Nyumba at Night

From the hours of 6:00PM to 6:00AM, the village is dark and quiet. Chickens cluck sleepily from their hen-houses, families chat around cooking fires, and drum beats echo in the distance. In these peaceful hours I shut myself away in my nyumba, light candles perched in old wine bottles, and take up little hobbies. Some nights I draw or write in my notebook, others I curl up under my mosquito net and read. In the six months I’ve lived in Malawi I’ve read 32 books. Other nights, if I have laptop battery, I’ll watch a movie. But every night ends the same way, with blowing out the last candle, and falling asleep to the sounds of crickets chirping and bats squeaking in the jungle just outside my door.

 

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