Friday, January 8, 2010

Wacky NKK

Today I am off to Nkhotakota for the night. One of our projects is phasing out there, and the District Health Office is holding an event to mark them taking it over. I have even been asked to make a speech. Aren’t I fancy? It’s gratifying to see the project get taken on by the government, though. They have been pretty much running things for the last year anyway, but this will make it official.

Anyway, I enjoy going up to Nkhotakota – I always see the strangest things on these trips. For example:

Once, I saw a full grown man, sitting in the middle of the yard in front of his house, strapped to a dining room chair. He was just enjoying watching the cars go by. I’m guessing that he was mentally unstable, and his family probably needed to get some things done around the house, so they just tied him up and left him while they worked in their garden, or went to the market or whatever.

On that same trip, I rode for a while behind a tiny little hatchback car that was filled with ELEVEN large men (4 in the trunk, 4 in the back seat, and three up front). They were on their way to the mosque, and all were wearing their caps and jalabeeyahs for the service. It looked a bit like a clown car in a crazy Muslim circus.

On another trip, we ran over a monitor lizard by accident. I felt really badly about that. Those things are big and pretty amazing. Then on the way home a big crow flew smack into our windshield. I have nicknamed that driver the Grim Reaper now.

Jorge and I once bought a 4-foot long catfish just outside of Nkhotakota on a trip to the lake. We saw the man holding it up by the side of the road, and couldn’t believe our eyes, so we had to stop. The monster was still alive too. We tied it to the side mirror, then had to double it up and tie the tail to the mirror too, so that it wouldn’t drag on the ground as we drove home. That fish fed us for months.

I’m wondering what exciting new Malawi sights this trip is going to bring me!