Setting Forth

Today I pay my delinquent electric bill and go off the grid.
Tomorrow I wake up early and go with it.
Malawi; the exotic fish capital of the world.

(haiku, minus proper format)


    For the next three months or so I will be training in the town of Dedza in the hills of Malawi.  I will learn how to be a Malawian-American.  I will learn what the Peace Corps commitment is all about.  I will relearn how to ride a bicycle figuratively and literally; bicycle safety training.  A new language, a new way to eat corn, a new way to understand poverty, a new way to be happy, a new way to rely on God’s sovereign plan.  In that three month time I will not be able to talk with anyone from back home through phone or Internet not even through tweets…:( 
       I don’t want to sound overly dramatic, but I suspect that all of this is true.  And so on the eve of departing the Mid-West… Troy, Ohio (“best hometown”-Ohio Magazine 2008) for 27 months I just wanted to write to say that I’m OK… Ready to set forth with the conviction that I am just a small part of great things that will already exist and are yet to come in Malawi.  As long as I don’t consume prodigious amounts of coffee, I feel great, ready, charged up, but not overcharged.  To that affect, I think I will be able to pick up most everything I’ll need in-country including confidence, motivation, excluding duct tape and deodorant… I feel a peace right now that surpasses my own understanding. I know that and sincerely feel that without Christ in my life I simply would not have a heart for any of this.  I just would not wind up in Africa!  If you feel led, please pray for my time in Malawi along with the country and for all the peoples in this region of the world.  That would not be a waste of time.

In anticipation for tomorrow and what lies ahead, I’ve cut off my hair and shaved for the first time in several years.  The past month has been outlandishly rich with family, friends, and high adventure.  Highlights include…cosmic bowling with my two favorite Abbies’ (ys’) in the world, truly helpful insight from grandparents and their friends, the entire state of New Mexico, good mom time, the family dynamics and male bonding that came with living with my dad and brother!  Really valuable time with aunts, uncles, and cousins,.. and smashing toes and shattering glass wear with an amazing and very special girl.

So that’s all for now, setting forth with ,”a few minor adjustments”.

Until May, stay blessed and don’t hesitate to send a letter of big news, unpaid bills, or just to share you life.  You can write (temporarily) to…

Jeff Gohrband PCT
Peace Corps Malawi
PO Box 208
Lilongwe, Malawi

and I would love to write you back!

Jeff G.

P.S.  Any questions or concerns about Malawian culture, politics, or music can be directed to this video.  Please don’t watch the entire thing, that may be too much for one sitting, but it is amazing non-the-less. and you should check out that entire blog site if you get a chance!


About jeff G.

I am a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Malawi. I work as a forestry advisor near Nyenje Forest Reserve in the district of Nkhotakota. I like reading, chatting with friends,biking, farming, and eating nsima, at least that's all I do anymore.

One response to “Setting Forth

  1. Anonymous

    rock on Jeff

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