Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fruit and fruitcakes? (OK that was cheesy)

Buying fruit and other produce is always cheaper and fresher in the villages than in town so we often stop on the way home.

There are a few markets that feature obnoxiously aggressive people. There is one market, N’Cando market (I call it creepy market), where we always get harassed.

One time a crazy person followed Lacy around yelling “OBAMA….OBAMA…OBAMA” for 10 straight minutes.

Another time a guy helped me carry some bottles so I said zikomo (thank you) and he went crazy talking in Chichewa. Apparently he was saying that I spoke Chichewa (any tourist with a pulse knows how to say zikomo so I’m not entirely sure where he got that impression) and that he wanted to know how old I was because he wanted to marry me. “I hope she’s my age!” he kept repeating (to the endless amusement of the nurses and drivers).

And last time, Lacey was helping me pour my water bottle over my hands to get them clean after clinic. A guy rushes up, thrusts his hands into the stream of water under my hands and starts yelling “yah! yah!” It was like we were washing our hands together and somehow he made it incredibly uncomfortable. Creepy but hysterical.

But N’Cando is the exception rather than the rule. Most markets are less, er, eventful and buying produce is usually pleasant and can even be fun. There is a market where the women know me and rush the car as soon as I arrive in an attempt to be the first to sell their wares. Last time we went they were all yelling “we are so proud of you” for some reason. I also particularly like them because they always give me a “prize” when I buy something. It's just an extra scoop or another eggplant etc but it makes me feel like I won something! Way better than, say, "extra eggplant" or "buy 13 for the price of 12!" I won!

Another fun Market is in Mulanje district on our way home for Muloza where we usually get pineapples, avocados (they call them pears) and the nurses and drivers get cassava.

There is a woman there who sells amazing pineapples for 50 kwacha (about 33 cents). She will cut them for you right there if you want and always helps me tie up my purchases in my chitenje.
I call her "zanga" (friend) and if by friend you mean someone who enjoys taking your money, then we are BFFers.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sports in Malawi

Football is incredibly popular in Malawi. Most people can't afford a real soccer ball so they take trash (mostly old plastic bags which are called jumbos) and roll them up, bind them with string and- voila- you have a jumbo ball like the one above.

Another popular game in Malawi is this one. Truth be told, I have no freakin clue how to play this game. I was told it was called net ball but again, I can neither confirm nor deny the validity of this claim. I have seen kids using corn husks to throw through the hoop but I'm pretty sure thats not how its normally played.

Anyway, as you can see from the picture, one of the reasons that I'm having trouble figuring out how this game is played is that I can't get close enough to watch it. White girl watching/chasing/asking for money is wayyyyyy more fun than net/cornhusk ball. So mostly all I see are the hoops and lots of kids running toward me. Who knows, maybe that's exactly how its played: throw some innanimate objects through the hoop and bide your time until you see a white person.

Too summarize: alls I know is that there are two (OK sometimes only 1) small metal hoops on a stick and that something is thrown through them at some point in time. You're welcome for that incredible vivid and precise description of this sport. Dontcha feel like you're in Malawi with me??

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Perfect Sunday

Another older post:

I had the most perfect day on Sunday. We went up to Zomba plateau and went horseback riding. I was a total nay-sayer- we'll never find this place, it won't exist any more, it won't be open, the horses will really be donkeys. Etc etc. you can see by the pictures that I randomly placed in the middle of this post, we did find it and we took the most unbelievable ride up through the brush in the plateau. My horse, a chestnut mare named Orchid was very high spirited but we got along great. I even got to school her in the ring when we were done and trotted/cantered without stirrups for a good bit. The sun was shining, I was on a horse, I knew I had Monday off and life was good. We bought veggies from the roadside market on the way home and had cucumbers/tomatoes with balsamic vinegar for dinner and frozen mango for dessert. Perfection.

My life be like...

Here are some pictures from my day to day life in Malawi:

Mixing antibiotics at clinic
Child labor: playing with the kids who live on Kabulla with us. Note my sweet Chacos. Yah, I've become someone who would wear Chacos in public.

Back of the car at the end of the day

Hiking at Mulanje part 2