Paul Nollen, 2001 Volunteer

Paul Nollen, 2001 Volunteer

I will not try to summarize my time in Malawi, but give you one highlight of the trip. The last Wednesday of my stay in Malawi, November 7, Mr. Mussa Chimaliro and the Kangona Zone committee organized a celebration to thank the Marion Medical Mission personnel for helping them install and dedicate 34 shallow wells within the zone. This was a highly organized and delightful event.

With Jim McGill (Presbyterian U.S.A. missionary) and myself as guests of honor, we enjoyed a traditional dinner in a classroom at the Dunduzu Primary School. After this, we adjourned to a shady grove be hind the school where we were first introduced to the people there and then entertained by the students at the school with dialogues, skits, and dances, all pertaining to the shallow well program.

The dialogues were done in perfect English and the dances intricate and very well done. The skits were very innovative and the highlight of the afternoon program. They were planned and carried out by five of the older boys.

The first illustrated the digging and installation of a well. They had made a pump model out of wood and when installed actually gave clean water. The message was clear when this water was compared to dirty water in a bottle. Jim McGill thought this skit should be standard fare at all celebrations.

The second skit, featuring the same players, had one of them chronically sick with a headache, which the local shaman couldn’t exorcise with his dancing. Finally, a bottle of clean water from a shallow well cured him. I was overwhelmed with their gifts and appreciation for the shallow well program.