This blog narrated by Deepa Pullanikkatil, talks about her meeting with Andrew Khonje in a Malawian Airlines flight in early May 2016. The discussions between the two during the 2.5hr flight lead to something good for Mbonda village, the village in southern Malawi adopted by Abundance for helping communities improve well-being and nurture nature.
I was flying back from Malawi to Johannesburg after having the first meeting of Abundance Founders and Board Members in April 2016 in Zomba, Malawi. After several weeks of interesting coincidences and unexplainable miracles which set off Abundance’s work in Malawi, it was time for me to return home to my family in Swaziland. Having boarded the Malawian Airlines, the exhaustion from the hectic activities of past weeks made me reserved but I managed to nod hello to the passenger sitting next to me.
An announcement was made about a slight delay in the plane to takeoff. I was about to switch off my phone, but decided to keep it on for a few more minutes, due to the delay in take off. That’s when I received a call from Moses Phulusa from Mbando village. He called to wish safe travels and I chatted a bit with him on the phone, telling him how grateful I felt to have spent time at Mbando village and about the hopes for Abundance’s future. I received a few more calls and messages from friends in Malawi and then when the air-hostess announced that the plane was ready for takeoff and I switched off the phone.
The flight was somewhere in the sky above the clouds, about half way between Malawi and South Africa, when light refreshments were being served. The person sitting next to me smiled and said that he overhead my phone call with Moses where I mentioned Mbando village. He was curious to learn more about this. I told him about the five years I spent in Malawi which inspired me to begin Abundance. Andrew listened patiently and asked a lot of questions and finally said that he was interested to help us. He runs a prominent mechanical workshop in Blantyre, Malawi and was on his way to USA where his son was graduating from university as an architect. Upon his return he promised to get in touch and see how he could contribute to Abundance’s work. He said it was not a coincidence that we sat next to each other in the plane and to remember the moment I said we should take a picture. We exchanged contacts and parted ways at Johannesburg airport.
True to his word, three weeks later, Andrew e-mailed me and sent messages through whatsapp as soon as he got back from USA. Abundance’s future plan of giving a bicycle ambulance to Mbando village was faced with the challenge of finding the right supplier for the bicycle ambulance. Andrew took it on himself to find the right supplier and within few weeks he got back with three suppliers and quotes for bicycle ambulance. Masa Chikapa from Amaravi Metals was chosen to be the supplier as they had many years of experience and were reasonably priced. Andrew continues to be in touch and provides advice and Abundance benefits from his vast experience and good networks. A chance encounter in the airplane above the clouds has now become a lasting relationship working towards betterment of Mbando village.
I believe “chance” meetings are not just accidental... they are meant for fulfilling a greater purpose.
Reflections and Blogposts by Abundance members and friends
The blog posts here are a collection of reflections by people who have supported Abundance,or visited Mbando village where we work.