At the house where we're staying, there is a British couple (Susan and Allistair) and another medical student from Scotland (Jacqueline). It's been interesting to see the differences.
Jacqueline, the one from Aberdeen, was telling us that to get to the medical college nearby, "there's a wee gate with a little man beside it," all in a Scottish accent. Dave and I both started chuckling, then since we were both laughing, we couldn't stop, picturing the “wee gate” and what must be a very little man beside it. Yesterday around dinnertime, Susan, the British lady, asked if someone could show her how to play Uno, so she could teach the kids on the ward. So we all 5 played - lots of fun. I can't imagine not knowing UNO.
Then last night we were discussing Dave's jaw surgery and his liquid diet and said something about the chocolate peanut butter milkshakes his mom made for him and all 3 of them were horrified! Susan reminded Allistair (her husband) of an American friend who used to put peanut butter and jam together on a sandwich and Dave and I just chuckled since peanut butter and jelly is such an American staple. We were later discussing what we needed from the supermarket and I asked them to get bread for us, and joked that we would put peanut butter and jam on it together! Then I asked whether they'd put peanut butter on carrots or apples and Susan said that they like peanut butter and cucumber. That sounded funny to me, but I guess it's not much different than peanut butter and celery, although I like cucumber better than celery so I may have to give it a try sometime. I think the consensus was that you can't put sweet and "savory" things together, at least on bread.
I think I'm going to start volunteering on the children's ward with Susan next week at the CURE hospital (the one where we're staying.) It's an orthopedic mission hospital. They have paying adult patients who help subsidize the free treatment for the children. I had been planning to work half the day on my research things and find somewhere to volunteer the other half or at least a few days a week, but I hadn't yet, so this will be a good opportunity. I may also be able to do that with Dave’s mom the last 2 weeks (they’re coming in a week to work at the hospital). Susan said that they definitely need the help and it's very convenient for me, since it's just across the parking lot from the house. There is an orphanage too where I thought about trying to volunteer, but it would be a 30-40 minute walk across town. I'd still like to visit at some point, but I think it would be far to go and still get anything done in a day to volunteer there regularly.
We decided not to go anywhere this weekend. We were thinking of going to Lake Malawi this weekend and then being here next weekend when Dave's parents arrive (Sunday afternoon), but we realized we needed some time to chill out and that it would be a little crazy to get the arrangements together in time, like decide whether to go by minibus, hire a car and driver or just hire a car and drive ourselves (on the left side of the road). So we're here this weekend and we'll go next weekend instead. The last weekend here, we'll go to Mt. Mulanje, which is not too far away in southern Malawi with the rest of the students. So tonight, we're planning to watch a movie and make popcorn(!!) and who knows what we’ll do the rest of the weekend. Maybe explore Blantyre a bit. We’ll have to get our Lonely Planet book out and see what’s around.
Hope you all have a great weekend!