Thursday, February 11, 2010

A good couple of days

So it has been a good couple of days. Nothing of note in particular but I feel like I have a smile on my face which is a great feeling.
Some shots of Ntonya

-Yesterday Lacey and I were at Ntonya a site at a "health clinic outpost" (which means a building with a roof and nothing else) at a school. I really like Ntonya: the kids there are curious but not obnoxious and we get a roof over our heads which goes a long way in the dirty-hot heat of Malawi. Today Gus and I went to a brand new site: Namasalima. We didn't know whether to expect 2 kids or 2,000 so we packed a lot. When we rolled up, though, there were about 4 moms. Luckily, they just kept rolling in and we got some highly respectable numbers.

Highlights from the past two days:

Nesta+Kwinje=Best car ride ever

-The dynamic between our driver, who we call the 'kwinje (his last name is Makwinja) and Nesta, one of our oldest and our most hysterical nurse. They tease each other like siblings and they get everyone in the car laughing so hard that we are almost crying. Half of it is in Chichewa and sometimes a little bit of English but it's always hilarious. Nesta calls him "Mr. So and So" and was teasing him that he had a "hyenia" (a Malawian word for mistress). I'm well aware that you "had to be there" to think any of this is remotely funny but hey, I was there and if you weren't then maybe you should have taken me up on my offer to host you? Katie? Mike D? All of 444? Reebs? Everyone else in the world? In sum: if you don't find me hilarious- it's your fault.

-The 'kwidje lent me some CDs with music that he thought I'd like. The first 2 were Lucky Dube- a South African reggae artist and the last was a mix with Chris Brown, Akon, TPain etc. How I love the 'kwinje. After I took his picture I let him take a picture and showed him some pictures stored on my camera which delighted him. I let him take a picture and he remarked "the pictures are so small!" referring, I think, to my LCD screen. Loveeeeeee him.

-At Ntonya school (like every government school in Malawi I think) they serve Likuni Pala to the kids for lunch. It's like a thin porridge. The kids are always clowning around with us and offering us exaggerated spoonfuls (or handfuls for those who don't have spoons) so Lacey and I took one kid up on his offer and tried some. It mostly tasted burnt but it wasn't half bad. I'm really giving my intestines a workout, huh? Also, what circle of Hades is reserved for those who eat some food from a chronically undernourished child? He didn't seem to mind though and judging from the delighted reactions of his classmates- he was the coolest kid in school for a good 15 seconds. And I think we all know that despite what Adam Sandler says, giving porridge to white people is way cooler than enuresis.

-It was Eleanor's (another of our nurses) birthday and she brought us some leftover cake. Nothing to brighten my day like a serious hit to my glycemic index.

-Beautiful cloud last night illuminated by the setting sun. We lost power again for awhile but its not that big a deal here because we don't use electricity that much. Just another excuse to watch the sun set and finish my 5th book.

-Had to move rooms because we have a new person: Jackie, a marketing executive from San Fran, who likes to take time off to work for non profits. She seems really cool thus far even if I had to give up my "single" for her. Plus she has an awesome name.

-We had ladies night last night. Imagine for a second three ladies in fashionable dresses sipping cocktails at a swank bar. Now erase that image- this is Malawi, people! Instead imagine three girls crowded around a laptop watching Sex and the City. Surrounded by Simba chips, Chock-kits and Cadbury. Much better. Pretty much the happiest night of my life. Again- glycemic index might be a good way to track elation.

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