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Malawi visit

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  • Scott
    Hi all- got back from Malawi yesterday. I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to go back again, and even luckier to have lived in a small town
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 2, 2002
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      Hi all- got back from Malawi yesterday. I feel extremely lucky to have
      had the opportunity to go back again, and even luckier to have lived in
      a small town where I can re-connect with so many old friends. I'll start
      with the small details that perhaps only a few of us might appreciate:

      I exchanged at 78 MK to the $US.

      Minimum market price for minerals: MK 16.

      Fanta has 2 new flavors: grape & pineapple!

      Diet Coke is now available across the country.

      I hadn't had a Coca-pina or a Cherry-plum in a while.

      Mzuzu:
      Police road blocks on all the main roads in and out of town.
      Peace Corps now has a volunteer house in Mzuzu.
      CCAP Guest House rates: now "remodeled" into 3 options. Self
      contained-MK 750. 2 bed rooms-450. Dorm style/hostel-250.
      The Portuguese guy who owned the Tropicana is dead.
      Almost all the dogs we saw in Mzuzu were on leashes.
      Mzuzu University & Mzuzu Central Hospital both up and running. Located
      on the road past the airport heading towards Kaka Hotel.
      Due to decentralization, most "regional" government offices are defunct
      (no more RHO!).
      The hamburgers at Burger King are great, in my opinion.
      Road from Chiweta to Karonga almost fully tarred and completed-nice, but
      about 5 years too late.

      Lilongwe:
      It has been a while now since pc has had it's own volunteer house in
      Lilongwe. But to many of us, the Ivy was our place in Lilongwe.
      It is greatly expanded now, and even has a pool and bar. It is now
      called ''Korean Garden Lodge." Check out their website at www.kglodge.net
      All the Protea hotels seem to have been sold to Le Meridean.
      I'm told they still have Wednesday night burgers and volleyball at the
      Shack-but apparently now dominated by expat teens.

      Regarding the hunger situation:
      I can only really speak of what I saw in Northern Malawi, particularly
      the Chitipa/Karonga region. For the most part, it seems that people
      still have maize, even in the outer villages... although I saw no
      roasted/boiled maize or eggs on the roadside... still plenty of
      potatoes, vegetables, and fish for sale though. Mice season is over, but
      they're selling those tiny birds. Maize is still available in the market
      at about MK200 per tin in Chitipa.
      It was difficult to tell how much worse it is than the "normal"
      August/Septembers we all know when people began to run low on their
      maize stocks. It could run out soon, but I just can't tell... one way to
      tell if food security is getting worse is if people are selling their
      items of value such as radios bicycles, etc., but I didn't hear too much
      of this.

      At the district hospital, they are already distributing maize, based on
      low weight-age. They were weighing babies all day, and the amamas were
      taking about a tin of maize each. I'm no food security expert, but I was
      wondering why they are doing this now when the maize situation in the
      North seems not to be as serious, and there is still maize on the
      market--not to mention all the other foods that seem somewhat plentiful.
      I hope they have some left in a few months when the need is more acute.

      I do hear some horror stories from the Southern Region, and it would be
      nice to hear someone's perspective from this area. I don't want to give
      the impression that things are not as bad as they say in the news. An
      often told tale says that some PCVs down south have had a tough time
      coping- mothers trying to give them babies so they could be fed, and so on.

      Anyway, this is what I saw, and I'm glad that it wasn't as bad up North
      as I expected. Would be nice to hear what's going on down South, though.
      This would be consistent with what people told me in Zambia recently,
      that the situation is more serious below the Lilongwe-Lusaka line.

      Scott
    • Kristof & Stacia Nordin
      It was fun for me to hear the impressions from someone who left and came back! I totally forget that things have changed a bit here and there over the years.
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 3, 2002
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        It was fun for me to hear the impressions from someone who left and came
        back! I totally forget that things have changed a bit here and there over
        the years. It was interesting to see what you reported back to the
        others.

        A few little comments - the reason you didn't see roasted maize is because
        they said it can't be sold any more. The story goes that people were
        stealing green maize from fields and selling it on the street. There was
        also some restrictions at selling food on the street because of sanitation /
        cholera. They wouldn't let people in Chitedze sell bananas during the rainy
        season because people were throwning the skins in a pile and attracting
        flies. This was frustrating because bananas are a great source of energy
        and micronutrients at a time when food supplies are low. Ugh!!! Why not
        just teach composting, which if done well can be very sanitary.

        How did you like the report about a month ago which the ex British MP
        reported that things were so bad in Malawi that we resorted to eating mice?!
        Obviously he didn't get to know much about the culture of eating here! What
        you found in the North was a reasonable assessment within the knowledge that
        I have (my work takes me from Chitipa to Nsanje at all times of the year).
        People could have all sorts of food options and not be at such a high risk
        of no food, and some do, although many will still say they have no food just
        because there is no maize despite the fact there are many other foods. We
        are working on that attitude and slowly it is catching on to diversify.

        Things are worse in pockets of Malawi where they have destroyed every other
        food option in order to clear areas to devote to maize. I would agree with
        Scott that it is worse in South / Central where the population pressure is
        higher, the environmental pressure is worse, along with other reasons such
        as HIV rates, sanitation, education, etc.

        It is always hard for Volunteers in their first year to adjust to a
        different way of living, when in the US we are used to excesses of
        everything. After being here for a while you are able to sort out better
        what is really serious and what is not.

        Where are you now Scott, are you still here or have you moved on? If you
        are still in Malawi feel free to come out to Chitedze!

        Stacia

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Scott" <sgeibel@...>
        To: <ujeni@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, September 02, 2002 8:23 PM
        Subject: [ujeni] Malawi visit


        > Hi all- got back from Malawi yesterday. I feel extremely lucky to have
        > had the opportunity to go back again, and even luckier to have lived in
        > a small town where I can re-connect with so many old friends. I'll start
        > with the small details that perhaps only a few of us might appreciate:
        >
        > I exchanged at 78 MK to the $US.
        >
        > Minimum market price for minerals: MK 16.
        >
        > Fanta has 2 new flavors: grape & pineapple!
        >
        > Diet Coke is now available across the country.
        >
        > I hadn't had a Coca-pina or a Cherry-plum in a while.
        >
        > Mzuzu:
        > Police road blocks on all the main roads in and out of town.
        > Peace Corps now has a volunteer house in Mzuzu.
        > CCAP Guest House rates: now "remodeled" into 3 options. Self
        > contained-MK 750. 2 bed rooms-450. Dorm style/hostel-250.
        > The Portuguese guy who owned the Tropicana is dead.
        > Almost all the dogs we saw in Mzuzu were on leashes.
        > Mzuzu University & Mzuzu Central Hospital both up and running. Located
        > on the road past the airport heading towards Kaka Hotel.
        > Due to decentralization, most "regional" government offices are defunct
        > (no more RHO!).
        > The hamburgers at Burger King are great, in my opinion.
        > Road from Chiweta to Karonga almost fully tarred and completed-nice, but
        > about 5 years too late.
        >
        > Lilongwe:
        > It has been a while now since pc has had it's own volunteer house in
        > Lilongwe. But to many of us, the Ivy was our place in Lilongwe.
        > It is greatly expanded now, and even has a pool and bar. It is now
        > called ''Korean Garden Lodge." Check out their website at www.kglodge.net
        > All the Protea hotels seem to have been sold to Le Meridean.
        > I'm told they still have Wednesday night burgers and volleyball at the
        > Shack-but apparently now dominated by expat teens.
        >
        > Regarding the hunger situation:
        > I can only really speak of what I saw in Northern Malawi, particularly
        > the Chitipa/Karonga region. For the most part, it seems that people
        > still have maize, even in the outer villages... although I saw no
        > roasted/boiled maize or eggs on the roadside... still plenty of
        > potatoes, vegetables, and fish for sale though. Mice season is over, but
        > they're selling those tiny birds. Maize is still available in the market
        > at about MK200 per tin in Chitipa.
        > It was difficult to tell how much worse it is than the "normal"
        > August/Septembers we all know when people began to run low on their
        > maize stocks. It could run out soon, but I just can't tell... one way to
        > tell if food security is getting worse is if people are selling their
        > items of value such as radios bicycles, etc., but I didn't hear too much
        > of this.
        >
        > At the district hospital, they are already distributing maize, based on
        > low weight-age. They were weighing babies all day, and the amamas were
        > taking about a tin of maize each. I'm no food security expert, but I was
        > wondering why they are doing this now when the maize situation in the
        > North seems not to be as serious, and there is still maize on the
        > market--not to mention all the other foods that seem somewhat plentiful.
        > I hope they have some left in a few months when the need is more acute.
        >
        > I do hear some horror stories from the Southern Region, and it would be
        > nice to hear someone's perspective from this area. I don't want to give
        > the impression that things are not as bad as they say in the news. An
        > often told tale says that some PCVs down south have had a tough time
        > coping- mothers trying to give them babies so they could be fed, and so
        on.
        >
        > Anyway, this is what I saw, and I'm glad that it wasn't as bad up North
        > as I expected. Would be nice to hear what's going on down South, though.
        > This would be consistent with what people told me in Zambia recently,
        > that the situation is more serious below the Lilongwe-Lusaka line.
        >
        > Scott
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
      • Bell, Elizabeth
        DIET COKE!!! ... From: Scott [mailto:sgeibel@netscape.net] Sent: Monday, September 02, 2002 2:23 PM To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com Subject: [ujeni] Malawi visit Hi
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 3, 2002
        • 0 Attachment
          DIET COKE!!!

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Scott [mailto:sgeibel@...]
          Sent: Monday, September 02, 2002 2:23 PM
          To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [ujeni] Malawi visit

          Hi all- got back from Malawi yesterday. I feel extremely lucky to have
          had the opportunity to go back again, and even luckier to have lived in
          a small town where I can re-connect with so many old friends. I'll start
          with the small details that perhaps only a few of us might appreciate:

          I exchanged at 78 MK to the $US.

          Minimum market price for minerals: MK 16.

          Fanta has 2 new flavors: grape & pineapple!

          Diet Coke is now available across the country.

          I hadn't had a Coca-pina or a Cherry-plum in a while.

          Mzuzu:
          Police road blocks on all the main roads in and out of town.
          Peace Corps now has a volunteer house in Mzuzu.
          CCAP Guest House rates: now "remodeled" into 3 options. Self
          contained-MK 750. 2 bed rooms-450. Dorm style/hostel-250.
          The Portuguese guy who owned the Tropicana is dead.
          Almost all the dogs we saw in Mzuzu were on leashes.
          Mzuzu University & Mzuzu Central Hospital both up and running. Located
          on the road past the airport heading towards Kaka Hotel.
          Due to decentralization, most "regional" government offices are defunct
          (no more RHO!).
          The hamburgers at Burger King are great, in my opinion.
          Road from Chiweta to Karonga almost fully tarred and completed-nice, but
          about 5 years too late.

          Lilongwe:
          It has been a while now since pc has had it's own volunteer house in
          Lilongwe. But to many of us, the Ivy was our place in Lilongwe.
          It is greatly expanded now, and even has a pool and bar. It is now
          called ''Korean Garden Lodge." Check out their website at www.kglodge.net
          All the Protea hotels seem to have been sold to Le Meridean.
          I'm told they still have Wednesday night burgers and volleyball at the
          Shack-but apparently now dominated by expat teens.

          Regarding the hunger situation:
          I can only really speak of what I saw in Northern Malawi, particularly
          the Chitipa/Karonga region. For the most part, it seems that people
          still have maize, even in the outer villages... although I saw no
          roasted/boiled maize or eggs on the roadside... still plenty of
          potatoes, vegetables, and fish for sale though. Mice season is over, but
          they're selling those tiny birds. Maize is still available in the market
          at about MK200 per tin in Chitipa.
          It was difficult to tell how much worse it is than the "normal"
          August/Septembers we all know when people began to run low on their
          maize stocks. It could run out soon, but I just can't tell... one way to
          tell if food security is getting worse is if people are selling their
          items of value such as radios bicycles, etc., but I didn't hear too much
          of this.

          At the district hospital, they are already distributing maize, based on
          low weight-age. They were weighing babies all day, and the amamas were
          taking about a tin of maize each. I'm no food security expert, but I was
          wondering why they are doing this now when the maize situation in the
          North seems not to be as serious, and there is still maize on the
          market--not to mention all the other foods that seem somewhat plentiful.
          I hope they have some left in a few months when the need is more acute.

          I do hear some horror stories from the Southern Region, and it would be
          nice to hear someone's perspective from this area. I don't want to give
          the impression that things are not as bad as they say in the news. An
          often told tale says that some PCVs down south have had a tough time
          coping- mothers trying to give them babies so they could be fed, and so on.

          Anyway, this is what I saw, and I'm glad that it wasn't as bad up North
          as I expected. Would be nice to hear what's going on down South, though.
          This would be consistent with what people told me in Zambia recently,
          that the situation is more serious below the Lilongwe-Lusaka line.

          Scott






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