After finishing exams at the end of my first year at Dartmouth, I went back to Malawi for one month. It was good to see my family and friends. Although I went home, I didn’t get to enjoy it as long as I wished, because I had to come back to the USA in order to start the preparations for the upcoming academic year. My visit was too short. When some of my friends started coming back from their schools, I had to start packing my favorite clothes. It was tough to say bye to my buddies who just came home two days before my flight back to the US. In fact my friends were looking forward to catching up with me. They wanted to know how is it to live abroad, especially in America. They have watched many Hollywood movies, and they wanted to know if what they see is real. However, I didn’t get a chance to explain how life is in America. I was also looking forward to hearing from them what had happened since I left a year ago. I barely had enough time to say goodbye; I watched tears come from their eyes as I walked to the car. As I was closing the car’s door, I shouted loudly, “Don’t worry guys. I’m going for the better cause, and I promise next time we will catch up. In fact, we’ll have two years worth of stories to share with each other.
After eighteen hours of flying, I finally landed in New York. Memories of home started flashing in my head. Within an hour I started feeling homesick, but this didn’t last long. I remembered all the fun stuff I use to do at Dartmouth. When I got back to Hanover, I first meet with my tutor Christopher Schmidt. We made a timetable of what I’m going to do for the rest of the summer. For the next ten weeks, I’m working on four areas: math, writing, working at Thayer’s machine shop, and taking swimming lessons. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday I start the day by working at the machine shop from 8 am up to 11 am. From 11am up to 1pm I work on math. The rest of the day until after 5pm, I work to improve my English. Every Friday, I take a swim lesson at a nearby pool. In the machine shop, I’m building a Sterling engine. It feels great to play with all the tools in the shop. In math, I’m currently working on logarithms. To improve my English, I work on reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary. Currently I’m writing descriptive essays, like this one. As part of my writing assignments, I’m updating my blog weekly. Keep an eye out for future posts.
Summer isn’t all about studying. On the weekends I am off from academics; instead I do some fun things like going hiking and swimming. Recently we drove two hours to Lovell Lake in Sanbornville NH for the weekend. While I was there, I practiced my swimming, I met many new people, ate delicious food, and I enjoyed my time away from academics. It was a nice sunny day, so I decided to go swimming. Before I jumped in the lake, I stuck my foot in to see how warm the water was. The thermometer by the dock read 80 degrees. The water was so clear that I could see the rocks and gravel at the bottom. The surface was calm with some small waves. Because I am not yet a strong swimmer, I put on a life jacket and then jumped in. I started swimming by the dock, and then some young kids and their parents joined me. I swam shallow water for a while before I gained my confidence to swim towards the flooding dock 15 meters away. While I was still swimming, the kids began swinging on a rope swing and jump off into the Lake. I watched them smiling and laughing, and I envied them. I wanted to try. I got out of the water and went straight to the swing. I held the rope with my hands, and everyone was looking at me. I felt the pressure on me to do it. I swung off and flew out over the water. When I was about let it go, I looked down. The water was so far way. I could see the rocks at the bottom of the lake and I was scared. I was worried that I would get water up my nose. I froze. I swung back to the shore and put my feet down. I didn’t do it. But then I heard a voice, “You can do it!” With this encouragement I felt confidence build inside me. I knew I could do it. I swung out again, and this time, I let go and splashed into the water. Some water did go up my nose, but I was too happy to care. I did it.
I finished swimming right before dinner. We had our supper outside under big tall trees. It was a prefect time to be outside, nice cool wind was coming from the lake. For dinner that night, I had grilled chicken, marinated steak tips, and salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other tasty vegetables. I also had nsima and corn on the cob, which reminded of home. The following morning I slept in and missed breakfast. This might have been the best part of the weekend.