Katja Lachmann


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Blantyre and Nkholokosa


I am already one week in Blantyre, or better saying in Nkolokosa. Nkolokosa is a district a bit out of the city center of Blantyre, and I am more than happy about it. Until now I cannot become a big fan of Blantyre. The only thing inspiring me to go there is a great Internet cafe where I can write all stories...;))

It does not mean you never should set a foot into the city, it is just my opinion and my feelings that I write down here. It might be because I have not been a lot in cities during my trip, more in villages. Moreover, when I came to Nkolokosa after my great "hike" on Mt. Mulanje I became a bit sick. I could not walk for about four days, my feet were open as my shoes were not the best fitting and I became ill as I asked too much from my untrained body. That is why I am still in Blantyre and have not traveled on yet.

The last week I was staying with three ASA girls in Nkolokosa. I got to know them through Augustas, as they all attended the same seminar as preparation phase for their work in Africa. It is fantastic to stay with them. I could relax, could have some insights into their life here, what their work is about, I met their instructor for the project, got to know about problems in realizing their workshops, heard interesting stories about the work with pre-school teachers here in Malawi and have been at a bride-shower. I think they call it that way. It was not really a bride-shower, but a tupper-ware party. As the woman lived already for many years with the man and they had already children, but have not been married in church until now, they did instead of a pride-shwoer a tupper-ware party. The reason is to renew the whole kitchen with all things needed for an easy life.

It was very interesting to see them gathering around the place (it took place in a primary school), sitting outside, seeing their chairs filling, babies bubbling, great dresses!!! and dancing and laughing all around. When the party started, the bride and her best friend had to sit in front of all and beside theirs the mother of the bride and the mother of the husband. Then two different pastors (female) gave nice and loud introduction, made some prayers with the people and to understand we got a great translation from Elisa, the instructor of the ASA girls. Later on different people started to give their "tips" about being a great wife, also this was translated. Some of these things I would like to write here, but you would seem upset if you had not been there. Thus I leave it a secret ;P After each speach given there was played music and all people had to stand up, starting to dance to the front where the bride was sitting and putting money in a dancing way into a plastic bowl. This happened around 8 times and we were laughing very much. The black women were so excited watching us dancing and shaking our asses. I did not do so much dancing, but Angela could not stop moving. Must have been her Italian background ;)
Later on we got something to eat and after 5 hours party we went home. I really needed to rest after this.

What happens more here in Nkolokosa? Not that much, just normal life. You go out for finding breakfast at the nearby market, eat bread with avocado and tomato, sometimes peanut butter, jam and of course bananas, later on you read, maybe go out for shopping food or find your way into the city for going to post office or Internet, after that coming home, resting, around 5 p.m. starting cooking, cooking, eating, chating, hunting cockroaches, protecting against mosquitos, going to bed...Yes, I was grateful to have quite some time to eat, rest and sleep during the last week, but now I am looking for a challenge. Thus, let us see what happens next! ;))