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2236Re: [ujeni] Economist

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  • Weber
    Apr 4, 2001
      Hi Dan, nice to hear (or read) from you...I agree with you about our concept
      of poor. I haven't seen the Economist yet either. It sounds like they are
      showing a neighborhood like we lived in, in Blantyre. It would be
      considered middle class by Malawi standards...poor by ours. There were
      separate brick houses...600 square feet...yards and a few cars (owned by the
      companies some of our neighbors worked for if they were newish). Our
      neighbors worked for private companies in lower to mid--level management
      positions or were mid-level civil servants, all I think with educations
      beyond secondary school. They were proud and generally happy with their
      achievements, what they could provide for their families and their way of
      life. It was a wonderfully comfortable neighborhood, extremely well kept;
      we loved our little house, the neighbors and the neighborhood. But, they
      were living way beyond what most people in Malawi were. A life of a
      teacher, a civil servant and a management-level employee aren't the norm.
      Our neighbors probably earned just about the same or a somewhat more than
      our Peace Corps salary. Most of the rest of the Blantyre wasn't like
      that...either much richer or much, much poorer. So if the article is
      depicting that as the norm, it doesn't show a true picture. I think the
      kind of life our neighbors lived was what most people strived for and felt
      was the good life. It was, actually. But you're right, we do need to
      adjust what we think of as poor, even here. People feel poorer when they
      are considered so, it saps ones pride. Cathy


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Daniel Dudley <papadud@...>
      To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com <ujeni@yahoogroups.com>
      Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001 1:53 AM
      Subject: Re: [ujeni] Economist


      >Not that it would do any good, have you written a letter to the editor?
      >Perhaps you could include several pictures from your album.
      >
      >However, one of the brightest teachers that I worked with was sitting in
      the
      >staff room reading a news paper article that mentioned how poor Malawians
      >are. He was quite offended, he said, "What does it mean to be poor? I
      have
      >a house, a decent job, and I am happy. I don't consider myself to be
      poor."
      > By his definition, he wasn't poor, but by Percapita income compared to
      the
      >rest of the world, his income was way below a lot of other countries. I
      >would like to think that a lot of Malawians would think this way, but
      >because the rest of the world tells them that they are poor, the think that
      >they are.
      >
      >I don't know, I may be talking out of my ass, but I thought a lot about
      this
      >person and what it really means to be poor. Maybe what my friend mentioned
      >were the assets that the article was talking about, I haven't seen
      it...yet.
      >
      >Dan
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