Compared to what I’m used to back in the UK or Hong Kong, life in Malawi is slow (“pang’ono pang’ono“). This was expected but it is still taking some getting used to.
A combination of the very hot climate, power cuts, telecommunication outages and general bureaucracy (which may have a genuine reason but I’ve not been able to understand just yet) means that simple tasks often take a long time. Just ask my house-mate who is still trying to get his newly acquired car to be declared road legal!
The upshot is that you learn to adapt, live at a more gentle pace and enjoy the more basic things. Such as a lukewarm shower or a decent meal and chat with friends, or indeed, finding the handkerchief you thought you lost! Life without television isn’t so bad. Though I must confess, I’m still getting my flicker fix via a vast back catalogue of Mad Men, 雷霆掃毒, Breaking Bad, ER and assorted films (Rock of Ages wasn’t that bad!).
It’s coming up to 4 weeks since I arrived in Malawi. So I better start letting you know about the main reason I’m here in the first place: WORK!
Well, no surprises here. Work is also very slow. The HRMIS project we were brought in for is literally just getting started. So we are still trying to make sense of it. Hopefully progress will pick up and I’ll have something more interesting to write about soon… instead of my first suspected case of malaria.
To cut a long story short, I fell ill on Sunday night after briefly visiting Lake Malawi for the first time. Fever, aches, hot and cold sweats, combined with diarrhoea, dehydration and probably exhaustion from my first piece of physical exercise for at least 3 months (swimming in the Lake). No particular symptom was that severe. It was more the combination that gave me a rough time. Anyway, by Monday evening, I seemed to be over it after plenty of bed/sofa rest and plain congee/rice porridge (traditional Chinese sustenance for sick people)! So it wasn’t malaria because I didn’t even take the treatment. Just me being a lightweight “azungu“.
“Tionana” for now.