Sunday, January 20, 2008

Malawi in the News

"Malawi has given Taiwanese officials 30 days to leave the country after it cut diplomatic ties with the island nation in favour of China, a local newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The impoverished southern African nation cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan two days ago after 41 years and established links with China, which has become a major economic power in Africa and regards Taiwan as a renegade breakaway province.

The number of countries that recognise Taiwan has dwindled since the United States, once Taiwan's biggest backer, formally recognised China in the wake of former U.S. President Richard Nixon's 1972 trip to China."

See for the full story. Or search google news for "Malawi + China + Taiwan"

There is always a face, a family, a human being behind the story in the news. I think it's especially hard for Americans to understand that because we are inundated with news. But here, it is not uncommon to see the faces and hear the first had stories of people whose lives are in the news. A family who has kids that go to the Academy that I teach at is Taiwaneese. Their youngest is in third grade and their girls are 9th grade or so. I heard them talking to our headmaster about their withdrawal and they were heartbroken. I don't fully understand the politics of this situation, but I know that it is changing the lives of these kids and goodbyes are never easy.

Just thought I'd share. Please pray for this country that I have grown to love.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Matapila and Christmas

I've been lazy about blogging this break, sorry. I was waiting to get some more pictures from the village, but I haven't done that yet. So, here's a few pictures. To see some really great videos of the children's choir singing (when we were stuck in a room with 200 Malawians) go to Dan and Beth's blog. There is a link on the left hand side of my page.

In the yellow dress is Tawile. It means we have won. The little boy is Takonda (which means love).

This is Earnest(i) in May 2005. And Earnest in December 2007.

This is at the new center. They still eat A LOT of nsima!

Ok, moving on to Christmas in Lilongwe. This is me with Nya (5) and Analise (2), the Stauffacher girls. I think Nya will be in my class next year!
Me with each of the McDonald girls. Amber Elizabeth (10), Molly Grace (7), Sarah Rose (3).

I'll leave you with my favorite Christmas picture ever. Gift giving in Malawi requires either extreme preparation or extreme creativity. Mr. McDonald went the creativity route and Sarah Rose was excited!
School starts on Wednesday and I have A LOT to do before then. Please pray for me as I prepare for another term of first grade. It's going to be a lot of adjusting to get back into the routine, and remind myself that these first graders are my priority and the reason I was called to Malawi. Also, I just found out one of my students is not coming back- she moved to Canada. Please pray for her as she adjusts to life in a a new country and a new family situation.
I hope that your new year has started off well. Be blessed by God's never ending grace and mercy.