Sunday, 17 January 2016


A lot has happened in the last few weeks. 

A trip to the UK to see my brother and sister-in-law and some of my favourite people from my Scottish life, provided some wintery relief from the steaming summer Malawi is having.  The rainy season has started but still a long way to go.  With the rainy season however brings out the crazy critters.  The invasion of the flying termites was a night not to forget.  Ensure all orifices are closed otherwise your extra protein intake will be involuntary.  In my hair, in my bed and at customs I found them in my suitcase!  If it were in Australia I was sure to have been quarantined! Then there's the weird toad, tortoise, prawn eye creature.  What are you?!  (pictures below).

Prior to heading to the UK I went out to visit some of the children I sponsor.  A tough day with malnutrition, progressive TB and burns present all in one child.  The saving grace and the moment that brought tears to my eyes was Samson who reached for my hand and held it. He never engages in human contact except to slap people away.  I had brought maize flour for his mother to cook for him.  When I came back he told me he had eaten nsima and he was so happy.  This is the child that doesn't speak.  Words can't explain how humbled I was and how much love can pour out of me for a child that isn't mine.

That day was also a special day when we went to visit another child who had received devices from 500 miles.  She is now able to walk unassisted without devices.  Her fascination with me was captured in the photo below when she stroked my face and earrings. These days are special and ones I will never forget.

Another few days that I will never forget is my 2 days on a drip with an un-diagnosed stomach bug.  Wishing that my mum was there to stroke my hair and bring me chicken soup. Being sick away from family is something I don't wish to partake in ever again.

2016 will be a big year ahead for 500 miles.  So many more devices, so many new and old patients to engage with and bring mobility to their lives.  Stay tuned for more stories.

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