A to Z: H is for “the Hash”

I must admit that I was very confused when I first heard about the Hash. It was very soon after I arrived in Malawi and I genuinely thought people were advertising drugs on Lilongwe Chat!

Anyway, I was soon enlightened by my housemate Robin, who is a keen runner and explained that it is in fact an international group of running and social clubs. In Lilongwe, the most popular run was on Mondays.

Each week, a different member would organise the run. Map the route with paper-mache the day before and put on snacks. There is a kind of initiation thing for newcomers and returnees. There’s a squeaky rubber chicken involved, which is rather weird. But all for a bit of fun.

I did go a few times but it clashed with “kanema time” when we started regular cinema showing for the kids every Monday.

In January, Robin hosted from our house in Area 11 and he’s hosting again next Monday (28th July).

Unusually high number of fancy 4x4s in Area 11

Unusually high number of fancy 4x4s in Area 11

Post run drinks and snacks

Post run drinks and snacks

PS. Even though my placement has finished and I’m now back (and thankfully working) in the UK, I’m determined to finish this A to Z!

Categories: Malawi, Sport, Volunteering, VSO | Tags: , | Leave a comment

A Good Year

Herman Fung 馮學文:

A poignant farewell blog post from my fellow VSO volunteer. Well said Jess! I miss Malawi. Its good will, adventure and all its frustrations, too.

Originally posted on Malawi Nearly There Yet:

Over the past month that I have been back in the UK I have been trying to find the words to put in a final blog on my life in Malawi. I have failed miserably in this task and have now come to the conclusion that although there is so much to be said knowing where to start is impossible and it always will be.

Returning to the UK everything is the same but different.  Walking down the road I miss the greetings from strangers and cries of ‘Azungu’ from children and quite frankly being completely anonymous again seems a little bit disappointing (I’m getting used to it!). When I sat in one of my first lectures as a student one of the few things I remember was being told that each  theory of international relations was like putting on a different pair of glasses to view the world and…

View original 432 more words

Categories: Malawi, Volunteering, VSO | Tags: , | Leave a comment

WOTD: Mtengo

Chichewa word of the day: Mtengo

Meaning: Tree

Just before I left Malawi, another volunteer, Catherine, moved into the other VSO house, 2 doors down from mine and Robin‘s place.

One of the very large trees in her garden has just been chopped down, Malawian style! Visit her blog post here.

Equipped only with a panga knife. Not even a rope.

Equipped only with a panga knife. Not even a rope.

That's seriously high!

That’s seriously high!

Categories: Malawi, Volunteering, VSO | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

A to Z: G is for…

  • GameGame itself is a South African chain of general merchandise retailer / department store. The “Game Complex” in Old Town is where most azungus go to do their weekly shop in Lilongwe.
  • Goat - Mbuzi in Chichewa. A serious road hazard because they love crossing when there’s a car approaching!
  • Goat stew – My favourite traditional Malawian dish. Especially when it’s cooked by my friend Auden.
  • Golden Peacock - The nearest and biggest Chinese supermarket to where we lived in Area 11. It’s not the best shop ever in all honesty. But the cooked food and vegetables stall was good. It had tofu, baozi (steamed buns) and beansprouts, which was always a nice treat.
The "Game Complex", Old Town, Lilongwe

The “Game Complex”, Old Town, Lilongwe

Auden's famous goat stew and rice

Auden’s famous goat stew and rice

The Golden Peacock, where we took the kids for a virtual shopping trip

The Golden Peacock, where we took the kids for a virtual shopping trip

Categories: Malawi, Volunteering, VSO | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

My Son – Malawi Action Movie

Unlike Nigeria and its “Nollywood“, Malawi is not particularly well known for its homegrown cinema. This video may not change that view any time soon but it’s always great and refreshing to see something new in Malawi. The style is certainly different to what I’m normally used to but you can see the Jackie Chan influence at work.

My Son is co-directed by and stars Ernest Thamangiwa, who as it turns out, is a schoolmate of a friend of mine, Auden!

To watch this at a local “video shop”, a Malawian would pay around 50 MWK, which is less than £0.10.


Categories: Malawi, Volunteering, VSO | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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