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Vacation in Malawi

A Letter from Kay Day, serving in Rwanda

August 2019

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Dear Friends and Family,

This is not the usual prayer letter that I send. I did something radical (for me) in July and took a 10-day vacation. I went to Malawi to visit friends and adopted family. Now, I did work diligently in Rwanda to make this happen (teaching courses on two campuses, preaching at three churches and two weddings, and conducting 15 English tutorial sessions for staff), so the month of July was productively spent.

The highlight of the month, though, was enjoying the incredible beauty of God’s creation at Kutchire Lodge in Liwonde National Park. My friends Sam and Lonnie Ncozana, who own and operate the safari camp, have created a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere in the middle of nature. Kutchire means “jungle” in Chichewa, the local language. They have built their camp in the middle of the jungle, disrupting as little of the landscape as possible, while giving their visitors safety and fun. They provide comfortable chalets for couples or families, “treehouses” for those who want to see nature from the top down, and dorm rooms for groups. There is no guarantee that animals will wander through the camp, but it is likely. Two of the nights I was there, elephants made their presence known, and one morning a water buck casually strolled past the breakfast table. And the tables are moved around the grounds to suit the needs of the guests.

The Sunday morning I was there, my friends Silas and Margaret Ncozana (parents of Sam and well known to many in the Malawi Partnership) and I had breakfast outside their chalet — great room service before leaving for church. The meals are generous and delicious. They have three full-time chefs who work magic. I am not a fan of vegetables, but one evening, I wanted to lick the vegetable serving dish. The gentle spices made them perfect. Each evening, there is a campfire and conversation with the other guests, a regular United Nations meeting, with folks from the US, UK, Germany, Switzerland, and of course, Malawi, just in the time that I was there.

But the purpose of a safari camp is the wildlife. Between morning game drives and afternoon boat trips on the Shire River, we managed to see 15 different animals and 19 species of birds. We did have a breathtakingly close encounter with an elephant who faced the vehicle and let us know he was bigger. Elephants do not charge unless they feel threatened. We made certain he was not. That was the talk of the campfire (sorry, no photos — too close for comfort). I was able to share this experience with both my sons and two of my grandchildren. It was a great way to celebrate turning 70 in August, and I am grateful for the opportunity.

Now I am back to work. This is a time for final exams and students writing dissertations, many of which I edit for English, so I have come back to a full schedule. Thank you for your support and for making all that I do possible. You bless me greatly in your partnership with me. I hope you are enjoying your summer, too.

Yours in Christ,

Kay (Cathie to the family)

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