So, I have now been in Malawi for four whole weeks. To be honest it feels like much more. Not because time is dragging but because I feel so settled. I owe most of this to Team Awesome (aka the Optometry Department) and the amazing friends I have made so far. It’s really true that the people you meet are the things that will shape your experience of any country and I am lucky to have met some of the best Malawi has to offer.Mzuzu is small and as such the expat community is quite close knit and there is a general feeling that people are looking out for you.
In the past month I have visited Lake Malawi twice, spent a weekend in Lilongwe, taught my first ever lecture, set my first ever continuous assessment (which I am avoiding correcting by writing this blog), seen more pathology that in my 4 years as an optometrist and now this week I get to be part of a huge, historic event.
This week, the first ever optometrists will graduate from Mzuzu University. As you can imagine, this is something special. Something I am very lucky to be able to be a part of. I say luck because that is what it is. If I started a month and a half later than I did then I would have missed this. As it turns out a lot of important people in the consortium who help fund and run this programme will be here, as will photographers and journalists from the national newspapers. My main concern- What am I going to wear! Now, that is not me being shallow but I know all the organisation and all the planning will get done. Our team works well and we know what needs to be done. However when I was packing I did not include a single outfit that would work for a semi-formal pre-grad dinner. How silly of me not to pack a cocktail dress!
So reflecting on the last month, I can’t believe I actually made the leap. I moved to Africa. Who knows where the next year will take me but I’ll keep you posted!