So since we play soccer virtually every time we have a free moment we decided to form a soccer team to compete against the locals of Mbewa and Likhubula. Our team name is Mzungu FC. Mzungu is the ChiChewa word for “white person”. We’re getting better. We have to start stringing together more passes and using both our strong and weak feet. We’ll get there though, I have confidence in my coaching ability as well as the raw unharvested talent lying within our team members. I figure if we score one goal against the locals it’s a small victory for America.
Today was the first day of classes here at the CCAP house and basically when we weren’t running from ants and other insects we talked about the environmental geography of Southeast Africa. Nothing too much I didn’t already know, but it was interesting to talk about how the Mozambiquan Civil War forced refugees into southern Malawi thus straining the already fragile resources here.
Today marked the day sickness fell upon our group. Dr. McCusker had long warned us to expect some of, if not all of us to fall ill because of the food and environment. It started with Justin who tragically turned 21 today. He wasn’t even able to attend the birthday celebration we planned at Nancy’s and Club Sapitwa for him. His roommate Dillon became sick at lunch and Kayla and Caroline soon followed suit. Caroline has been particularly bad. The general symptoms have included fever, diarhea, and extreme vomiting. Knock on wood no one in my room or myself have felt ill so far. But anyone that knows me knows that I am the biggest jinx ever. So we’ll see.
Wednesday we’re planning to go to Chitakale market to buy food and supplies for our trek up Mt. Mulanje this weekend (the beautiful mountain in the photo at the top of this blog). Hopefully no one else falls ill and the trek can actually take place. If we have to postpone the climb we may not get another chance to climb it, as the entire climb should take three days. We’d have to hire at least a guide and a porter to help us up the mountain. We climbed to the waterfall yesterday and that was hard enough.
Mulanje District continues to be beautiful and treat us well. The people have been incredibly gracious to us. Yesterday when we went to Club Sapitwa for a Carlsberg Green (beer) the locals gave up their seats for us and brought out a table just for us. Occasionally we have to put up with people that are trying to peddle trinkets and have to keep an eye out on our shoes as the local children are known to take them. Shoes are in many ways more valuable than kwacha here. All of the children are barefoot and the adults usually don’t have anything more than sandels to wear. Our guide made it all the way up to the waterfall yesterday with nothing but old flipflops on.
As the week progresses and we proceed further in-depth with the course material I’m sure I’ll have more to discuss than just mild observations.