Monday, July 19, 2010


When I have nothing to blog about, the local newspaper always gives me plenty of material. I've been storing up some shocking headlines, lately, but here's a recent story that gave me hope, then made me chuckle, and then made me sad.

The headline read: "Opposition Leader Refuses Government Car"

My first thought was - "well, gee, isn't that something! An African leader denying expensive, unnecessary benefits, to save money for the people!" I seriously thought that the opposition was trying to make a statement about the misuse of public funds on things like expensive Mercedes Benz cars for high-level politicians.

Then I read further, and this is what I learned instead:

"He says the car is too old."


Yes, you saw my naievete right away, didn't you? He didn't refuse the car on the grounds that it was a waste of money. He refused it because it wasn't expensive enough. I mean, how could he be seen driving around in a 2005 vehicle?!

Sometimes you just start to feel things are never going to change.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Just the latest around here

I think it goes without saying that I've been awfully busy lately. The last few days have been a wee bit quieter because Jorge is off at the lake with his sisters, Milo, and nieces. I had too much work to be able to take another day off, though. Which means that for the 2nd year in a row, I did not spend my husband's birthday with him. Even though he's the one who told me not to bother making the drive to the lake, I'm sure I'll be subject to guilt-trips and recriminations over this one for at least the rest of the year.

To make up for it, we're celebrating tonight instead. To start, we'll have a selection of yummy antipasti and homemade spreads, then dinner will be roasted beef tenderloin with potatoes au gratin, individual eggplant parmesan stacks, and a beet salad with pecans and blue cheese. And for dessert, lemon cheesecake made with real Philadelphia cream cheese, a luxury item of extreme value and rarity in Africa. We'll even crack open one of our treasured bottles of wine from Solm's Delta in South Africa - the Africana Reserve, no less. So it should be a nice night!

Alicia and the girls are here for a few more days, but on Tuesday I'm flying off to Uganda for a week, where I'm helping the Ministry of Health with a pavilion they've mounted to highlight nutrition work in Malawi, for the African Union Heads of State Summit. This is a political event, so very much different from the technical workshops and conferences I'm used to attending. I'm hoping it will be interesting, but I really don't know what to expect.

Well, I'd better get back to my cooking!

Friday, July 9, 2010

And a few more minutes... here are a few more photos. We are on our way out the door for another weekend trip. This weekend we are going to Mount Mulanje, the third highest race in Africa. Every year they have a race there, where the porters - you know, the guys you pay to carry your bags up the hill for you? - race up the mountain, across it, then come flying down the side, often barefoot. Every year a few crazy foreigners also run (usually coming in a few hours after the porters) and Jorge is running again this year.

Also, I'm turning 33 on Sunday. ::shudder::

So we've rented a nice house on a tea estate, and will spend the weekend with another family who are friends of ours.

Anyway, here are some more pictures from Zambia:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I have 5 minutes...

And I will fill it by posting photos from our safari trip to South Luangwa, in Zambia, last weekend. three of my favorite people are here in Malawi visiting us - my sister-in-law Alicia and her two beautiful and rambunctious daughters. We pulled out all the stops for them - we managed to see two leopards, 3 hyenas, countless buffalo, elephant, zebra, giraffe, and an entire pride of lions.

Alas, I have now used up my entire laptop battery, and there are sleeping children in the office where the power cord lives. So I will have to leave you now with these teasers and hopefully get more up tomorrow!