Friday, November 12, 2010

The Hot season, the hungry season

Times are frustrating. Its hot, my neighbors are hungry, everyone is preparing their fields for when the rains come so everything seems to be moving in slow-motion. I've involved myself in a bunch of projects around the local area but they all seem to be held up by one thing or another. For the bore hole I'm waiting for the schools to collect the 25% community contribution and for Peace Corps to process paperwork. On the school feeding program, my contacts said they would come back and look after the borehole was in. On the greenbelt proposal (I guess I haven't explained this one. I am helping a man, who works for the tea research foundation in my area, write a proposal to plant a nitrogen-fixing creeping grass along the sides of the roads and rivers to prevent soil erosion, especially during the raining season), the proposal has been distributed, as of this week, to all the important nobodies (eg, district commissioner, agrocultural minister, murea NGO, EPM, Roads authority, police, Mulanje Conservation trust,tea estates, ect) and are waiting to hear back. Today, actually, on the proposal, some volunteers are putting together a test area where they're pulling up all the weeds that are currently slashed or burnt into submission every so often and preparing the soil for when rain comes so they can plant Mimosa Pintoi, the desired type of grass, donated by the tea estates....since it will actually benefit them most.


While I've become a lot more patient since coming to country, I'm tired of waiting. On the bright side, I've gotten back into making my way through the stacks of books at my house, I am going to paint my house...really, and am reconnecting with some of my friends in the village who complain that I'm never around anymore.

I've also found time to work with a women's group in my village who have been making peanut butter weekly and selling it for a profit so they can buy chickens and sell the eggs for even MORE profit, then put that money into a village savings and loan and make MORE profit...they've got Moxy. They told me it was MY duty to ride my bike to the boma today...when I asked why, they said I had to because they're all old women with kids and such and I'm just a girl....they also added "Njinga yako ili ngati ndege"..."or, your bike is like an airplane" I can't deny it. So here I am, in the boma. I didnt find the bottles, which means, I'm going to have to go to Limbuli today, which is another 15 Km each way, where I know they are.....stupid youth and awesome airplane-bike. Actually, I don't mind it. I like the ride. I might have to bike around when I go back to the states.

Speaking of waiting, I'm waiting on the time now. I'm waiting on my laptop and ipod to charge so I can listen to Jimi and watch episodes of Arrested Development even in my village (what a hard life I lead). I'm waiting for the lunch hour to be over so I can go to the education office about a favor I'm doing for a friend in my village (trying to get their son a transfer from private to secondary school so they can pay less school fees) and I'm waiting on the road authority minister to get back to the office so I can follow up on the previously mentioned proposal, because Maxwell, said man with whom I am writing the proposal, could only take 2 hours off of work today to follow up with the tea estates. I like this Maxwell man, today, he asked me what I think about trash pits so people don't liter, not something on the typical Malawians mind. He also said that his favorite musician is Kenny Rogers....he, like the women's group, has moxy.

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