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 … More Nyumba at Night

Lake Flies

It’s the time of year where the tornadoes of spawning lake flies blow from the Mozambique side of the water to the coast. Women and girls wet baskets and swoop them through the air, collecting the tiny insects to make flour. It is beautiful to watch, until you bike through a swarm of them. 

What Not To Wear

What Not To Wear When you take the oath to become a Peace Corps volunteer, you swear to operate under conditions of hardship (if necessary) to provide skills and aid in the development of your host country. And throughout its 50 year history, Peace Corps has exemplified this committment by operating in underdeveloped, impoverished, and … More What Not To Wear

Sunrise on The Lake

In a village without electricity, I go to sleep at 7:00 and wake up at 5. Sunrise is my favorite time on the lakeshore, when the air is clear and the Mozambiquen mountains are visable on the horizon. For the past few days the winds have been so strong fishermen can’t go out on the … More Sunrise on The Lake

Learning from Lakes

I grew up watching the sunrise over Lake Michigan, on Milwaukee’s concrete, post-industrial shoreline. While I never had a particular interest in the lake as a kid, it was too cold to swim in, too big to row on, Bradford Beach too crowded and littered with trash; I remember it as an imposing presence. As … More Learning from Lakes

Tree Nurseries

Last week my counterpart Danford (on the left) took me to meet two of his most motivated farmers to show off their plantations. In true Malawian form we showed up unannounced and were greeted with overwhelming enthusiasm from the farmers, who were so proud of their work.   Seed production and sale of saplings is … More Tree Nurseries

Nyumba Wangu

It’s hard to believe that I’ve already been at site for three weeks. Time is flying by, but I don’t have enough of it right now to write a lengthy post. So instead I’ll just post some pictures of nyumba wangu (my house) to appease everyone that keeps asking me if I live in a … More Nyumba Wangu

Gule Wamkulu

There are many tribes that compose the warm heart of Africa, each with their own unique language and culture. These languages are broadly grouped in the Bantu dialect, with all their names starting with Chi. Here in Nkhata Bay I live with the minority Tonga tribe and speak Chitonga. Other minority languages include Chilambya in … More Gule Wamkulu