Imagine, if you will, something more out of place than an Evangelical Atheist in an African Baptist Church on Christmas Day with a load of International Faithful Folks and an African American preacher from Mississippi or Tennessee or somewhere where they really do say things like "Can I get an AMEN!!!"
I was looking for the hidden cameras.
This is what a Christmas tree looks like in Embangweni, a little town in Northern Malawi where the language is different but similar (-Muli uli? -Ndili makola, kwali imwe?).
I haven't had a Christmas tree in years, something to do with being a cynical atheist who hates all the commercialism that has taken over some beautiful old pagan traditions. And a bit of a Scrooge (bah, humbug) as well.
But I found decorating this one in Malawi oddly comforting. Thanks for sharing it with me, Martha.
Christmas coincides with malaria season. Love that mefloquine. No problems this time. Gotta say, it really helps to take it in the morning or at least with meals to avoid the terrible heartburn.
Love that mozzie net. Because:
- It is BLUE.
- It keeps the little buggers from whining in your ears which is possibly the most annoying thing in the world.
- It also keeps out cockroaches, mice, snakes, and other assorted things you don't want to be thinking about whilst trying to sleep.
- It is impregnated with permethrin which kills off anything creepy-crawly which happens to creepy-crawl over it.
- Did I mention the whole BLUE thing?
- Oh yeah, three years, Elephant Marsh, Mulanje foothills, Lake Malawi, you name it and NO MALARIA.
If you look REALLY CLOSELY, you should just about be able to make out what the sign in the minibus' rear window says.
And to answer the question:
- There will be 23 people at least in this Hiace
- I could tell you how fast they go but you wouldn't believe me. It doesn't seem scientifically possible for such a small engine to pull that much weight at these speeds. But as my old friend Dirk used to charmingly comment on such things: "Science stops at the equator."
- Traffic accidents are deadlier than any tropical disease.
This was the view I woke to on Christmas Day. Lake Malawi, Nkhata Bay, rainy season.