Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 143 - Nhkata Bay, Malawi

Did another village tour, this time, through the village of Bwelero, about 4000 people spread over several hilltops and along the shoreline.  Lyman, my guide, asked if I wanted to speak with the teachers.  Sure. Spoke to a few teachers and the one introduced me to the grade 5 class at the Bwelero Full Primary School, grades one to eight.  They we all eyes.  Must have been 50 kids in a small classroom half the size of what I grew up with.  Very austere. The screaming.  LOL  So excited.  They had two questions for me, my name which I had already givn but I guess from all the excitement some didn’t hear and, the second question, how much education I had.  The deputy headmaster heard I was there and wanted to talk to me.  He introduced me to the grade 3 class where they were being taught how to handle sexual abuse.  Grade 3!!!  Unbelievable! Then he showed me the simple metal lockers that the Canadian government had donated.  Even had a Canadian flag place in the upper right corner of each of the two lockers. He said he wanted to meet the Canadian that had come to the village in order to thank me for the lockers.  Considered me as though I had given the lockers personally.  He was so happy, shook my hand at least half a dozen times.  Explained how the cabinets kept the termites out of the books.  They are so grateful for any little thing.  I felt bad I didn’t have anything to offer, even something as simple as a few pencils.  Funny, RobC had brought a bunch with him and I remember him asking me if I wanted to take them along.  Wish I had.  I took a picture of the class and showed the picture to the one boy closest to me.  Instantly the whole class, screaming, gathered around to try and catch a glimpse of the picture.

My 23 year old guide, Lyman, was trying to save enough money to take a wife.  He needs to provide a home, food and her clothes in order to even be considered.

Bwelero Primary School

Grade 5 classroom

They all wanted their picture taken.

Next stop was to the Lyman's home where his aunt showed me how they make clay pots for cooking.  She handed me a small chunk of clay the size of a fist and I tried making one.  When I was finished she spent a lot of time correcting my mistakes.  I also tried cassava, a root they boil to make a porridge for food.  Had the texture of coconut, at least I thought so.  Actually, it was very good. We hiked back to Mayoka Lodge along a rocky, hilly trail that hugged the coast of Lake Malawi and passed through various parts of the village. Everyone was so friendly. 
Village home.

Lyman's aunt showing me how to make a clay pot.

Cooking cassava, a root.

Shoreline of Lake Malawi

Dugout canoe with some fishing gear

Fishing boat being build with hand tools. Takes 3 weeks to build one.

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