On August 3rd, after selling our house, our car, and most of our possessions, we said some teary good-byes in British Columbia and boarded a plane to begin our long trek to Malawi. When we arrived for our 3-week stay in Ontario, we were greeted by family and a festive sign that said, “The Party’s Here!” It wasn’t clear whether we were the party and our arrival “here” was being celebrated or whether the party was already in Ontario and we were arriving to it. In either case, the sign became our mascot. We took it with us to Ottawa, to a 50th wedding anniversary, to friends’ homes, and to any place we might be going. The sign boarded the plane to Amsterdam with us and spent a week enjoying the Netherlands. It then made one final journey from Amsterdam to Malawi on September 2nd.
The party’s here. We have started to settle into our new home in Blantyre, Malawi. The house has been rented off and on for the past year, so there is some TLC work required to make it feel like home—but nothing insurmountable. Much thanks to our neighbours who have been gracious in schlepping us around and generally helping us begin our cross-cultural life.
Bird Boy, Wild Child, and CC have all started school and are doing fine. Swimming is an important part of the curriculum which pleases everyone. They are ahead in some areas and behind in others, but in general they seem to be adjusting well. Blair can’t work yet (visa application) but has met the key personnel from all three ministries he will work with: CCAP (Blantyre Synod) Youth Department, Zomba Theological College, and Theological Education by Extension in Malawi (TEEM). Vivian has been busy with the critical task of getting everyone settled.
As time progresses this blog will develop into a place where we will share some of our Malawi experiences and thoughts about various topics. For instance, you may wonder about the name of the blog. What the heck is a missionalary? Stay tuned for the next posting (hint – it is a play on the word missionary). You can subscribe by going to the three dots in the top right corner, scrolling down, and clicking FOLLOW. Alternatively, you can follow us on Twitter @bertrand_blair or friend us on Facebook where we will post links. Looking forward to keeping you updated on the party and provoking some thoughtful engagement with issues arising from our work and lives here in Malawi.