Village visit Malawi

We were taken on a village tour including the school and clinic. The people were generally friendly and we learned a lot.

Cassava is a common staple and we saw it being processed and dried.

We also saw how the mud bricks is dug and made into bricks. We saw how they dried the bricks by stacking them in a large pile and building a fire under them. The top is also covered with thatch, and when the heat is generated through the bricks enough to catch the thatch on fire then the bricks are done baking.

The village has a well that provides clean safe drinking water. It was provided by the Canadian government and built by the Malawi government.

We visited the local school. It is final days and tests are this week. They have a standard national curriculum and standard test for promotion to high school. The teach math, English, the local language, life skills and other courses. Their biggest challenge according to the educator talking to us was severe overcrowding. Class size is around 160 per teacher at this time. No lunch is served at the school. Students are discouraged from bringing their lunch because students will not be able to bring food. I did not see electricity in the school although it is available in the area. We were asked to make a cask donation to the school and many of us did so.

The clinic did not have a doctor when we were there. They did have a health technician, and he talked to us about the clinic. The 8 bed clinic provides medicine for free which comes from the central government health department. He mentioned that on some months they do not receive a shipment. They also treat HIV with drugs that he said came from the USA. The clinic has a birthing center, but no operating rooms. The beds were old, the linens dirt, nothing was sterile. The most serious illness they see by far is Malaria, followed by pneumonia and diarrhea.