Lilongwe Happenings

Foreign Service LifeMalawi
September 20, 2017

Hello everyone – This post was supposed to go out Saturday, September 2nd but never did for some reason. I decided you probably won’t mind that it’s a little late, so I’m still publishing…

It’s another glorious day in Lilongwe and I continue to be oh-so-content with life here. I am pleased to report that Nia is now going to school without a major fight, although we’re having some challenges with the way she’s misconstruing the things she’s learning about Jesus. Like last night, when she wouldn’t eat the mushrooms in her beef stroganoff and stormed off to her room. She returned a minute later in a grand huff, pointed her finger at us and said, “Apologize for your sins!” To which we said, “Oh, what did we do wrong?” Her explanation: “You forced me to eat something that I don’t like and God wants me to enjoy me food.” So yeah, there’s a lot of that going on….

When we’re not defending our sins, we do things like brew beer for the Embassy’s first ever beer and chili cookoff (my idea, of course!). Our honey pale ale (which I had to actively help brew due to the lingering back injury) took home 1st place of 5 home brews! I was so proud (and a wee bit tipsy by the end of the night)!!

Then, this Monday I welcomed Angela, our Global Employment Adviser from Nairobi for a 4 day visit to work with our family members and educate people about the State Department’s employment assistance program for spouses.

Our days were jam-packed. We did workshops on Interviewing, Resume Writing, and Obtaining Work on the Local Economy. We also had a really dynamic presentation from Toastmaster’s that had us all ready to work on our public speaking skills.  :)  Angela also did 7 one-on-one sessions with family members, all of whom are continuing on for private career coaching. The piece I’m most proud of though is putting together a round table discussion for HR Reps at various non-profits and NGOs in town (and they were big names too like World Bank, UNICEF, etc). During this discussion we told them about the benefits of hiring our family members (35% have graduate degrees, 40% speak a second language, you don’t have to pay benefits or housing, etc) and came up with a process for how my office could be notified about job openings at their organizations. Not gonna lie, everything about it pretty much rocked and I feel certain we’re going to see a major boost in morale from all the awesome jobs our spouses will have access to!

In keeping with the randomness of this post, I will close by sharing a picture of something I’ve been trying to capture since I first got to Lilongwe. My friend Christina was fortunate enough to capture this shot and kind enough to let me share it! This is classic Malawi, people. Look closely and you’ll see that there are about 20 chickens tied to those bike handles. Oh, but don’t worry… they’re all still alive!

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