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Goodbye Malawi

So in a few hours I'll be at the aiport to take a flight back to Canada. It has been a great time in Malawi and valuable learning experience. To summarize some of the things that I have done / not done in the past 5 weeks:

Things that have not happened / things I did not do:
- Contracted malaria (not yet at least!)
- Been mugged
- Been kidnapped
- Had my accommodations broken into
- Bribed someone

Things that did happen to me / things I did:
- Got tanned
- Went on a safari
- Hiked around up mountain
- Hiked up a plateau
- Visited Lake Malawi
- Had diarrhea...a few times
- Been told by a stranger that they wanted to marry me
- Been asked my phone number by a stranger
- Been asked my email address by a stranger
- Took the minibuses
- Walked alone at night (don't do it!)

Physical Changes:
- I lost have some weight...or it has redistributed itself somewhere...
- Become tanned
- I have developed quite a rash on my arms, I actually think I am allergic to my malaria pills
- I actually look pretty tired, I've had a lot of trouble getting a good night's rest for the past 5 weeks. I think its due to the malaria pills

Things I'm going to miss:
- Friendly people
- The landscape is very lush
- Generally a healthier lifestyle due to walking everywhere
- Slower pace

Things I'm looking forward to:
- Convenience and variety of food
- Being able to walk around at night
- Just general higher standard of living...though I lived quite well in Malawi
- Greater efficiency in North America

Things I've learned:
- Though I lived in something of a bubble in Malawi, just by seeing the country you can see how many issues there are from gender inequality, to lack of access to food / water, to HIV / AIDS that are complex and interrelated
- Give more. 2000 MWK / 5 CAD is almost nothing to me, but means a lot to say the maid cleaning my room. She was pretty ecstatic at the tip I left
- Innovation and entrepreneurship are important to a country's development. Not saying by fostering innovation and entrepreneurship will solve all of Malawi's problems, but Malawi's seems to be stuck in the habit of doing things the same way and then relying on huge sums of international aid.

Overall it has been a great experience and I'm glad I was able to spend the last 5 weeks in Malawi. Until next time!

Posted by Analyst 00:46 Archived in Malawi

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