Back from my sabbatical and trying to get back into the swing of things. I think I am slowly getting used to being back again. The slightly warmer weather is helping. Going from 30+ degrees Celsius to about 3 was a bit of a shock to say the least.
I had an incredible time in Africa. Especially once reunited with Sue. Malawi is an amazing country. The contrast with Kenya was huge, in all sorts of ways. I left Kenya at the end of the dry season. By then the wet season should have started, but the rains were some 2 weeks late (the delights of climate change) and everywhere was looking quite brown and very dry and dusty. We arrived in Malawi at the end of their wet season and, even though it had been dryer than hoped for, there had still been enough rain to make everything seem wonderfully green and lush and so dust free. We had some big adventures in Malawi and feel that we have used up our 9 lives. Sue has wonderful stories to tell about hippos and canoes and getting onto ferries. Apparently, I don't tell the stories nearly as well as she does, so I'll leave them to her.
We read some fascinating books while we were in Malawi. We tried to keep our reading in tune with where we were. In Kenya, I read Martyn Meredith's book The State of Africa, a Christmas present from Sue's son-in-law. A very thick book about the history of Africa since just before independence until now. It took me all of my two months in Kenya to read it. I decided to give it away to someone else rather than carry it around Malawi with me. I managed to finish the book on the journey back to Limuru. Samson, the warden who drove us all the way to Limuru (6 hour drive!) took it back with him for Julius, the treasurer.
In Malawi, we both read The Shed That Fed a Million Children by Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, the founder of Mary's Meals. It tells the story of Mary's Meals, a charity that feeds 25% of school children in Malawi and many children in other countries, too. The other book is The Boy Who Harnassed the Wind by William Kamkwamba, about a boy who builds his own windmill and brings electricity to his home. The book gives a fascinating, and at times harrowing, insight into life in Malawi.
I highly recommend all three books.
Actually, having time to read books was one of the great delights of my sabbatical. Now that I am back home I will have to find a way to make more time to read books.
It is lovely to be back at Christ Church again and to see all of you. How I missed Christ Church while I was in Kenya. The people in Chepkero parish were absolutely lovely, but I missed the liturgy at Christ Church and I missed knowing what I was doing and being able to understand what is being said.
Sue and I will be sharing some of our stories and experiences on Saturday 11th June at 10am in the church hall. There will be brunch and cake and Caroline has offered to look after any children. For catering purposes it would be good to have an indication of numbers, so if you would like to attend, please, send me an email