Week 3 – Malawian lessons

So week 3 and I feel I am really making headway with my procurement projects. Policy revised and awaiting review, had meetings with key customers to find out about up and coming big procurement projects and starting to help with getting processes and ways of working in place.

Other Key highlights this week have been :
Tuesday the arm came off my reading glasses (I cant really read without them so disaster! ) and I was only thinking a couple of days previously ‘ I hope nothing happened to my glasses as I only bought one pair! Never mind Issacs the warehouse assistant to the rescue who apparently has a box full of second hand glasses but none had the right pin so he use a thin piece of wire to attach the arm back on my glasses! – Lesson 1 everyone here is so resourceful!
Wednesday no water and no electricity so washing was in small bowl, using warm water from the kindly provided water dispenser in our house. Lesson 2 – Shower when there is water and electricity – not when you decide you want one!
Thursday I went with Ivy to Blantyre on a procurement trip. As Neno is so far not many of the suppliers deliver so every couple of weeks the procurement team have to send someone to collect and pay for goods! ‘Don’t worry, she says ‘ not much to collect today and so we should be back by lunchtime’ That was before we went to collect printing that wasn’t ready ( come back later) a few phone calls to order some other things ‘ while you are are there ‘ and then disaster a flat tyre


Never mind, our lovely driver Edward to the rescue and while we waited a huge cavalcade went by which turned out to be the president! So all in all a ‘ quick trip’ to Blantyre took nearly 12 hours!  Lesson 3 Patience, Patience , Patience

Friday- the final ‘resourcefulness’ requirement – see photo above! We has a small party for Beth who is getting engaged next week but apparently there is a country wide(!!) shortage of tonic water so I am mixing the local Malawian gin with SoBo a local fizzy pineapple drink – my very own Malawian cocktail while watching this…. Bliss



  1. Have a Malawian gin for me – great stuff! Your tales make me smile and bring back so many memories of life in Malawi 😀😀😀

  2. I love your lessons, Sylvia! And that last photo…wow! So glad to hear you making such an impact already! Gotta admit…I’m not surprised!! Here’s to continued success, many more lessons and many more gin and SoBos! You MUST come up with a name for this concoction!!

    1. Lo, Thank you for all your lovely responses and that last photo is from outside the guesthouse where I am staying – so I cant complain! Will think about a name for the cocktail and let you know!

  3. Not sure about the other stuff but you have obviously picked up very quickly on Lesson 1 – Resourcefulness when it comes to finding alternatives for your Gin !! Lovely pictures – keep up the good work x

  4. Hi Sylvia, so pleased you are off to such a good start – and I’m impressed you even have your own cocktail 🙂 Keeping enjoying! I look forward to hearing more about your adventures xx

  5. Hi Sylvia it is great to hear what you are doing and resourcefulness seems to be the key !! I am sure the creative R&D background helps as well in all these situations not sure I would do so well on the patience requirement. Keep on blogging and making cocktails 🙂

    1. Thanks Liz glad you read and like the blogs- never quite know what will interest people but hey – there is lots going on so always plenty to write about – might not mention the 2 inch cricket in my room last night and the mouse running across the kitchen floor this morning though!!

  6. Hi Sylvia – second posting is fascinating – a lesson for us all in resourcefulness and patience 🙂 Gin mixed with anything is always a winner !! Take care Loz

  7. Hi Sylvia, I love hearing these stories from you, and like the others are certainly not surprised you are already making an impact – and as for the cocktail the ‘Sylvia Sunset’ sounds appropriate! Keep up the good work and the blogs.

  8. Hey you – really pleased that you have settled in so well. How lovely to be in such a resourceful place – the old ‘make do and mend’ adage still the order of the day, life for us is so instantaneous many of us have forgotten ‘how to’. A ‘sobo’ slinger sounds good to me x

  9. Love it! The resilience really comes out. My lesson of ironing when there is electricity and not the morning like here in UK. Also pack suitcase during the day when there is natural light and not at night when there is a power cut!

  10. Wow Sylvia, I feel exhausted just reading this!!!! Was lovely to FaceTime the other night. Can’t wait to read updates. Speak soon. Lots of love xxx

  11. wow Sylvia what an eventful week you’ve had so many lessons learnt. Great hearing about your adventures, your newly founded cocktail sounds delicious, please have one for me (seeing as I cant drink – make that two)!

    1. Thanks Amy for the comments and hope all is going well with you -promised to have a drink for you and the baby at the next lovely sunset – oh they are every night!!

  12. Great work finding the gin and making your own cocktail well done you can start a new craze !! Keep the posts and pics coming xxx

  13. Sounds like quite a week! Cocktail certainly needed after all that! You could start the next drink trend when you get back! We miss you but so glad you are enjoying your adventure. Viv

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