Friday, April 13, 2007

One Montin in Part II

Okay, so here I think I may add some more to what I wrote last. Still, however, I don't think I can fairly summarize the past 5 weeks. My group seems to be great I now know where everyone will be and I have a better idea of what my life may be like as a volunteer. Things are a bit clearer now then they have been and I feel alittle bit more relaxed.

I still have yet to get a cell phone number, however that should be taken care of soon. I am not sure if I have coverage at my site in Chikawawa, but there is a small hill nearby where I will be able to talk and I'm told that there is a new tower going up soon (we'll see if it gets up by the time I leave). Its great to be back in Africa. I had a wonderful introduction to my community by some very energetic people who I will be workin with. I am supposed to work with the department of forestry, but my actual work will cover a range of issues. A possible project for me is as follows:

Majete Game reserve is in the process of constructing a fence around the perimeter so that they may introduce another 100 elephants (next year) and eventually wild cats (maybe by 2012) thereby making it a strong tourist attraction. However, my village spills into the area where the fence is to be constructed. I feel that I may be able to meet with farmers and discuss how to better manage their crops and land usageso that they will not need the land in the game reserve for farming. This is just one of many possible projects for me to do and I look forward to really diving into the issues of the Chapananga area.

Chikwawa is one of the poorest regions of Malawi, which is one of the poorest countries in the world. I will surely be faced with great challenges both with the heat and the poverty, but I look at this as a good thing. So that any sort of a reward will be just that much more sweet.

I would really like to write more, but some excellent Indian food awaits me. These next few weeks, I should have ample access to the internet (ample meaning once or twice a week) so send me some emails, I would love to hear from all of you.

That is all for now, Peace and Love to all


P.S. That wasn't 1/4 of what I wanted to say, but hopefully I will be able to give an indepth report when boredom sets in!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

One Month In part I

Greetings everyone, I must apologize for not being able to get in touch with many of you. We have been very busy for the past 5 weeks and I have just now been able to find some time near a computer that I am able to use. And as the case usually is I am a tad rushed, so here is an update in outline form.

-We are half way through training after completing a month long homesty in a rural village outside of Dedza in central Malawi. The surrounding area is beautiful; mountains everywhere, forests and a great view of Mozambique. The temperature hovered around 75 during the day and dropped to about 60 at night - Perfect! I was beginning to like my chances about a comfortable two years.

- Just 5 days ago, I learned where I will be staying for the next two years. I will be in the South Region, in Chikwawa district. I am about 25 km from a tarred road and I live smack between two parks. The average high temperature here during the warm months is around 110... not so perfect. Is rarely gets below 75 and I'm told that this is known as the second hottest place in Malawi! Awesome.

- I am only 10 km away from another volunteer in my group who I get along very well with. I am very excited about having someone near by to comiserate with about the heat.

- I am writing from an up and coming game park, Majete, which is about 2km from my home in Kakoma village. Yesterday we got a tour of the park which has 70 new Elephants that were translocated last year. 6 rhino are coming in the near future. There are abundant antelope species, baboons, bush pigs and warthogs, a bazillion bird species, a few cervals, some bushbabies and quite a bit more. The land scape is beautiful. Everything is very green now, however once the rains stop, which they already have, the landscape will be very Lion King-esque (savannah).

- I must go now, I will be in Blantyre tomorrow afternoon, so I shall write more then. I have much much more to say but Im worried that I cannot do any of it justice.

- Oh and I ate Hippo last night

Okay take care all, and thanks for the emails