Happy inauguration day! Okay, so this will likely be sent out some time after the inauguration, but everyone was quite excited about the event in
Jes and I stick out around here like a sore thumb, so people are quickly realizing and adjusting to our presence. Many people now know our names and we see many friends on the road now. Many students live within a mile or two of the school and upon the frequent roadside meeting I feel at an inherent disadvantage. If I am lucky they will say, “Sir, Sir,” at least informing me that they are a student. If they are in my classes I also have a chance, but most of time my standard greeting is met with, “I go to Gracious (the school), I am in Form X, we met during the X event, do you remember?” Most of the time, in an effort to be polite I say, “oh, I remember now,” but in reality if the student is not in one of my classes the odds of me remembering a face out of hundreds is on par with me passing on an opportunity to buy mangos.
We usually go into town on weekends to buy supplies we can’t get from local farmers. We travel the 10km trek in a matola, a form of public transport which involves as many people as possible cramming into the back of a compact pickup truck. I counted 23 in the back this weekend and I imagine there were several more in the front. We got stopped at a police checkpoint because the drivers hadn’t paid to update their permit. Apparently all you need to carry a dangerous number of people in your dilapidated pickup is a permit. The police could have cared less that the truck was packed to the breaking point, since I am pretty sure I saw one or two people approach the truck, haggle a fare, and board, all while the drivers were arguing with the police. After a lot of shouting between the police and the drivers, and a lot of laughing by everyone in the truck (the riders seemed to think it was pretty funny), we were allowed to go on our way. On the return trip someone was trying to rip us off, but thankfully a friend from MCV happened to be on the truck and yelled at the person that we were volunteering at MCV and to leave us alone.
Jes and I attended the local church today. One of the men who works security at MCV is the chairman and invited us to visit. The sermon was in the native language, but all in all it was pretty fun because the singing was so phenomenal. Malawians sure know how to sing, I don’t think I have met anyone yet who can’t keep a tune and sing harmony. The congregation was as good as any church choir in the
The religious situation here seems peculiar from an outsider’s perspective, but the locals manage it just fine.
I apologize for the lack of pictures this week. I keep trying to bring a camera with me but I always forget. If my resolution improves, hopefully next post will have pictures from