Sunday, August 30, 2015

One Year at Site

As of last week it has officially been one year since I moved to my little village in the district of Mulanje in southern Malawi. That means I have reached the mid-point of my service. One year down, one to go!

Colii took this photo of me with my Form 1 class in July

PCVs often go through a slump at this time. I can understand that. When I first got to my site everything was new and exciting. Now I am settled and sometimes the particulars of my day-to-day life here can wear on me. Like I sometimes think, if I have to fill up this water bucket to bathe one more time... But I know I have to fill it up hundreds more times yet.

And a year at site means I have been away from my home and my family and friends for a very long time now, which is really hard. I miss you all so much.

On top of all that, right when I got back from my amazing summer trip with Colii, I got really sick. Probably the sickest I have been since I came to Malawi. I think I am finally better, but it has been a rough few weeks. (And being sick without indoor plumbing is no picnic, especially when there is a small crowd of people watching you every time you step outside to use the latrine.)

So what is a PCV in a mid-service slump to do? Stay busy! School is starting next week, and I have my Mid-Service Training with the other PCVs coming up, and there are a few PCV gatherings in the works too. So there is plenty to look forward to, and to keep me busy.

You know what else would brighten my day-- hearing from you! So if you want to send me an email or write me a letter, feel so free : )

One more year. Here I go...

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Popcorn, Malawi-Style

Popcorn is a big thing here in Malawi, which makes sense because maize is the major crop. In Chichewa it would be "chimanga kazinga", but most people just use the English term instead. You can buy kernels in the local trading post by the kilogram, and there are always vendors selling little K20 bags of popcorn by the side of the road.

I bought kernels while Colii was visiting and I still had a lot left over, so I told Fanny and Ken that we could all make popcorn together.

We started with my charcoal mbaula, but I think the charcoal is bad quality and it wasn't lighting well. Fanny got fed up with it and took matters into her own hands. When it comes to cooking in Malawi, always let the 10-year old take control.

She grabbed a few spare bricks and branches and had the popcorn going in no time.

I don't know where Ken got this weird pose from, but it made me laugh.

Fanny's perfect popcorn. Just add salt and it's good to go.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Summer Holiday

It's summer holiday for us PCV teachers so that means vacation! Colii and I spent a month together, visiting each other's host countries. It was such an amazing time! She loved Malawi and I loved Moldova. We took a ton of photos and have lots to say about our travels so be on the lookout for blog posts to come. I'll try to make a special trip to the Boma sometime soon so I can post my photos.

Here is a little preview-- Colii's host mom took this photo of us at her house in Moldova: