A Traveler’s Tales from Malawi


Nature’s way of adapting
July 26, 2008, 11:49 am
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So, I have been wondering why the cattle here have these distinct humps close to their heads but on their backs.Β I learned yesterday that they have adapted to the terrain and environment in the southern hemisphere, and since there tends not to be much green grass during the dry season, they have a hump like camelsΒ that stores fat. It’s quite amazing how nature works!



Mount Bunda
July 26, 2008, 11:44 am
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Last Saturday, I climbed to the top of Mount Bunda. To be honest, I’m not sure how high it is. But it was high enough to cause my breathing to become labored and to have a slight fear of heights when I looked back as I was climbing πŸ™‚ Regardless, I made it to the top. I’m sure that it’s a bit more breathtaking during the rainy season when everything is green instead of burnt brown/yellow. So I’ll just have to make the climb again πŸ™‚



Internet is cooperating so I figured…time for photos!
July 15, 2008, 1:05 pm
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Some random snap shots of my life in Malawi.

Photo 1: My neighbors Heather and Mike’s kids (aka my two favorite kids here) – Sydney and Sam. They are really great people!
Photo 2: The pool of the hotel across the street from my apartment. This is where I go for internet and often a glass of wine after work πŸ™‚
Photo 3: Roadside market. The markets here are right on the street and just packed with people. I will try to take some more photos of this experience some other time.
Photo 4-6: Three photos are of my colleagues and I at the Nditha Launch. I work with around 10 extremely kind Malawians – the pictures include the district coordinator of Kasungu, my boss, myself, and my colleague Joel; another is of my colleague Nancy and myself; and the last one is of the 3 drivers, Tom, Peter and Gift, who always seem to be amused by me and I by them πŸ™‚
Photo 7: Tuesday night dinner girls. Unfortunately, this tradition isn’t happening at the moment b/c two return to the States at the end of their contracts in June and two others are there for the summer. We may start back up around Sept, but we will see.



Tired today and I’m not the only one…
July 15, 2008, 12:17 pm
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This is a picture of my colleague Mervin who was taking a nap at lunch time a few weeks back. The rest of us at work were all snickering about it, so I decided to take a photo. It was so funny; he bounced straight upright as soon as the picture snapped. I have been threatening to post the picture on our network at work but wouldn’t do such a thing, especially why when only work would see it and not the world wide web (hehe). Trust me, everyone at work thinks it’s hilarious too. Anyways, today, after a very busy last few weeks, I figured that this picture also illustrates best how tired I’m feeling πŸ™‚

The good news is that work is going very well! I had a fantastic banana blueberry muffin for lunch today and will hopefully sleep well tonight after yoga πŸ™‚



Children of Chinsapo Community
July 15, 2008, 12:04 pm
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The smiles on children’s faces regardless as to whether or not they have shoes, clean clothing, or even enough food to eat is a very profound sight that touches the very depths of one’s heart and soul.



A story to share
July 11, 2008, 3:04 pm
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I finished reading, Unbowed: A Memoir. It’s about the first African women, environmentalist who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. I would like to share with you a closing story from the book. It helps give me strengthen when I see so many problems and am just overwhelmed.

“…one day, a massive fire broke out in the forest, and all the animals, finding the flames coming ever closer, decided to save themselves. They rushed to the edge of the forest and watched, overwhelmed and feeling helpless, as the fire engulfed their home.
That is, all the animals except one: a hummingbird, who said, ‘I’m going to do something about the fire!’ So she flew to the nearest stream and scooped up a drop of water in her beak and deposited it on the conflagration. Back and forth she flew from the stream to the inferno, tireless and focused, without losing patience or speed. Each time she carried a droplet and let it fall on the flames.
In the meantime, as the fire raged, the other animals looked on in amazement and disbelief. They were overwhelmed and dismayed. ‘You are too small,’ they said to the hummingbird. ‘You cannot hope to put out the fire. What do you think you’re doing?’
As she prepared to dive again, the hummingbird turned to the animals and nodded her head. ‘I’m doing the best I can!’

And that is what I need to remember and that we all should remember. Remain kind and steadfast in all our actions. And hopefully, one day all our small efforts will cultivate into grand, positive change πŸ™‚



Malawian-Style Step Aerobics
July 4, 2008, 1:26 pm
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On Wednesday, I attended a step aerobics class after work. The instructor is a very bubbly middle-aged, overweight Malawian man who continuously shouts, “Let’s go, let’s go!” although he himself is not typically doing too many of the exercise moves. The steps are homemade and the lights tend to go out after about an hour which is perfect reprieve. Because by then, he’s finishing up the tortureous three steps moves that sound like he is saying “free” and that I couldn’t get coordinated for and was just too tired. Although my calves are still aching today, I think that I’m going to give it another chance. It’s quite a funny and unusual experience that made me smile alot through the sweat πŸ™‚