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Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Doctrine of Hand-outs and Photo Shoots

The Buckaroo started this entry differently so if this sounds like an entry written by a bi-polar blogger, well, that's life....

I had the rare privilege, yesterday of seeing two players on the "African field" (if I may call it that). The diplomat, and the missionary. The difference was a matter of just a sentence. And dare I say, an attitude. The diplomat was visiting a support program for underprivileged children and he came bearing gifts, he said, “Let these gifts go to the students that have done well academically.” There were few gifts, but they were practical (... and of course they bore the emblem of his embassy). Now, see, that was my language. Isn’t that how life is? For the children there are the important things in life, like education, that should be encouraged with incentives.

The missionaries on the other hand had bags and bags of freebies: for example, sun glasses to be distributed to all them children. Now kids like such things indeed! It’s like candy because it feels good to have and is pleasant to the eye and one missionary said,
“oh! How cute!”
and took pictures (and as per whoever told them that these little ‘uns have never seen their own faces before - they took the pictures and made sure to show the kids on the digital camera screen (sorry all y’all mirror vendors in Kauma Market and minibus drivers with rear-view mirrors, your mirrors don’t exist, don’t even know why glass panes on windows or streams and rivers in Africa might not reflect their little faces, search me). Side note: one of them brought a polaroid camera just to make sure the little ‘uns would be sure to have their image somewhere! Wow, poor little ‘uns ! How much cuter do they need to look before people realize their life goes beyond the surface “needs” of receiving and receiving and posing for cute pix?

The Bible says blessed is the “GIVER” I wanna see you little ‘uns blessed too, as a giver one day. Heh heh, when you know what you look like, ahem…that was uncalled for nie?

....and then today I was put in that position of receiving. i got a beautiful bag which was full of goodies and a chance to pick clothes from a bunch that was being given out to the people at that same place mentioned above. It was movie-like, there I was, the veritable buckaroo who has qualms about hand-outs, photo shoots, and freebies happily selecting freebies in the form of a top, beach shorts, and cargo pants. and on my way back to where I'm typing this I was handed a gift of a the bag and the goodies inside. Agh! shame. someone shoot me! I AM PART OF THE PROBLEM!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fun at Kumbali Cultural Village

My only other visit to Kumbali was in the company of tourists and was very short but last night was super fun. I got the opportunity to rub shoulders with corporate Malawi and can I tell you, it's been years since I ate dinner served in cauldrons under the skies. The last time I did that I was 11, at Mafutseni ranch just outside of Manzini, Swaziland.

I have treasured that memory for so long and last night was so fab I feel like deleting that memory. I won't. It's good to experience the simple things of our African life amidst good and educative conversation. It was an IT conference and I hopped on with friends in the IT world. Didn't know much so I kept munching while everyone talked about cantennas and open access, etc.

What was in the cauldrons? ah, don't remind me...atcharred beef stew(I love Atchar, gots to get me some in Zomba, Atchar capital), stewed cabbage, beans, greens, steamed rice....aaaaahhh! you get the idea.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Farewell Mirriam Makeba

Sad news here in Africa today. Farewell Miriam Makeba

November 10, 2008, 10:00
Tributes continue to pour in for the late singer Miriam Makeba. Makeba (76) died of a heart attack after taking ill near the southern Italian town of Caserta. Musicians Yvonne Chaka-Chaka and Sipho Hotstix Mabuse say they will miss Makeba dearly.

Publicity manager Mark Lechat says: “She was a person who was larger than life. She meant so much to so many people. The space she filled is going be an empty one from now on. But as she always said that when one door closes another one opens and for that she was a woman of great stature who had an ability to take people on a journey of hope and resilience.”

South African Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa says: "Miriam Makeba - South Africa's goodwill ambassador - died performing what she did best - an ability to communicate a positive message through the art of singing.

"Throughout her life, Mama Makeba communicated a positive message to the world about the struggle of the people of South Africa and the certainty of victory over the dark forces of Apartheid-Colonialism through the art of song."

Makeba, affectionately known as Mama Africa, was born in Johannesburg in 1932 and was a leading symbol in the struggle against apartheid.

online newssource

Thursday, November 6, 2008

OBAMA and MANDELA rock my world

The Buckaroo has been away from the computer (and the mobile fone screen is too small to fit all my thoughts on) but I got this email from a dear friend in the US! Thought I would share it with you.

Can you say OBAMA???!!!!!!!!! Thandi...last night as we sat in the family room (that you know so well) I kept thinking of YOU! I remembered you reading Obama's book [Dreams from my Father] almost two years ago now...and the conversations we had. It felt like a dream back then...and it is now a REALITY! I wish you could have been here with us...glued to the TV....hanging on every word last night! Dad and I ran out into the street banging pots and pans screaming OBAMA!!!!! PRESIDENT OBAMA....HE DID IT.....WE DID IT!!!!!! I know you would have been right there by my side banging and screaming in the Hickories;)! I can't stop smiling today....know I rejoice with you and all those throughout this world who this is a VICTORY for!

Obama reminds me of Nelson Mandela in that he’s the first Black man to be President in a country that had all White Presidents. Nelson did us proud, I was living in Swaziland and was able to witness the transition from close-range. I was 11, I was infinitely proud.

Now I’m in my late 20’s and having read most of Barack’s “Dreams of my Father” I am proud again to see another Black FIRST.

I’m not vain enough to think this is monumental for Blacks only. Here is what the rest of my friend’s email had to say,

PS-Grandma and Grandpa proudly voted for OBAMA yesterday! I think they were the only two over 70, white southern voters (ha!) I am so thankful for their hearts! My grandpa and grandma were screaming for joy last night and stayed up so late celebrating in Arkansas! They kept saying how thankful they were to live to see this day! I thought you would enjoy hearing that about Grandpa and Grandma

U BETCHA, I am enjoying hearing that!! and Obama, JAPAN, you guys ROCK!!

End note: Big up to Afrigator (afrigreator ha! ha! u know what I'm up to. You guys me likey. Watch this space..

Sunday, November 2, 2008

On Basketball, Love, and Grace

Disclaimer: to the makers of the movie Love & Basketball, you have no idea....

Love and Basketball
Can a weekend ever have less drama? I read in the paper (not early enough) that there was going to be the biggest basketball tournament on November 1 (at Saint Andrews International School SAintS) in Blantyre. Now, am I so high and mighty to think that all things basketball have to be told to me in good time so I can make a grand entrance, ahem, no.

The tournament was between the Southern Malawi all-stars (read Blantyre and Zomba) and Central Malawi all-stars (read Lilongwe). If you follow this blog you'll remember that there was once a Mr. Zomba Nice Guy and a Mr. Lilongwe Nice Guy (potential boyfriends). We have moved on from those days as there is now a Mr. Blantyre Nice Guy. Now I'm not a finicky woman but as Christian Carter and John Gray would agree, I need the scientific skills to spot and keep a "Keeper".

Anywho, back to my drama. So Mr. Blantyre Nice Guy (current potential boyfriend material), code name "Joe Black AKA JB" is an all-star basketballer. This game was a "meant-to-go-support" game but I didn't go to support as I meant to. Turns out there was another lady there front row and center keeping tabs on buckaroos like me with the sole intent of developing skills to spot and keep JB ala John Gray/Christian Carter right under her pretty mocha nose.

We'll code name this lady Miss Wow. Now me being a darkie, I had the good foresight not to show up. Darkies are known for drama so one less darkie that showed up, far less drama. Miss Wow, big up to you for being there to cheer JB as he played, I won't hate, but appreciate. You see, my girl Gile broke her arm (literally) getting to that game. Consolation to Gile and I: JB's team won.

Now about JB and his crew hoaging (sp) spots in the All-Star team and not leaving room for younger athletes, BALONEY! They are only 29 years old so zip the lip "Hvordan gar det", I heard you! And Miss Bedon...thanks for capturing the events on film, we'll post them pix on here when you come back from Blantyre!!! Go JB, go, ahem...Miss Wow! Good times!

Christian Carter/John Gray

Now you two (John Gray and Christian Carter) have really given me and continue to give me a lot of food for thought in your two respective books, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and How to.. (the title is too much for the Buckaroo to type down). Your books rock BUT you are still men so I have to exercise Godly wisdom as a Christian woman in what I read from y'all. That said, thank you for pointing out my multiple faux-pas a tad too late, where were you all this time?? Johnny-come-lately's to my life-OH tssk-tsssk-tsssk! What is this I read about one of you guys being into all this ethereal business????


If it weren't for God, I wouldn't have survived this weekend, what's explained here on the blog is the tip of the iceberg so thank you Jesus for the gift of GRACE. Hallelujah!