When we arrived this afternoon in Lilongwe, Gabriel and Dennis (citihope staff hosts) were waiting for us at the airport, and welcomed us with glee, reminding me that Malawi’s reputation as “the warm heart of Africa” is well-deserved. Rev. Maurice and Thandi Munthali were also at the airport, so we took a lot of group photos before boarding the minibus to Mzuzu.

According to the Malawi Guide Book, its a 2.5 hour drive from Lilongwe (in the center of Malawi) to Mzuzu (the largest city in the north). When I told Gabriel that, he and Dennis just laughed, knowing that it takes at least 5-6 hours to drive fast between the two cities. So we took off on our journey in Mzuzu after on Highway #1 (there are only two paved highways you know, #1 that goes from south to north and #2 that goes around the lake.) and arrived at our Guest House long after sun down, tired and hungry, but glad to have reached our mission destination for the week.

Pretty good fish or chicken dinner at Ilala Lodge. Folks are in good spirits. We’re staying in 3 locations: 5 in the Katoto Guest House around the corner from the CitiHope Mission Center where I’m staying. Don Messer is staying alone in Mfatso motel since there was no more room in the Inn.

Mzuzu, population 86,000, is surrounded by a lot of poor villages with orphan care centers for wh9ch CitiHope supplies food aid. Our plan tomorrow is to visit at leat two of these mission sites. Wish we had our own CitiHope Guest House that could accommodate the whole group. But everyone is fine and looking forward to tomorrow’s activities in Rumphi and other Orphan Care Centers. We brought school supplies, etc. Chappy plans to offer a painting workshop and Dr. Bob an art therapy session with the kids if it seems appropriate.

Then, on Sat, the plan is to help dig two wells in Kampenda . Kampenda is the village area where I met with 20 chiefs last year who had no wells, and I promised to do what I could, and so a year later, I have the joy of returning with resources for the first two wells for them.