Malawi, the "warm heart of Africa", has earned it's nickname. I have never met friendlier or more welcoming people. It is filled with people even more amazing than their avocados.  In the country (which is about the size of Pennsylvania) you will find beautiful mountains, orange tinted dirt, and quite possibly the most beautiful lake I have ever seen. Work brought me to Malawi- I am so lucky to have a job that brings me to such unbelievable places. The purpose of our trip was to highlight a Literacy Boost Program at a local school, while fostering conversation between students in Malawi and the U.S.  We lugged a satellite from New York City  and worked with the local community and students to facilitate the conversation, and... it was awesome. Providing the opportunity for a community that had never used the internet or seen a computer to share their stories, culture, and have their voices heard was so incredible.

We did some of most amazing things during our trip. We hiked up to the Zomba Plateau through a potato path, went to the Blantyre Bullets soccer game, explored the local market and were invited to our new friend’s home to meet his family. All of it was so surreal, but working at Molanje Primary School had to be the most incredible--the learners, the educators, the village--all of it. The dedication to literacy, the holistic inclusion of the whole community, and ownership of young people's futures was so inspiring. As I stood beside my camera, framing close up shots and saw the Malawi learners’ eyes light up and smiles take over their faces, the tears welled up in my eyes. It is groundbreaking, the ability to connect students thousands of miles, two languages, and seeming two worlds apart. I think about my own education; I was left to paint a picture of the world from news reports, textbooks and what others told me. I was never directly interacting or hearing from my peers across the globe. Both the U.S. and Malawi students truly had the opportunity to speak peer to peer. 

There is so much time and preparation that goes into a live broadcast. Even when everything is in order you find yourself fine tuning things up until the very last minute. You think of the most ridiculous situations that may arise. So much can go wrong, but as I have witnessed ( a few times now!), the risk, is totally worth the reward. 

Zikomo , Malawi.


Zomba Market

I was traveling with a friend Darieus, who invited me to join him in exploring part of Zomba town as he  was scouting out some scenes to film. After circling around a soccer match, we ventured off on our own.  We came across a market, with a bleak exterior, that ended up providing us with a hidden retreat from the hustle of the streets. We met family and friends that ran the market stands and spent the afternoon hanging out. There was a lot of dancing and sharing a lot of laughs. I can't wait to see the videos that Darieus took of us dancing. I can only imagine they are pure gold. Lets be real, my dance skills were quickly put to shame. A few days after our visit, I returned to the market with printed photographs for everyone. You should have seen their faces. It was totally worth tracking down the only print shop in town!