2012 Summer-Betty Samelson

Betty with a village woman on the shores of Lake Malawi

Kindness is everywhere.  It was our 1st well of the day on the lake.   It was particularly hot and I was dripping sweat before the walk to the well.  An old Muslim woman greeted us at the truck with enormous enthusiasm.  She took me by the hand and we walked to the lake, past the well site, to enjoy the breeze off the lake.  With outstretched arms, we danced together.  After the dedication of the well, we walked back to the truck.  She took off her headdress and wiped my face and arms and proceeded to Meg, my partner.

After installing another well, it was late in the day and the sun was setting when our truck got stuck in a culvert.  The villagers got word that the “Mzungus” needed help.  They came with a pick and a hoe to dig us out. When it became obvious that it was not enough, we all conferred, and the men eventually lifted the truck so we could be on our way with lots of laughter and dancing and the men shaking their heads, “women drivers!”

Extended family was what I took away on this trip.  As Jordan told me, “When you are in Malawi,  we are your family.”  Yes, no doubt about it.  Hard work and sweat and ridiculously bumpy roads, lack of electricity, sweltering heat, and yet I MUST go back.  Where else could Meg and I sing “Help” from the Beatles (using the apron of the well as our stage and the pipe for our microphones) to Boyd and Charles, our African partners.  The days in Malawi are life-giving and it feels right to be there.

~Betty Samelson, MMM Volunteer