A Traveler’s Tales from Malawi

An endearing Malawi moment
October 30, 2008, 10:26 am
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So when you finish a meal at a restaurant, one shouldn’t be surprised when no mint comes with the bill. However, when one does, it’s a moment of true excitement and giddiness. Then, look a little bit closer as you unwrap this sweet, minty candy and you discover a Halls cough drop. WHAT?!?! Seriously…and then you look at your Malawian friends who haven’t registered how surprising and quite disappointing this discovery is for you as they pop the throat losenger into their mouth. Just another moment in which I have to smile to myself 🙂


Culture collision
October 20, 2008, 12:05 pm
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Last week, I was in one of my favorite cities…well, more like a really small town…in the South for another research training. It’s a beautiful place with limited but decent food options. Unfortunately, my stomach was not up for it. So I experienced a few questionable days but hung in. The training went relatively well. The research assistants all seem quite competent and I was at first impressed with the consultants until I later experience firsthand the one’s sexist attitudes.  His way of thinking was not a surprise per say. Let’s be honest and real, I’m living in sub-Saharan Africa. But here is a man who is well educated, saying all sorts of nonsense about women and how “Malawi will never develop if we keep on trying to educate women.” WHAT?!?! For those of you who know me well, you will be surprised to learn that I remained calm and actually debated him effectively. Because I remained cool and calm, I was able to find all the right words and arguments without tripping over my rage 🙂 It was a great moment! Even the Hopkins professor who was with us said to the consultant, “I think that she has gotten you.” Oh the sweetness of seeing this grown macho adult male fumble over himself. The kicker is that he has a daughter and believes that she can become whatever that she wants. But yet, he is putting down more than half of the Malawian population with the language that he was/is using.

Favorite photos
October 10, 2008, 12:20 pm
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Okay, so it has been a while and to be honest I probably have a lot to say but at the moment can’t really think of anything. I have been really busy with work and traveling back and forth to the South for our Radio Diaries program which is basically a reality radio program in which people living with HIV tell their story, interviews for the positive prevention tool that I’m developing, and a research training seminar. I would be happy to share more about any and all of these activities with you some time soon, but I can’t talk for long today. So I just wanted to share with you some great photos.