Monday, October 4, 2010


I'm in Blantyre. I refused to pay for a bus and cars were not jumping at the chance to give me a ride so it looks like I'm crashing here for tonight (staying the night here is still cheaper than paying for bus fare all the way to Blantyre hence, the hitchhiking). I realize this means nothing to you, reader, but I just don't like to pay for things....ask my family for verification. Anyway, I left Lilongwe early this morning (but 2 hours after I normally leave....about 5:30) . I walked from Mufasa's where I slept to the bus depot. I sat and waiting on a minibus (because they don't leave until they're full) for a couple hours (I had a lot of luggage with me because I've been gone for the last couple of weeks, so I didn't want to walk out of town). Anyway, the bus finally headed out and dropped me right outside of town where I waiting for another couple hours until finally the police took me about 2 hours outside of Blantyre. I was tired and wanted to rest, and ditch the obligation to have a conversation, so I told them I didn't speak chichewa and spent the rest of the 4 hour car ride eaves dropping on a conversation the driver and other passenger didn't think I understood. That was exciting...and educational. That ride dropped me off a couple hours outside of Blantyre where I waited for another couple hours for a ride the rest of the way (still optimistic at this point about reaching Mulanje before dusk). A nice car driven by two Ethiopian men picked me up and took me all the way into town. By the time I was dropped off in Blantyre and thinking about my next move toward my house, I realized that I didn't have time to get home before dark, and didn't want the extra stress of traveling close to dusk by myself, so I headed to a hostel where I will spend the rest of the night before I finally head back to my house in the morning....for free, hopefully.
I'm here tonight, at my house tomorrow night, Wednesday, hopefully, I have a contractor coming to my primary school in my village to give me a price for drilling a bore hole there, then Wednesday night at my house, Thursday I'm back in Blantyre meeting a friend, and Friday, off to Liwonde for the game count. I'll take pictures. After the game count is over I'm looking forward to getting some work done in my village, and not leaving until its time to come back to Lilongwe for thanksgiving at Peace Corps country director's house. For now, at least, I'm tired of wandering around...luckily its going to be awesome, but short lived and I'll have a couple months to get sick of being stagnant again. It's really a great life I'm living. I love it.
I don't really have much of anything to say but I splurged and payed for an hour of internet (instead of my typical 30 minutes) and now have so much time.
Birthday shout out (wow, I can't spell or speak anymore...Diana, you're that right? It looks funny to me. Then again, I ALWAYS have trouble with the word garage) to Meredith and Kristen!!
People are speaking german around me.
So many people are switching off Mephloquine (my anti-malarial medication) because it has altered their personalities and made them crazy-ish that not I'm starting to be paranoid that I'm going crazy. Am I? Its all in my head.
Projects: I need to do some grant writing (I finally learned how...mostly). I want to get an oil press for a group in my village to starting pressing oil as an income generation activity. I want them to tie it to some sort of micro-finance organization for start up capitol and longevity purposes but I haven't quite worked out all the kinks in my head. We'll see how that turns out. I also am in the process, as many of you know, of writing a grant for a bore hole, but before I can finalize all the details I need a price, for budgeting purposes, obviously. The problem, and hold up, with that is the contractor. I have the contact information for a few different contractors, so I can price around. The issue, however, is getting them to show up. Before they will commit, or even suggest a price, they suggest a site-visit to investigate things like the water table, and the surrounding area. Its hard to get them to actually show up. Anyway, as previously mentioned, I have a meeting with a contractor on Wednesday, we'll see if he actually shows up, I'm not holding my breath.
Also, I want to do some work with perma-culture. During In service training, we had the opportunity to go to a couple's house who used to be peace corps volunteers and not live a bit outside of Lilongwe doing work with perma-culture, mostly as it relates to food security on the village level. Interesting. The point of all this rambling (and these are not even a nugget of all the ideas flying around me head, which is the entire point of IST) is that I have come back from IST engergized, revitalized, and excited to do some projects in my area.
I need to remember to buy candles before I get into my village, I forgot that I ran out of them and didn't buy anymore (I had some minor budgeting issues at the end of the last pay period).
Lastly, I have been hearing through the grapevine that some of you want to visit me (those of you who know me well, not those of you who just internet-stock, that's weird). I don't know what is stopping you. Send me an email: I'd be happy to give you the low down on what awesome things there are to do in Malawi, why you should visit me, what you should bring, any logistical things, and how easily it would be to come here, even alone. Malawi is Africa for beginners. Also, I know my way around now....mostly. The point is, if you have a bit of money saved up (you know, for a plane ticket and stuff) and you've always, or even just recently, wanted to visit Africa, now is your chance. I have a guest room, and my door is always open to friends....especially friends who bring chocolate.

The hot season is here, however, its warm.

Ok, that's all for now (probably for a long while, that shouldn't surprise you). I'll try to think of something cooler to say next time other than just rambling about this and that....

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You kind of sound like me trying to get stuff started in my school. Except I don't have to find out how much it costs to drill a hole. I will come visit you. I have given my kids a geo lesson because they can't tell AFrica from North America so I am having them do fill out world atlases and I always make sure to point out Malawi and it's capital which no one can pronounce.