Thursday, June 30, 2011

My luck is changing, hopefully for good

So, I have been running around for a while now trying to get a new house and figure out my work situation (minus a detour to Lilongwe to say goodbye to a friend and ex-fellow Mufasa's resident who is returning back to the states). Yesterday I was on my way to the peace corps volunteer's house where all my stuff is to get things for my upcoming vacation. I was on my way and flagging down cars to give me a ride, when who stopped? Unicef (they're not aloud to pick up extra passengers)! Before I could even start talking, the driver, Allen, told me that he knows I'm Amy and that I'm working with WASH under Unicef and that he is supposed to take me around to get all of my stuff. "This is your car," he says. NDINADABWA (I was surprised)!! I stopped to see some people in the boma (because he was headed there to try to call me) where I cought up with some people. I went and found the Unicef people, turns out before I was talking to Undp. The Unicef people and I spoke about my current housing situation, and told them I am there volunteer and that they should tell me what they want me to do, I'm at their service, and they said they're going to find me a house in the boma (maybe with electricity) because I might be more useful there, but though the project I'm supposed to be working on has no funding, they have lots of other projects they would love my help with. Things are turning around. So here I am, a lonesome hobo finding a home again....maybe.

Last week I met a couple in the Chiradzulu boma from the UK, we were talking and I explained a bit about my situation and they asked me, "You don't have a blog do you?" Small world.

Today, I'm waiting for Bri (who is having a horrible time hitching to Blantyre), then we're headed up to Lilongwe for the night. Tomorrow, Mzuzu. Sunday, Nkhata Bay. From there we'll hike Rowarwe, where I have never been but I hear wonders about. After we're done hiking in, we'll stay three days in paradise, then take a ferry, the ilala, back to Nkhata bay. From there, we'll visit a friend's house, then back to Nhata Bay to say goodbye to one of the awesomest PCV's to ever live. Then its back home for the both of us. Two week vacation, here I come! I'm glad I'm leaving on a good note, I'll hurry home. here's a link to a travel blog about ruwarwe. That's where I'm going. I'll take lots of pictures. I promise this time.

That's about all I have now except for a big congratulations to my cousin Matt who is recently engaged! We love you!

Hope everything's good in the land of plenty! Over here, things are looking up; however, in the mean time, Chuck and I are still separated.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Manyuma, yamavuta, Ntchitoso.

"Houses are trouble, jobs also."


I realize this is beginning to sound like the never ending story of my misplacement but it continues. I got down to my new site only to find that my house was not done being built. It was finished soon enough, however all of my stuff is still a 3 hour bike ride away at another volunteers house. It looks like it might stay there for some time also, as there is a country-wide fuel shortage, and me having something to cook on and sleep on isn't important enough for the district assembly to use there precious reserves on moving me around (understandable, yet frustrating).

The house was finished after a couple of days so I've been there. The house, as small as it is (I wanted to post pictures but the computer I'm on isn't recognizing the camera so you're going to have to wait), its fine. The problem is my extremely wealthy and even more so overbearing and clingy land lady who is horrible to her hired help and inhibiting my ability to integrate into the community because people are scared of her and what she can do when she throws her money around. I'm looking for another house, one that is not on a family compound, with more space, my own toilet, and a kitchen. Not too much to ask for, me thinks. Finding a house is seeming to consume all my time since my landlady is making it difficult, she doesn't want her Chichewa, Chilomwe-speaking monkey to leave her house, it gives her a step up over the rest of the community. So that's that, I'm house-hunting.


When I arrived in the BOMA for work, the first thing I did was meet with the District Commissioner to introduce myself and and figure out what my work situation is. She said that the project I was supposed to be working on is idol and has been for six months now for lack of funding. They offered to give me busy work to occupy myself, which I quickly refused. So, here I am, with 8 months left of my service and no job to do but starting over in a new community, finding projects for myself to do. Here we go. We'll see what happens.

On the bright side, I still love Malawi, I'm just a bit more excited to finish my contract than I was before.


One last update. For those of you who have been following me and waiting for the borehole project to come through, it won't. It has been canceled. The Peace Corps office took so long to process my grant (about 9 months after all was said and done, and still not quite finished), that people in the community (the primary and secondary school committees) thought the village development committee, along with myself, stole the money that was raised for the community contribution (about 90,000 Malawian Kwacha = about 600 USD). They asked for the money back and for the grant to be canceled, despite my best efforts to advise them otherwise. They said they would prefer to take the money the school children had raised and do a smaller scale, less reliable, but much cheaper piping system, rather than a full-fledged borehole. That is that.

Oh Murphy, I am your sister.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ndapeze nyumba, kawiri!

"I found a house, again!"

Last week I went down to chiradzulu to look at houses that had already been scouted out. They were declined by the safety and security department of our office because of the amount of people in one compound and the toilet situation (shared..not cool by peace corps). Anyway, since that insident, I've been back in Lilongwe in meetings about what we are to do about my homelessness. Success! Monday I leave for Chiradzulu (right outside of Blantyre) where I'll be living in a guest house on a family compound. I'll take pictures as soon as possible and see if I can manage to get them online, or anywhere, really.

While I was down in the southern region, I got to stop by my old village. I saw a good friend's daugher in the distrcit hostpital, she's receiving TB medication and doing well.

Last weekend I went to the lake. It was wonderful.

Anyway, I'm here in Lilongwe until Monday morning when I head down south.