Wherever I travel am greeted with “Welcome Home”; an acknowledgement I am considered to have returned to my home – Africa the cradle of civilisation that. Indeed I have been made to feel most welcome.
Stopping off at Joberg I was pleased to see the sights with my guide ; Mandela square; numerous monuments to gold mining, many historic buildings, and a city views from 50 floors above . New developments attempt to modernise a once dangerous city and provide a more friendly place to visit.
I arrived at Lilongwe last Wednesday and so far have visited many of the christen communities, the local gaol, the catholic school at Mt Sirize and a government school which has 5000 students. 1 have also listened to numerous stories from the locals. The parish is made up of about 12,000 split into 5 churches : St Kizito, Gabriella , Philomenia , Mt Silize and St Andrea. Each church is further split into christen communities of which there are 47 in total. St Kizito has 13.
I have confirmed a funding project with the sister headmistress at Mt Sirize which will involve daily breakfast for 300 children , made up of a mixture of maize, soya and sugar which will enable at least one meal per day to ensure the children are not hungry and malnourished; who are then are able to concentrate on their schoolwork. I also confirmed we are able to sponsor 15 children for secondary education.
Fr Frank and Fr Patrick O' Hagan have looked after me very well. Fr Paddy looks after the orchard so we have enjoyed some wonderful fruits at breakfast. I jokingly told Fr Frank he has concrete flowing in his veins and not blood since he is constantly involved in building projects for the communities. He even also recently completed a shelter for the gaol, using labour from within and increasing their skills, At the gaol I mistook an inmates for an official. He thought it was hilarious as he was serving a 16 year sentence. The over crowing is unbelievable . There are 2,126 men in such a small space they scarcely have room to walk around. There are only 56 women, a measure of the dispropotionate amount of crime committed by men,.
Tomorrow is the big celebration at Ntandire. The new church and hall looks beautiful yet simple and welcoming. It would accommodate 1000 people at a push. Fr Taylor has also built another small building alongside from a donation he received from the wife of the Irish Ambassador which will be rented be provide income for the Ntandire community.
Wherever I go you are greeted by 50- 60 children who are fascinated to see you and people are all very genuinely pleasant and welcoming . It is indeed the warm heart of Africa .
The trip has been very good so far except for my back which has given me so curry.