A quick update about our upcoming trip to Malawi:

  • I’m now officially a “co-leader” of the study tour – which means that the dozen or so people we are taking will be my responsibility should anything go awry while we are travelling. All of the pre-arrangements are thankfully someone else’s responsibility! The coolest thing about this is that the other “co-leader” is my very good friend (and mentor of sorts) Rev. Ted Creen, recently retired from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Owen Sound.  I’ve known Ted for nearly thirty years and I am so excited to be sharing this experience with him.
  • As I mentioned in the last blog post, the purpose of the trip is learning. This is not a mission trip in the traditional sense. Malawi may be a little short on fuel these days, but they’re hardly short of available labour. Flying halfway around the world to erect a building that could instead be built by Malawians (thus providing income) doesn’t make much sense.  Instead, the purpose of the trip is learn – in an intensive way – about the work that the PCC does in Malawi. We will be hosted by our mission staff there and will visit the many projects that Canadian Presbyterians support directly including orphanages, shelters, etc. The trip will also include a weekend “home visit” with a Malawian family.
  • There are three Canadian Presbyterian families currently serving in Malawi. You can learn more about them and their work (and about life in Malawi) on their blogs:

Stay tuned for more updates leading up to the trip.

 

 

Would you be concerned…

Friday, October 13th, 2006

…if the cab you were riding in had a Haynes manual on the dash within easy reach?
I was.