Hey, sorry it’s been rather hectic but I’m doing good and feeling good and Malawi is growing on me.

 

Top 10 Ndiwo (relishes to eat with nsima)

 

What’s nsima?  WHAT’s NSIMA?! Well, I’ll tell you:

It’s made of maize flour and water, cooked to a precise texture that you make round blobs with about the size of a baseball.  It is then used to scoop up the relishes in bite size pieces with your hand.  We eat it every day, sometimes twice a day: for supper and lunch.

I like it.

 

Ndiwo
1.   eggs fried in oil and salt with a tomato sauce

  1. boiled peas in that same tomato sauce
  2. boiled beans, like kidney beans, thick with sauce
  3. fried lettuce with chopped onion and tomato
  4. fried beef, goat, chicken
  5. small fish, the whole fish
  6. fried cabbage
  7. ocra (a slimy vegetable that’s perfectly horrid)
  8. soya pieces
  9. cow stomach

 

 

So I’ve been quite busy these past few weeks, with being on a village stay and going to Liwonde National Park.

 

Village stay:

I went to stay with my mother’s mother.  Agogo is the word they use for grandmother.  She lived on a farm, 1.5 hr outside of Blantyre.  There were tones of goats and chickens.  Two pigs and two cats.  And a type of quail with a blue head.  For the majority of the week I ate and slept, gathered firewood and fetched water.  There were 2 other families living nearby on the farm so I also got to enjoy time with them and the children.  We played cards and soccer, climbed trees and ate papayas.  A car hit a goat so we ate goat for 3 days.

The rooster slept in the house and so did the baby goats.  In the morning it was annoying because they would make loud sounds.  The grandmother was very old but still nimble and she had a 14 yr. boy and a 8 yr. girl living with her.  It was not growing season or harvest season so I didn’t get to work in the fields like I desired to do.  I did however manage to jog down the highway that ran past the farm.  The little girl, Eve, followed me and so I let her catch up and she jogged with me the whole way!  She’s pretty fast for an 8 year old, although when we turned around to go home she didn’t refuse a piggie-back ride.  The sun was just coming up over the distant mountains.  It was a firey pinkish red colour, so dazzling. 

I was able to enjoy the star spangled sky and crooked moon as I squatted in the dark with my friend Meggie.

 

They did not speak English in the village and there was no electricity.  When we ate our meals, Meggie, Agogo, Eve and I ate ndiwo out of the same dish.  We sat on a mat on the floor and washed out hands in the same basin.  I saw how there was less opportunities for the kids there, education was limited.  However, life skills were learned at a young age, they could all fend for themselves much better than I.

 

Liwonde National Park:

I was able to enjoy one night with my friends and fellow volunteers Rob and Ian at the lodge in the park.  It was a relaxing break and we were able to speak with travelers and backpackers from places like Holland, Texas, Australia and England.  We took the 6 am morning hike and the 9 am canoe ride on the lake.  Although we saw many elephant tracks and droppings, we didn’t come across any.  However, we did see baboons, warthogs, cranes, hippos, antelope, ant lions, and a blue frog.

Later,

Tamtam

 

P.S.   Let me know if you want to talk to a Malawian, I can arrange that. 

Or tell me any specific questions you want to ask someone, I know people of all ages and backgrounds. 

P.S.S. The face of poverty has really changed for me, it wasn’t at all like I had originally thought.  How do you perceive poverty?