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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Congratulations Malawi

As we anticipate the Netball team's trip to England for three games against the English netball team...I'd like to join all the Flames' supporters in congratulating the Flames for their 3-1 victory over Namibia. Way to go team! I knew the sun would shine again one day and hey, BIG UP Constantine! I go against convention and side with the coach, why, because given the hard choice between complacency and drama, I'll go with drama anytime.

Friday, March 28, 2008

T-Shirts anyone? Have some nsima widat.


I am excited at the sight of the plethora of Malawi T-Shirts. Of particular interest to me are the modern ones with words like "Nyatwa"or"kawawa" emblazoned across the chest. I'm not decided on the "Nyau Unit" yet because that's a different religions' depiction kinda like a Spego wearing a t-shirt with "Nyabhingi" emblazoned across it...anyway, big up to all those giving us something fresh to wear. Me likey! Just to be random, anyone out there missing some good nsima?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A No Show

Ok, so Kci and brother did not show up here. Oh, well, the world is round (Local Proverb) the next Malawian who ends up meeting them somewhere will give them some wisdom...

Kci and JoJo to perform in Malawi today

It would seem that Malawi is about enjoy a grand performance from a group from yester-year. I will reserve comments, opinions, etc until I see that Limo stroll down this street. With bated breath I'll await reporting to you the biggest act from the US's arrival in Malawi. Hush! Don't ask about she we do not speak of, she came to adopt not to perform....angithi we can't afford to watch her perform (now I'm gossiping) oops! sorry.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Documentary on Malawi's Medical Brain Drain

Check out this YouTube link, copy and paste it in your browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME-ICeVKukA

Mr. Zomba Nice Guy, on Jack Brendon, etc

So yesterday who do I run into, none other than the veritable Mr. Zomba Nice Guy himself. I hold on to the firm belief that what happened in 2007 in this dainty heart remains in 2007 so I didn't make a fool of myself and coerce myself to invite him for tea. You shall recall in an earlier blog that I quite fancied this individual but in the New Millenium it's never a good idea to woo a gentleman. Good-old tradition demands that men do the wooing, the life-time guarantee is certain that way.

On Jack Brendon, the author of "Mr. Burpington Presides", oh, how wonderful that he wrote his comical take on pre-colonial South-East Africa at times when the print houses allowed such material through their print houses. British governors who needed the country-side dotted with port-a-potties, "Native Affairs Officers" who knew everything, laws of equity, "tribesmen" peering at an ADC in Scottish garb supposing he's the Queen, what with that fancy kilt, and "picannins", ....
I will say though, I am glad it's in the past though, the colonial times, it's fantastical to read about it in a comedy but all too often reminders are there that all wasn't funny. Still, "a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Book Recommendation

I will always recommend a particular book before any other so The Bible first always! Today I'd like to recommend a good balm for bruised social scientists, particularly those with an interest in Africa: "Mr. Burpington Presides" it's absolutely NOT politically correct but that's what we need, the truth where it hurts but causes us to fall over laughing at ourselves at the very same time. So if you're not touchy get a copy, if you want a synopsis...well, hit me up with an email....
L8as

Not Malawi O!

As I walked to work this morning a very funny memory came to me. I remember sitting in front of the computer in St. Elsewhere several years ago job hunting. I decided to look at a web page for a certain popular Non-Governmental Organization. It looked really good but they had the following applicant qualifications:
Only those from the West can apply and these countries include:(the usual were up there) plus Argentina and South Africa

I'm sure they have a reason for this, whatever it maybe, I don't particularly want to know it right now but I remember feeling sorry for myself at the time, "if only I was born a South African, I would at least be numbered among the Westerners and had a chance..." such a crazy thought looking back.

I think now, it's imperative for non-westerners and non-Argentinians and non-South Africans not to seek to be "in" but to offer the the world something fresh. We are completely different peoples and there's cause for concern when a bunch of us dump the skills, and unique opportunities, gifts and talents God gives us to want to be someone else. My reasoning is, if the West brought something new and dynamic to the rest of the world, for sure the rest of the World has something new and dynamic the West needs. So when I go West again, God-willing, I would love to be where I will be wanted as a Malawian, for the specific life resume that I have. Wher I can be a positive difference and not a wanna-be, (coz I suck at imitation , everyone does).

Friday, March 14, 2008

Stuff White People Like Blog, disclaimer

I've added the blog, "stuffwhitepeoplelike" on here not to poke fun at any race....I just added it because I think it makes fun reading for any socially conscious individual. So if you are going to pop over there for some reading, remember, "IT'S HEALTHY FOR US HUMAN BEINGS TO HAVE A GOOD LAUGH AT OURSELVES EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE!!"

Going to ZOMBA CITY






For everyone who didn't know this already, Zomba is now a City. That's right, from Capital City, demoted to municipality, now back to city status...since Sunday, March 9, 2008. Now Malawi has 4 cities, not bad. Granted, Zomba makes a pitiful sight to the outsider but everyone who's lived there more than 2 years can never live again permanently without it. I know a Briton, she's over 90, she had returned to England but couldn't stay...she has resettled in Zomba now.

I wonder where we'll put the skyscrapers in Zomba, it's quite hilly and so much space is already taken up by old style buildings but hey, who doesn't love a challenge. Z-town, Texas (the local name for Zomba), gotta love Zomba.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Vice Grip

The past few days I have just had this urge to be extra mean. Especially to certain people close to me. Last night I put my finger on it, it felt just like a vice-grip...this sudden urge to be mean. It's pride, the older I'm getting, the more I'm realizing I need people. Growing up the independent tom- boy type of girl, it just started catching up on me and I wasn't really prepared. Abeg, wisdom, where art thou? Is this the end of Thandi as we knew her? Guess I'm becoming an emotional softie...alas!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Ambivalence

Last week a certain aspect of my work rose to meet me in the face. Now, working in the semi-urban areas of Lilongwe where poverty is so apparent you slowly "get used" to the conditions. The good thing about that "getting used to" is you don't see the people as stats but as people just like you. They talk about rent, I talk about rent. They quarrel with their neighbors, well, I'd love to quarrel with mine but I don't actually know my neighbors, we share similar experiences on relationships, etc.

Now in the midst of all that I had shelved it at the back of my mind that we have a lot of sponsors for our projects who reside in the Western world. A bunch of them came to Malawi recently (my first personal encounter with sponsors since I started work here) and even though I know they are doing what's helpful, I ended up feeling pitiful as I identified with the people in the projects. The particular thing was the collection of pictures, I know these people in the pictures so personally that I am concerned at the pity their pictures will generate abroad. All they need is an extra hand and not pity. They don't need tears, they need a meeting table where ideas could be exchanged. Equal opportunity for input on things concerning their future.
What to do when there is need for empowerment for the poor and at the same time there are people out there with money to give to them to meet the needs they really have?

Wisdom where art thou?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ayeye

Ayeye
Ayeye means "big up!"
And today I say AYEYE to all the positive thinkers
AYEYE to the positive workers
Ayeye to fathers working alone in town to send money home
counting down the days to the next holiday so they can be home
Ayeye to mothers working in the corn field on their own
maybe this year there'll be enough in the barn

Ayeye to children in boarding school
half the things they see and hear, their folks will never know
Don't know if that's good or bad
maybe sad
but Ayeye for all the good

Ayeye for Pastors and praise teams
they are still there long after the pews have emptied out back into the world
of Sunday family lunches
But, Ayeye for Sunday family lunches,
they hold the family together

Ayeye for traffic officers
when it's not the last of the month
they keep me moving when the road's congested
and remind me not to do u-turns on public roads
sometimes I forget what public means
Ayeye for public
but Ayeye for private too

Ayeye one and all
positive thinkers
positive workers
Ayeye Ayeye!