Thursday, February 16, 2012

“Nthawi yobwerera yakwana”

“The time to return has come”

Zambia, our neighbor to the west, and cultural look-a-like, has won the Africa cup of nations. Huzzah! Zambia, we are celebrating with you!
I was walking to work this morning (walking and not bicycling because its too hot to wear pants and I flash people when I ride a bike while wearing a short skirt…flashback to flashing the village headman in Mulanje way back when) when my neighbor pulled up in his mini bus and gave me a ride to work. It was nice.

In other news, Peace Corps is rolling through town today, I’m trying to decide if I’m going to send them up with my bicycle or not. I have a few hours to decide.
As of now my office mate and former landlady is playing the same song over and over again as I take a picture of my fanta bottle (fanta passion is delicious! It tastes like passion fruit). She’s complaining that I haven’t taken a picture of her so I won’t be able to show everyone in America what she looks like. She’s not a good person but I feel for her because her husband cheats on her. Ok, I just took a picture of her…and of everything else. Diana keeps complaining about how I don’t take enough pictures.

I know I’ve been here too long as I just spoke this sentence after someone in the office offered to make me tea:

“Eyai, Sindimakhonda tea upanda mkaka” or “No thanks, I don’t like tea without milk”

Good news! I finally bought the cement to fix my well yesterday!

Seven bags of cement. Large stones and river sand have already been collected. The driver who was with me whined so much about having to do physical labor (because when it came time to load the bags into my house the only people around were my 84 year old and 21 but pregnant with malaria neighbors….not much help) that I ended up buying him beer once we got back to the office. Either way, it’s here, it’s safe in my house, and its going to help a lot. Once people started to find out that the cement actually arrived, they started coming back to my house telling me any number of the following:

“Mulungu akudalitse” or “God bless you”

“Mulungu akupatse nzeru” or “May God give you intelligence”

Ect. Ect. Ect. You get the picture; needless to say, they were grateful. This is the first time I’ve done a project and been thanked for it. I don’t know how to handle it. At any rate, the cement is here, not we just have to actually do the project….we’ll see when it gets done. Just call me the community mobilizer! I will organize this project so hard people won’t know what hit them.

Then my neighbor lady (the old one, not the pregnant one) woke me up this morning banging on the door. I thought there was a problem so I rushed out to the door. She was begging body lotion because her skin was dry…..not a fun way to wake up.

I saw this sign in Blantyre..evidently they have a problem with people rushing up and down the completely open staircase.

"Chigumu" which is cake made with maize flour and banana's (which sounds much more delicious than it is as it is dry and gritty even freshely baked. They bake them in cut off sweet and condenced milk tins.


Cement. BIGGEST THANKS EVER to Dave and Irma!

When I talk about soya pieces, this is what they look like.

The 99 kwacha shop.

This is the old lady who lives next to me. She's Zulu, from Johannesburg but came to Malawi in 1964 by train to be married. She never went back home to South Africa even though her husband passed away in the 1980's because the chiefs asked her to stay. She has no contact with any of her family. She's the one who woke me up wanting lotion. I don't know her name, everyone just calls her "Agogo" which means "Grandmother". She's hilarious. She sweeps my backyard every day to keep me safe from snakes. When I told her not to sweep, I want grass to come and I'm not affraid of snakes, she said that she needs the exercise so that she doesn't walk like an old lady... My landlady is Agogo's only surviving child of four daughters.

Agogo sits on her porch all day long. She tells me that she's my "moronda" or "gaurd".

My neighbor, Davy, brought a picture of himself for me to take a picture of so everyone back home could know what he looks like when he's all dressed up. He wants me to take another picture of him on Sunday when he's wearing his Sunday best.

This is what Africa does to headphones. I just got these in September. It has to be at least my 6th set since I've been here. I hope these last a couple more months.

Eggplant (Mabilingano)! I eat this more than i will admit.

This is my old landlady, and current office-mate, Mrs. Shawa. She's the mean one.

Co-workers co-workers co-workers!

Another co-worker...he's an accountant.

The market across the street from my office.

The market across the street from my office.

This is the UNDP car that the District Commissioner rolls around in. Thanks United Nations for donating cars to the people who can already afford them!

More co-workers

This is them posing for the camera. People here don't normally smile for pictures...

Some of my co-workers.

Working hard, or hardly working?

Some of my co-workers cracking themselves up over something.

Fanta Passion is DELICOUS!

This is the game called snake on my phone. It looks like this. I had to stop playing because I kept having dreams that snakes were chasing me. My top score is REALLY high though.

Sometimes I do this...I'm getting better. In this game, when you win, the cards bounce in VICTORY!

Termites like books too...

Thanks for reading!