Saturday, June 02, 2007

June Already!

So I suppose I should update! It has been quite some time since my last entry, I have been very busy doing nothing (Thats not completely true). My first month at site has been pretty good albeit rather slow. I am told things are intended to progress this way. I have worked through 9 ( yes, nine) books including the first four Harry Potters (I guess they actually are really good - who knew?). The temperature has cooled down consideribly with the daytime highs around 80 and rather pleasant evenings. Its hard to believe but in just 4 more months, the highs will be around 120.

I have also biked around my site and checked out all that is going on. Surprisingly there are a great deal of projects going on. I'm pretty excited about hopping on board and pitching in. The Mwanza river which is about 1 KM away from my village to the south has swelled enormously over the past few years. Population concentration and an increase in deforestation has lead to some rather damaging flooding. That is actually what has brought me to the computer here. I am writing a proposal for funding on behalf of the CBO (community based organization) that I am working with to the EU for a 4 year afforestation project. Also, there is a new library opening at the secondary school in my village thanks to the work of the previous volunteer and US AID. I am hoping to work with the library on community issues and I may even be able to set up a display on nutrition and permaculture (native food harvesting around the homestead). I have met countless people and now I am just waiting for things to fall into place and as some of you know in Africa, that takes a long time. Oh well, I have 23 more months.

Two weeks ago, I visited another volunteer at Lengwe National park which is about 35 km away. She has an excellent site and she has been doing some wonderful community outreach in the nearby villages. When we arrived at the lodge that was in the park I was greeted by a baby Baboon, a baby mongoose and a teen blue monkey, all of which were very keen on climbing all over me! Luckily I was not peed upon. The lodge was something out of Conde Naste Traveler and made me feel quite out of place as I have been living in the village. Nonetheless it was very nice as you could imagine

Thoughts on village life and Malawi

- Life in the village is indeed quite different. The rosters seem to have a horrible sense of time. They go off alllllll through the night and only shut up once the sun is up!? I usually go to bed shortly after sunset as I do not want to waste batteries or candles. perhaps that will change when I find that I have more work to do (like now).

- Things do indeed move very slow! I am waiting and waiting and waiting to receive my furniture. Its been really hard with everything on the floor, battling insects, mice and lizards. However, a few chairs and tables should be just what the doctor ordered. My house is being completed today!

- It really is true, the days go by slowly but the weeks fly by. I'm still grappling with how that happens.

- Malawi is indeed a very poor country, however I believe that the combination of work that is going on in the rural areas as well as smart government policy toward trade and development (which so far has been pretty good) will yield a robust and prosperous Malawi in the coming decades. The BBC, which I have been listening to daily (I get it on FM from Blantyre!!!) mentioned that the Malawian ecomony has grown at a small but steady 4% while keeping inflation comparatively low. Its difficult to see changes at this stage, however if things continue the way they are, I will remain quite optomistic.

- I'm not going to get my work done if I keep ranting on the blog, so I'm afriad I must leave it here.

Take care, I miss you all and please send me some e-mails and letters!

Peace and Love,

PS. I have a new address and phone #. the number is 265 09116953 ( to call, dial 00 265 9116953). If you want to send packages, send them to Lilongwe, if you wanty to send letters, send them to:

Kevin Malone
Box 170


Anonymous said...

Kev, It is so good to hear from you. Your work sounds wonderful and so very useful. Please know that we are all very proud of you. M&D

ct said...

Only the best end up in Chikwawa.

I happened across you blog and it hit me like a refreshing blast from the oven of the Lower Shire.

Question for you. In 1990 I began a large water supply project began on the East Bank with an office in Livunzu. I know that there was a volunteer stationed there as late as 1995 and am curious if you know of any activity in that area. I'm hoping that since you are close you may have some information.