Saturday, January 23, 2016

Chitimba, Malawi, January 21, 2016

I went on a village walk this morning and our first stop was at our guide's home.  The 'shower' is a separate room outside-

Eight people share this 2 bedroom home-

The mattresses lay on the floor-

The kitchen is pretty basic-

But the kids are always cute-

Our next stop was at the school which offers grades 1-8.  There are 1200 students for 14 teachers.  The grade 3 teacher, who has 123 students, has one year of training and is spending her second year working as the classroom teacher, but she's really just an intern-

It was very noisy, for obvious reasons!  The blackboard is pretty basic and of course there were no computers-

The first two pages in the grade 7 English text book offer an interesting explanation-

12% of the country has HIV/AIDS.

We visited with the principal, who makes $347 Canadian/month and the head master, who makes $126 Canadian/month.  

Our next stop was chez the witch doctor-

and this was too weird, even for me!  It just seemed completely put on for our benefit from the drum playing and dancing, although he could really shake-

to the whistle blowing, potions (Love potion #7 and #9), to the groaning, to the fortune telling: apparently, I'm going to find a job when I get home and have 2 children, maybe 1.  The witch doctor is only 30 and learned all he knows from his dad.  Many apparently come to him for advice and medical intervention.  The wildest, and most believable part was when he took a red hot smouldering stick and chewed off a chunk without burning his mouth and face!

Thanks to the Canadian government, there are numerous, clean water pumps/wells in the area-

We also visited the local hospital where we saw a young boy with malaria vomiting - poor kid, he was really sick, and 2 women who weren't pregnant but hanging out in the maternity ward-

Cassava is a staple, usually eaten as ugali, boiled and mashed.  It's planted in raised beds-

and is a tuber.  6-8 roots usually grow beneath the plant-

Once it's been harvested, it can be cut into small chunks and dried in the sun-

 At a roadside stand, we were offered deep fried goat, intestines included-

After 3 weeks of-

I decided I'd had enough head scratching, ponytails and heaviness, so I'm back to normal and it feel great!  

Teak and ebony carving shops are plentiful. Interesting goods include chairs and two sided tables that have legs carved from a single piece of wood-

   I bought a mask-

All of the vendors have crazy names like Chicken Pizza, Vegamite, Cheap as Chips, Mr. Obvious and Robert!  Too weird!  I paid Vegamite and his crew $10 US to take out my braids.  It took 3 guys over 3 hours.  I felt sorry for them so gave them an extra 1000 kwacha, which is $2.10 Canadian.  Big spender I am!

Tomorrow, we have a "human start" - 8 am for Kande, another beach town, where we'll spend 3 nights.  Looking forward to a possible upgrade and fresh water diving!

1 comment:

  1. Today sounds an amazing day even by your standards. I was touched by the poverty,witch doctor and hospital. Visiting such places seems unreal.
    Looking forward to seeing you without the braids.


  Cancun, Mexico to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan,     December 31, 2023 I was up at 4:30 and walking to the bus depot by 5:30.  I wore my headlam...