Friday, December 16, 2011


Yes, yes its been a while since I updated last. A few weeks ago I updated, a long update too, with pictures and humor an everything that is nice and sweet in the world. It didn't work. Right before published, the black cloud of ESCOM (Electric company in malawi) kicked me with a blackout. Lost. Anyway, you're not here to listen to my sob story. You're here for the pictures, maybe, or you just want to know what I've been up to. The answer: a lot.
Lets go way back to October.
The last week of October, I headed north. I got on a bus in Blantyre at 1:30pm. The bus broke down 3 times, the last time resulting in a bus change. Due to my position on the bus (the back) I lost my seat after the swap and then had to stand for the next 6 hours. I normally would complain about the standing (ok, maybe I did a bit at the time), but if I wasn't standing I would have been sleeping and if I had been asleep I would have missed getting to watch the sunrise over Nkhata Bay, which was one of the most beautiful scenes I have yet to see in Malawi thus far.
Life here is all about small victories. Its the only way we survive with (most of) our sanity.
I got off the bus at 6am in Mzuzu where I immediately got on a minibus (because the direct big bus filled up and left while I was peeing out sixteen and a half hours of pee. I took a mini bus to Karonga where I got on top of a Matola (a giant Lollie) which also broke down 4 times which made the 3 hour trip last almost 7. I pulled into Chitipa (the farthest north district in Malawi on the borders of Zambia and Tanzania). I stayed there for under 24 hours for a Halloween party then headed back south. I haven't decided if it was worth it or not. As future Amy. On the way back south I was traveling with friends and we skipped down over 3 days, stopping at my friend Sol's site on the way to Lilongwe for the Peace Corps/USAID 50th Anniversary party.
Hitching down to Lilongwe was interesting. There was a mass exodus of Peace Corps Volunteers as everyone was headed into the capitol for the celebration. The party was fine. Important speakers, muckity mucks, good food, open bar, good friends, what's not to like?
After spending a couple days in Lilongwe for the festivities, me and some other volunteers headed down to Liwonde National Park for the second half of the game count (transect walks) for our last battle with Jurassic Park. The transect walks went smoothly, with the exception of the fact that we didn't realize until we walked the width of the park in a straight line that you can't build a road on a river (and Malawi's not good with bridges) so we had to walk all the way back to where we started for transport back to camp. We didn't ration water adequately for both ways. It was a long, hot day.
On the last day in the park, we had to leave earlier than we planned to leave because the rains started and once they fall, the roads are impassable. The park wanted us to stay. We wanted to leave. There was pushing and pulling and mud everywhere and eventually a tractor. 4 hours later, we were free. A few hours after that we were back in civilizationish.
After freeing myself from the bonds of Liwonde national park for the final time in my service I went back to site. I was in Chiradzulu for about a week doing different things, working with youth clubs, writing proposals, planning for world aids day, then I was back up in Lilongwe for the GRE. I have little to say about the GRE except that we got to keep our calculators. That was neat.
After th GRE I was back at site for a bit. World Aids Day came and went. We through a celebration in one of the villages in my district. It was great.

Thanksgiving. Bri and Jeremy and I were in Blantyre hanging out. We watched a movie, Columbiana in the movie theater.

Bri and I climbed Mt. Mulanje with he wildlife club at the primary school in her village. Us and 35kids, the headmaster, and one teacher. That was tiring. When we got to the top, the kids went and collected a bunch of plastic and made a soccer ball so they could play because they weren't tired. I will never have children. Is that normal? Mountains not being tiring? I'm confused.

The next week I went to help do work for an under nutrition study. I was mostly translating and entertaining women (like the chichewa talking monkey I am), it was fun. We got to stay at an Italian Mission so I had delicious food, showers, electricity, it was fantastic.
I got back from helping there 2 days ago and then left early this morning for Lilongwe because my vacation starts tomorrow! I'm going to an island. I'll take pictures.
In the mean time my time has been going quickly writing grad school applications, getting together recommenders, ect. I'm surprised to realize that I only have 4 months left in Malawi. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. What can I say, you're all up to speed. Enjoy the pictures.

This is the view from the top of the hill, just feet down the road is where I work. Way in the distance off to the right behind the hill a faded bump. That's Mt. Mulanje. At least my site is still pretty.

This is how you know its 10:30.

The MSF (doctors without borders) people playing a game on world Aids Day.

Mt. Mulanje.

Mt. Mulanje

Chambe peak on Mulanje.

Wildlife club on top of Mulanje

This is the cabin we all stayed in.

Carlesburg brewery tour (That's what I did for Thanksgiving).

My neighbor, Hendrina, who breaks into my house and mops, frequently. This is where my water comes from.

Transect walks inside Jurassic Park.

Transect walk...before we knew we had to go back to the beginning.

Jeremy making coals out of ebony so we can cook our chicken on endangered woods.

A PCV gutting the chicken.

Bri cuddling a chameleon on the lakeside. Classic Bri.

Chitipa Halloween. We went as Wayne and Garth.

I forget what kind of animal this is.

These too, its really bugging me. Can someone remind me?

This is a tent. This is where we slept inside the national park during the game count. Those tents in the background had to move because the elephants kept wanting to chat.


  1. Finally! Very nice post Amy! Love you. mom

  2. Nice update Amy. I think those animals were.. uh. well have a great day.
    Love Dad