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Monday, July 15, 2013

3 Things That Wouldn't Happen In West Michigan

1.So the house has 4 door bell type buttons placed in various spots which are actually emergency buttons. There are pickup trucks driving around Lilongwe with SWAT team guys on the back that respond to pushed buttons. Saturday we attended a youth conference in the camp. By lunch the kids were ready to go home. April and the Torngas stayed, and I took them home. After we returned home I heard a knock on the gate. I didn't think much of it, because it is usually somebody looking for work. Then I heard the gate slide open and saw these emergency guys all coming on the property. The first thing I did was ask the kids if anyone had pushed one of those buttons. Jack said, "yah I did. What are those things there for anyway?" I told him to step outside and find out. I must admit my heart was beating a little faster than normal when I stepped outside, but the guys were very gracious and accepted my apologies. We all laughed a little bit and they were on there way.

2.On my way to the camp today there were police officers stationed very systematically along M1, the main road through Malawi. Police officers in Malawi don't have patrol cars. They just stand along the road, and when they want you to pull over, they step out in front of you and hold up their hand. Today there were a lot more than usual out. I was just on the outskirts of town when an officer motioned for me to pull over. When I did, he greeted me with a good morning and a smile and asked where I was going. I told him I was going to Dowa, the town just past the camp. He told me that was perfect because he needed a ride to the Dowa turn off. What was I supposed to do? I had the boys with me, but I didn't want to mess with an officer. I turns out that the president was traveling that route this morning, and he needed to man his post at the turn off but had no way of getting there. As we talked during our ride, I couldn't help but chuckle inside at what I was actually doing. When I dropped him off, he said he enjoyed our conversation and wanted my cell phone number so we could chat more later. I told him thanks, but I would just look for him along the road. He laughed, we shook hands, and he was on his way.

3.We arrived at the job site today, and I realized right away that we needed bags of cement which were stored in a room at the camp about a half mile away. The boys, some workers, and myself grabbed some wheelbarrows and went to grab some. On the way back we met some Malawian soldiers who were at a check point on the road. They were curious about the project, so I explained it to them. They wished us a good day, hopped on the back of a pickup already full of people with their road cones, and were off. On the way home, we went through the new check point they had set up. They of course recognized us, and before I knew it, we spent the next 5 minutes chatting about the project, our families, and where we lived. Again we shook hands and were on our way.

These were 3 abnormal meetings, but as I sit here and reflect on them, these are the things and the people we are here to see and interact with. It was a joy to have met all of these guys.

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