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Peter & Liz in Malawi

Peter (CIPFA) & Elizabeth
Temwa, Malawi

Leaving for Mzuzu tonight

This is my first blog about my trip to Malawi to work with Temwa, a community organisation who work with the communities of Nkahata Bay North on the shores of Lake Malawi.  I'll be based in the Temwa office in Mzuzu, supporting the finance team there.
 
It will be my first trip to sub-Saharan Africa and I'm not sure what to expect.  I knew little about Malawi before I got this placement through Accounting for International Development (http://www.afid.org.uk/) and my knowledge is still pretty limited - it's land locked (neighbours Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique), is dominated by Lake Malawi (which takes up about 20% of the land mass), is very poor (one of the lowest GDPs per head in the world), has strong Scottish connections (its second city is Blantyre), has some of the  most welcoming people in Africa (known as the 'beating heart' of Africa), and has beautiful scenery.  Since I got the role, I have come across a number of people who have been to Malawi and all of them love it.  So I'm hopeful that travelling to Malawi will be a great experience for me.  I'm certainly expecting it to be nothing like anything I've experienced before!
 
I also don't quite know what to expect from working for Temwa.   All I have seen and read about what they do makes me really enthusiastic about working for them.  It's worth looking at their website (http://temwa.org/) to get an idea of what they do.  Their aim is to support sustainable development in the local community and they see success as ultimately not being required and being able to support development in other communities.  But I still need to work out how I can help.   I haven't any experience working for Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) but I'm hoping that my skills and experience built up over years working for government organisations will be of use and bring a different perspective to what they are doing. I'm certainly looking forward to getting to know and working with the team in Mzuzu/Nkahata Bay North.
 
I leave from Heathrow tonight at 9pm and arrive in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, at around lunch-time tomorrow (having had a three hour stopover at Addis Ababa airport).  I've got one night to acclimatise in a hotel in Lilongwe before heading up to Mzuzu.  Liz will be flying out on 26th October and we both plan to stay until the end of February.
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