ZamTwitter, Month 20

Sorry for the delay in blog updates! By a combination of unfortunate weather and blatant user error (read: I’m dumb), my phone died an ignominious, watery death during my recent clash with Malawi’s relentless rainy season. Since then I’ve had to run around town purchasing a new phone, attempt to recreate various blog post drafts from memory, and gnash my teeth over the unexpected additional expense and inconvenience. But not to worry, Fishing in Zambia is now back in (belated) action.

Random news from my twentieth month of Peace Corps service, in 140 characters or less.

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One of the unfortunate and very real consequences of rainy season in Malawi (photo credit: Leah Karels)

December 15 – Helped dig terraces along pond walls today for planting rice. Promoting integrated aquaculture, or just trying to keep busy between rains?

December 18 – Hobbes’ latest kittens are driving me crazy. I’m badgering Sebastian to come get them before I bike out to the bush and leave them there.

December 23 – Just bought produce from a passing boy and discovered that my usual suppliers have been profiting off my ignorance of current market prices.

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This kalembula (sweet potato leaves, left back) only set me back 1 kwacha, or about 16 cents, six times less than what the girls next door usually charge me

December 25 – Today I learned that Christmas in rural Zambia is exactly like every other day, except with more requests for me to give people things.

December 28 – In Mansa to work on my Volunteer Report Form. What does a PCV eat when he can buy whatever he wants? Mostly pineapple juice and sausage.

December 30 – You know it’s been a rough two days of travel when your bus gets stuck in mud for two hours and that’s still not the worst part of the trip.

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The worst part? Getting a nasty bout of diarrhea which forced me to exercise painful sphincter control for ten hours in order to not expel my bowels all over the back of a bus (photo credit: Leah Karels)

January 1 – Ringing in the new year in beautiful Tolkienesque southern Malawi. Only took 31.5 hours on transport in nine different vehicles to get here.

January 3 – Mt. Mulanje soars to nearly 10,000 feet above verdant tea plantations. This out-of-shape hiker gained 7,500 feet over the past three days.

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The massif of Mulanje looming above its surroundings is rumored to have inspired the mountains of Mordor in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (photo credit: Leah Karels)

January 7 – Traveling from windswept, desolate Mulanje to sunny, placid Lake Malawi at Cape Maclear in one day is an exercise in extreme contrasts.

January 10 – I went to Malawi and all I brought back was three drowned smartphones and this impressively patterned sunburn.

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Look closely and you can see the extent of where my short arms could reach with the suntan lotion (photo credit: Leah Karels)

 

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