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Fifteen students, four faculty members, and one graduate assistant recently returned from Lilongwe, Malawi after spending 3 weeks and almost 7,200 miles away the USA. The team departed May 24, 2013 and returned June 14, 2013. The students of Destination Malawi Summer 2013 represented the College of Education, the Sociology Department, and the College of Science and Mathematics. Faculty who attended was Dr. L. Octavia Tripp, Dr. Jared Russell, Dr. Angela Love, Dr. Megan Burton, and Dr. Chippewa Thomas. The group was part of the AU summer study abroad outreach program, Destination Malawi 2013.
Students had the opportunity to teach in Malawi’s government school, Lumbadzi Primary. They also mentored and tutored orphans at Mtendere Village. Mtendere Village is an orphanage sponsored by 100X, a development foundation out of Montgomery, Alabama under the direction of Ms. Dana Blanchard. Outside of tutoring, teaching, and working in Blessings Hospital, Auburn University students and faculty had the pleasure of spending a Sunday afternoon with the former first Lady of Malawi, Madam Cecilia T Kadzimira. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet with “Mama” Kadzimira as Auburn students enjoyed fellowship, conversation about her time as first lady, and a wonderful Malawian dinner.
AU students and faculty presented several professional development workshops to the teachers of the area. Most teachers found the strategies to be useful and helpful in their classrooms. Aside from working in the schools, the Auburn faculty met with faculty members for the University of Lilongwe. This meeting provided an opportunity for sharing ideas about collaborations among the two universities.
Other activities while in Malawi included a safari adventure to MUVU Wilderness Reserve in Lilonde, Malawi where students encountered hippos, elephants, monkeys, and a host of other wild animals. A restful and peaceful visit to Lake Malawi allowed students to take a boat ride to a fishing village and be entertained by a local combo band of the area.
Needless to say, many students commented on the beauty of the land, the magnificent sunsets, and the mild weather of the area. The Auburn students made lasting friendships with the orphans of the area. Auburn students have agreed to keep in touch with their new friends via the internet.
Overall Destination Malawi 2013 was once again a successful experience where students who participated had a culturally life changing experience.
To see more about the experiences, check out Destination Malawi, Summer 2013’s blog at destinationmalawiafrica.wordpress.com.
Last Updated: Aug 06, 2013