Malawi week one

We’re here!!

I had no idea when I would be able to post this. The internet access is slightly more complicated than I realized. But hey, more time for me to enjoy my surroundings. The flight to Addis Ababa was pretty painless. Considering we flew 5 hours from San Fran to DC, then 12 hours from DC to Ethiopia. Finally 5 hours to Lilongwe then Blantyre. Ethiopian airlines had the kindest and most beautiful people. I now know what it’s like to be served free food and alcohol on a plane. And thank goodness there is such a thing as a baby basinet

  on a plane, who knew! Sure Joys legs were hanging off the end but our sanity remained intact!

My husband Reecky has traveled a lot, so it was cool that we entered a country that was new to both of us.

Our first moment was a man picking up joy for us and carrying her down the stairs off the plane. Inside, Joy walked by some women who picked her up and started taking pictures with her.

We live in Chileka, a place where the traditional villagers live side by side with large walled homes of the middle class. When we open the gate, we see women and children washing their clothes at a spigot on the side of the dirt road. I carry this eerie sense of guilt as we drive up and open the gate while multiple pairs of eyes follow us.

I see now what culture shock actually means. And I see how difficult it is to avoid ones biases in ethnography. We all have things that we’re familiar with, and the word “normal” should probably become eradicated from the English language. It is not a helpful tool when trying to relate to new things.

Some moments so far (most of which are nature related!!)…..

Hugging my new family for the first time in 3 years

Taking walks by the mud brick homes and corn fields

The beautiful green mountains

Picking mangos for breakfast

The tiny gecko that lives in our power socket

The uncertainty of whether a toilet will properly flush

The hundreds of fruit bats flying at dusk

The blue tailed skinks and dozens of other new reptile friends!

Church in the traditional village setting – with dyed toilet paper for streamers.

Joy and her cousins playing outside.

Walking to eat roasted corn and sugar cane on the side of the road

Eating lots of goat, nsima, whole fish, a termite like bug(alive), and a small bird (bones included).

Dancing with my mama and sisters.

The beating of drums and wailing all night for a funeral.

I’m working on my Chichewa too (the language).

That’s all for now!!


One thought on “Malawi week one

  1. You are quite the wordsmith young lady. I feel like I am there with you! I love the photos and especially the one of you, Joy and Reecky. I see you are assimilating quite well. We miss you, but love that you are seeing the family and helping Joy learn her culture. Keep posting please.
    Love, Cheryl


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