Jared, Hailey, Ashley, and Whitney Grandy of Lilongwe, Malawi


Jared, Hailey, Ashley, and Whitney Grandy of Lilongwe, Malawi

Living in a foreign country is just another part of life for Jared (7), Hailey (5), Ashley (3), and Whitney (2) Grandy. Both Jared and Hailey were born in Seoul, South Korea. Ashley was born in Sierra Vista, Arizona, and Whitney in New Haven, Connecticut. Their family now lives in Lilongwe, Malawi, a country known as the “Warm Heart of Africa.”

Life in Malawi is quite different from life in the United States. To prepare to go to Malawi, for example, the Grandys bought nearly a year’s supply of certain clothing, food, and household goods because they were either not available in Malawi or were very expensive.

Jared and Hailey like to go shopping in Malawi with their mother, Kathleen. Instead of going to one large grocery store to do their shopping, they go to a large open market to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish; to a dairy outside of town for milk and ice cream; to a bakery for bread; to the butcher for beef; to a Chinese shop for chicken and rice; and to a distributor for soft drinks. Weekly shopping, which took only a few hours in the United States, requires several days to complete in Malawi.

The family also has a garden where they grow fresh fruits and vegetables. From May to December the weather in Malawi is cool and dry. The hot, rainy season prevails from November until April. Since it never freezes in Malawi, the garden is a year-round project.

The Grandys’ lives have also changed in other ways since their move to Malawi. Every day they each have to take a malaria pill and boil and filter their drinking water so that they won’t get sick. The children have also learned to identify new bugs, snakes, and animals, and to be careful to stay away from those that can be harmful.

Jared and Hailey were happy to learn that English is the national language in Malawi. It makes going to school and having friends much easier. They both attend the Bishop Mackenzie School, a private school that has students from all around the world. Wearing their school uniforms, they go to school at 7:30 A.M. and get out at noon. Twice a week they have swimming classes, which they enjoy.

There are no television programs broadcast where they live, so the Grandy children spend even more time developing their talents and playing with their friends. Jared loves using computers and wants to become an archaeologist. Hailey helps tend her younger sisters and enjoys ballet. She and Ashley both like to draw. Ashley is particularly fond of animals and learning about them. Whitney spends most of her time learning to talk and keeping the rest of the family entertained.

Living in Africa gives the family many opportunities to see different people and places. They have been swimming in beautiful Lake Malawi, the tenth largest lake in the world, and have visited several game parks to see elephants, lions, hippopotamuses, gazelles, African fish eagles, and many other animals. Jared has even driven a motorboat down part of the Shire River.

Since the Church has not yet been established in Malawi, the Grandys hold sacrament meeting and Primary in their home. Their father, Sherman, plays the piano, and their mother leads them in singing. Mom and Dad then take turns teaching Primary and nursery. From time to time they are joined by two other members of the Church who are in the Peace Corps in Malawi: Becky Rich of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Hoi Pham, a recent convert to the Church who is originally from Vietnam.

Soon Jared, Hailey, Ashley, Whitney, and their parents will be moving again, this time to Lagos, Nigeria. They will have many new experiences learning about another country and the people who live there. But no matter where they go or how different the life-style may be there, they know that they have the gospel and each other.

[photos] Photography by Sherman and Kathleen Grandy

[photo] 1. Kathleen, Ashley, Jared, and Hailey admire an elephant, Charlie, at Kasungu National Park in Malawi.

[photo] 2. Traditional African Dancing.

[photo] 3. Ashley, Hailey, Jared, and Whitney with Cody, one of their pet dogs, in the backyard. They have to go to a meat processing plant instead of a grocery or pet store to buy pet food.

[photo] 4. Ashley and Bridgette playing together. Moving gives the family a chance to meet new people and make more friends.

[photo] Still life by John Luke