Blogs from Blantyre, Southern, Malawi, Africa - page 3


Africa » Malawi » Southern » Blantyre December 19th 2009

Imparting First Aid skills to the youth of Malawi One of my main focuses while working with St John Ambulance in Malawi, is working with Fred Demster on the First Aid for Schools program. Started in 2007, it was set up when it was realised the shocking lack of basic First Aid skills in the general population, in an effort to improve this schools and school children were targeted, and over the past 3 years training has been taking place. The 12 hour course, over 2 or 3 days (though this is flexible to suit the schools needs), focuses on basic first aid skills such as casualty management, cardiovascular disorders and bone and joint injuries. In the past several schools have been visited, mostly in the Bangwe area of Blantyre, though a couple of others as ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Blantyre December 12th 2009

‘The municipal pipe bursts, silver crashes to the ground’ Blessing. As I’m writing this (though I may not be posting it for a few weeks) there is loud thunder every few minutes, great rolling crashes of sound that echo around, and a definite, wonderful smell of warmth and moisture in the air (one of my two favourite smells, the other being the smell of warm evenings, just as the sun drops below the horizon and every things cooling off). For the last few days it has been almost unbearably hot and humid (making me feel permanently warm and sleepy), sunny in the mornings and some afternoons cooled by short, heavy, showers from the heavy grey and black clouds overhead. Big drops of rain are pattering and pounding onto the roof (oddly reminisant of camping holidays). These ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Blantyre December 5th 2009

Almost thirty years ago a report was published by the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about patients dying from ordinarily non-lethal diseases because of a mysterious suppression of the immune system. First noted in homosexual men and then later in injection drug users, blood transfusion patients, haemophiliacs, heterosexuals and newborns, in 1982 the term Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was coined. Many theories about its cause were around in the early 80’s but in 1984 a virus was identified as the causal factor. First called ‘human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV III) and Lymphadenopathy Associated Virus (LAV) it wasn’t until 1986 the name settled on what we know today; Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). We now think that the virus originated in ‘Pan Troglodytes’ a species of chimpanzee and was transferred to humans via ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Blantyre November 7th 2009

I think I’m reaching a point now where I can get around pretty much independently, which is good lets me get out and not stay cooped up in the office or at home. At work I often go out with Fred during the day, to visit the businesses or schools we’re working with. We travel in the minibuses (also how I get around on my own) that provide good coverage for most places (all round Blantyre, but also to Zomba, Mangoshi and the Mozambique border), these are tiny little Toyota HiAces, 11 seater cabs, sitting 3 or 4 abreast, of somewhat dubious safety (no seatbelts, smashed windscreens, big dents down the side). They cost MK 50 (20p), to get anywhere, this is good when travelling from Blantyre city centre to Limbe in one trip, but somewhat ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Blantyre October 14th 2009

I arrived in Malawi on Thursday, after only 15 or 16 hours of travelling... The flight was OK but came with the usual problems (Small seats, bad food, TV not working) but this was more than made up for in the flight from Nairobi to Lilongwe where the plane was very empty and so I was able to have 3 seats to myself, and have a proper sleep for a few hours rather than dose off wondering if I was going to fall on the guy on one side and the spectacular views of Kenya’s mountains out of the window. I also got talking to some of the guy’s around me, Peter who is going to the ‘Lake of Lights’ music festival up in the north by, yes, the lake and John who is going to ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Blantyre August 11th 2009

The Lilongwe-Blantyre run is clearly the flagship bus route in all of Africa, as I pay $20 for a journey that's not even 4.5 hours - more noteworthy and incongruous is that the bus has AC and a toilet. For free, we get views of various inselbergs rising out of the green countryside. The landscape here really doesn't end with Lake Malawi. Blantyre is as lacking in cheap accommodation as Lilongwe, and I gravitate to the only place anyone ever mentions - Doogles. The staff are unfriendly and the rooms are poor value for money, but its proximity to the bus station is a powerful attraction. My first trot around the city centre reveals it to be grotty and overrun with beggars. I am approached by a Congolese man offering me precious stones - just the ... read more
Saint Michael and All Angels Church
View from the bus from Lilongwe

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Blantyre February 2nd 2009

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Blantyre February 2nd 2009

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Blantyre January 31st 2009

This month has been very SLOW. I guess looking at the pictures it appears that I have done a lot, but I feel like I have not. The students were supposed to arrive back to school January 5th. Unfortunately they have not yet returned. I do not want to get into too much detail right now because I think that things have become political with the elections coming up in a few months…but it all has to do with the student’s school fees. Anyway, the school year ends before the first week in April in all of the Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) nursing schools. The first year students were my priority because they were scheduled to have 6 weeks of theory lectures, and a week to study before taking their end of year exams ... read more
Killing chickens...
Falice and Me with Chicken
Falice and Me and the plucking...

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