August 1st 2009
The retreat with cohorts 1 and 2 at Lake Malawi was a success. A lot of good information was shared as well as a refocusing on how these ministries can most effectively raise funds and reach as many children as possible. As mentioned earlier, the demand for what these ministries are doing is so high in Malawi that it really comes down to the monetary support they get from UrbanPromise International, and individual supporters like you.
The lodge that we stayed at was relatively nice, although no internet available. A moment of concern resulted from its “cash only” policy (not uncommon). Malawi’s biggest bill is the 500 Kwacha = $4 US, therefore, a retreat for 15 people, food and drinks, conference room and extras was going to cost a decent amount. Getting all that cash together was literally going to take a suitcase to hold it all. Luckily, the manager was accommodating and we worked out a wire transfer payment. Nevertheless, a cash based society with its biggest bill equaling 4 bucks is a hassle.
Its winter in Malawi, but the temperatures remained in the 70s. The lake was a little chilly, yet, we jumped in anyway. All last year, the fellows talked about how beautiful Lake Malawi is, and they were right. So, it was necessary to take the plunge. It didn’t feel right to have traveled so many miles and not to.