Blogs from Lilongwe, Central, Malawi, Africa - page 3


Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe October 28th 2015

It's interesting being on my own. I live on my own at home, but I watch some TV pretty much every day. Here there's no TV, and I only have my iPod. While i was making some equipment a while ago, i plugged myself in and danced to it, but mostly just doing household chores and teaching seems to take all my time. I haven't even read a book since I've been here, I play a few rounds of Words with Friends (solo play) on my tablet and then I'm falling asleep.This last weekend I listened to my iPod again and something seems to have happened to it. Both earpieces are working, but Dolly Parton sounds as if her band and chorus are in the room with me, but she herself is at the end of ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe October 21st 2015

Onturday 17th October It's 6.30am and I wait at the side of the road for the woodman. I may have missed him, he goes by very early with a stack of wood on the back of his bike. We'll need wood very soon. We can make do with the little bits of offcuts from where the carpenters are making door and window frames,but we'll need some proper firewood to start the fire. Shelby is away from Monday, on a course for a week, and though I'm now pretty good at making a fire, I do need the right materials. The previous evening, Friday, Shelby and I went to the market at M'bang'ombe. We each bought a necklace. Mine is like a choker with tiny blue beads, and a few white and red beads. Shelby bought two ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe October 14th 2015

Sunday11th Shelby and i had spent Saturday night at Mabuya, and Sunday morning we went to the chitenje market to buy material. Julie, who works in the Landirani office, does tailoring and on Saturday at the golf course I discussed patterns with her. I'm going to have a dress and pantsuit made and maybe a pair of trousers too. I love the material, and I hope when I get home i still love it, and will wear it. We got a minibus, then hitched to the airport, and called our local bicycle taxi riders to collect us. The guy who gave us a lift asked me if I went to church, and what I believed (I suppose it was because it was a Sunday) and he got a bit of a diatribe from me on my ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe October 11th 2015

Fourth week teaching Sunday Shelby and I went into Lilongwe to go to an Indian food festival at the safari or woodland park. Unfortunately we should have got tickets beforehand, it was ticket only and they didn't sell them on the door. As we were in the mood for Indian food we hitched into the main town to Sana, near the old town shopping complex. The guys that picked us were very chatty, and not until Shelby asked what they did, did they mention they were a taxi cab. Shelby is very good at deflecting requests for payment, saying that we had no money, which was why we were hitching and we wouldn't have accepted a lift if we had thought we had to pay. She's also good at deflecting requests for her phone number, and ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe October 4th 2015

Third week I taught the Standard 6 class for a couple of sessions, but by the end of the week decided that I'd be better off withdrawing groups. The class teacher kept disappearing off, so that my idea of teaching together with translation of English and Chichewan wasn't getting very far, and every time I talked to him he'd yawn loudly in my face. The Head came in a couple of times when rhe children were straining to be picked to give an answer, so he was pleased. Anyway I offered to take a group to the library on Friday and the class teacher said they had football and netball practice, but perhaps i could take any who wanted to go. He asked who would like to, out of a group who weren't going to practise ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe September 28th 2015

Second week Last blog I said few of the learners went onto secondary school.I was wrong. Out of 38 who took the exams, 34 passed. Only 2 went to the higher level boarding schools, and this number the school want to improve on this year. There is a drop out rate, which I don't know. The younger classes have 90 or so learners in, so to have 38 in last year's standard 8 suggests more than half may have dropped out. Yesterday we started thinking about questions to ask the builders in my first Standard 8 group. None of them are used to showing any initiative yet; if you ask them to write three facts about themselves they freeze, so I asked specific questions to start them off. Then in pairs they could do it. For ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe September 14th 2015

Monday began our official Global Village program. At his is not a traditional Habait build trip, but an exploration by habitat leaders to experience and learn more about how American dollars are being used to alleviate poverty in Malawi. We spent our first half day and the Habitat Malawi office in Lilongwe. We were briefed in turn by Ronald, the HFHI Africa, Middle East & Europe Coordinator, Amos, the president of Habitat Malawi and Kelvin the XXXXX. We learned about the need in this part of the world and how Habitat, alongside its partners, are tackling the challenge. Malawi is one of the poorest nations in Africa. Sustenance agriculture is the primary industry. 80% of the population lives in substandard housing, 69% of the population lives in slums. There are 1.4 million orphaned children in Malawi. ... read more
The Old Well
Waiting with Mom for Water

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe September 13th 2015

Sunday 13th September I spent the weekend at Mabuya camp in Lilongwe. I needed to do some shopping and I wanted to be nearer civilisation. Yesterday morning, shopping done, with a heavy rucksack and two bags I set off for the local hotel, where I could get a drink and get a taxi back to camp. This hotel, the Kiboko, is one I have had a drink at every time I've been to the shopping centre: in 2012, 2014, and about four times this year. It's about 300 yards from the shopping centre, admittedly round two corners, but still very local. There I was, carrying 10 litres of water, saucepan, vacuum flask and general provisions, feeling the way one does when one has spent half the night in the loo, and couldn't find the hotel. I ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe September 13th 2015

Why is it when I have an early morning flight I don't sleep well, or at all, the night before? The alarm chimed at 5 am after only 2 hours of sleep. (Bonus- while I was awake I did get to watch the final episode of Breaking Bad). We headed to the airport at 6 am. Kevin, Habitat Wake's CEO and my traveling companion for this trip, met at RDU. Despite the early hour, we were cheerful and excited. Our itinerary: Raleigh - New York- Johannesburg, South Africa - Lilongwe, Malawi. Estimated travel time - 25 hours. Long, but we were prepared. Minor delays on our flight to JFK continued to build. 'Luckily', we were able to get on a different flight so we could make our tight connection in NY. After a hold on the ... read more
My first African wildlife
Prohibited items?!?!?!

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe September 11th 2015

Four days spent at Cool Runnings was a peaceful oasis in a busy and chaotic fishing village. Apart from snoozing on comfy loungers, or wallowing in the shallows of the lake to cool off, there wasn't a lot to do there. We went for a long walk down the beach, passing children playing, and mothers doing their washing, though I was heartened to see several young men washing their clothes too. There was a small hotel further down the beach and we went in there for lunch. It took an hour to come, and it was only cole slaw and chips. It took them 10 minutes to decide which of the soups used fresh ingredients, and 20 minutes to devide there was no soup available at all. And the chips were flabby, which is quite a ... read more

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