Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Slow news week...

When you’re having a slow week in a developing country, you can always count on the newspaper for some good material. So here is what’s been going on in Malawi over the last week:

  • There is a cholera outbreak, and it’s centered in Lilongwe, where we live. So far there have been about 2,500 confirmed cases, and about a hundred deaths. So you parents in the U.S. who worry about germs and ear infections and colds and everything else your kid can get – I SO have you beat.
  • Only 40% of high school seniors passed the graduation exit exam this year. Have I mentioned the education system here is lousy?
  • A man was run over and killed, after he got drunk and decided to go to sleep underneath a truck.
  • In other motor vehicle news: “Police in Blantyre are hunting for a minibus driver and his conductor for seriously injuring a police officer on duty by pushing him out of a speeding minibus and running over him.”
  • The president has apparently “blasted” (the local media’s term, not mine) the British Ambassador, because the ambassador has called for Bingu to comment on the Zimbabwe situation. Bingu says it’s not his place to comment, and that the West shouldn’t pressure Africa. Personally, I think it has more to do with the perks and favors most Southern African presidents have picked up from Mugabe. But you didn’t hear that from me.
  • The president also spontaneously fired a large number of Cabinet ministers. It happens.
  • Here’s a sad story from today’s paper: “Irate villagers in Nkhata Bay beat up and burned to death their 52 year-old village headman on suspicion that he bewitched a woman who rejected his love proposal.” Apparently the man admitted to driving the woman crazy with magic. If I were a witch, I think I would be better at covering up my shenanigans.
  • And in a bizarre and macabre incident, a “97-year-old” man was found dead in a maize field, minus his head, his genitalia, and his intestines (I’m guessing witchcraft is somehow involved). His head was later found, without the eyes. Police in Chiradzulu have not made any arrests, because, and I quote, “Foul play was not suspected.”


Miriam said...

So... do you think he cut off his own head before or after he cut off his genitalia? I would definitely cut off my head first. It would make cutting off the genitalia much less painful.

Gwyneth said...

Jorge and I are thinking it was a bizarre incident with some agricultural equpment. I think the eyes popped out from the force of his head being flung through the air. ;-)