Nkhata Bay, Malawi
These days went by quickly. Ingrid McBride remained at Mayoka Village, our accommodations, to work on a report that will be due upon her return, and she is scheduled to leave earlier than the rest of us. The students basically relaxed and enjoyed their time together to include a boat trip during which they got to watch a fishing eagle dive for planted fish and they jumped into the lake off of a 7-meter cliff. They had that adventure on the day of Kristi’s birthday and she voiced a willingness to be adventuresome on her special day.
Weariness was certainly setting in and they remained to themselves much of the time. Meanwhile, Clarice and I scheduled three additional interviews for people with disabilities. Kathryn Wiggle, owner of Mayoka Village, had arranged for a young girl, with knees that turn inward, to come to see us. Also, one of the cooks has a 2-½ year-old son who has a paralysis of one arm that also affects the leg somewhat. His grandmother, who appeared young enough to be his mother, brought that boy to Mayoka Village. The girl came with her mother and we were able to record the interviews on the sand, next to the Lake. The bartender, Kenani, willingly provided translation.
The boy, Moses Phiri, seemed that he would benefit from a device that encouraged exercise of his limbs although his grandmother said that when he does try to move his arm he cries with pain. The girl, Modesta Maluna, has knees that are not symmetrical and some form of brace might be appropriate although I will leave that decision to the experts at ASU. Later, I telephoned Bill Ottoway to ask if his wife, Elizabeth, might be able to arrange for an X-ray to be taken and sent so that a more informed effort might be made for Modesta.
We also interviewed a woman, Doris Kayanage, aged 39, who had suffered bone cancer and had her left leg amputated at age 16. A couple of the students went with me to record this interview, as Clarice did not feel well. Doris was provided with a prosthesis from Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, in Blantyre, at that time but it eventually gave out. The replacement, for which she had to pay, was not as well designed and so Doris has had to use a cane ever since.
We followed Doris to a location where the interview could be conducted in private and the lop-sided nature of her gait was clearly evident. With the two female students to assist, we were able to get measurements from Doris that might prove helpful in the effort to provide assistance.
The rest of the say in Nkhata Bay was relatively uneventful and we packed to leave on the morning of the 25th. The drive south to Lilongwe took all day with a stop at the Pottery Factory near Nkotakota. The sun was setting as we wound down the hills into Lilongwe, which made for a glare on the windshield. By the time we reached Lilongwe, it was dark so we had to deal with drivers who, for some reason, choose to not use their headlights. For some, I know they probably do not work, while for others it seems that they resist using them. I was relieved to pull into the Golden Peacock rest house, where we unloaded our luggage.
Before dinner, there was need to separate audiology-related items that would remain in Lilongwe and those that would return to the US. Ingrid’s scheduled departure is for the next morning (Monday, July 26) so she had to get her things ready to go—to include packing souvenirs into her Action Packer. At one point, she had spoken of leaving it in Lilongwe but now she saw why I had assured them that these tough, sturdy, boxes would be handy to use to pack their souvenirs.
jdavid6 on July 7th