Sep 15, 2009
Nov 21, 2009
Again another early day but since I was smart and went to bed at 8:30pm, getting up at 4:30am was a breeze. A long drive of nothingness ensued. A lot of cards and books were read. We arrived at a beach site camp on Lake Malawi and it was pretty nice. A guy on this trip found a Cricket set and we recruited a few other players from another group and played a few games. This was my first time playing Cricket and was taught how to play. It’s pretty much like baseball and I found that I sucked equally bad at Cricket as I do in Baseball. It was a good time had by all. Volleyball followed Cricket and my team won that game. Then a few people in my group went for a group run around the town. I seem to be the motivator for running in the group as usual. Most of the people haven’t run in awhile and I get them to run with me if only for a little bit. As soon as the three of us left the campsite, we were accosted by a bunch of kids. They would run up behind us and hold our hands until they were too tired and we would let them go. Then we hit the main road and of course get the stares from everybody. I’m not sure why. Maybe because the woman who wore semi-skimpy clothes, a chubby guy struggling to run, and me with a big beard and my shirt off. And we were running for fun. Along the way we were saying “Jambo” and trying to be look friendly. We were also high-5’ing little kids along the streets. It’s a funny contrast when you’re here. Just driving or walking around makes you a Superstar to so many people here in Africa. Especially in the rural parts. There are times when we stop our truck on a drive day and eat lunch in the middle of nowhere. Again, we are superstars and people come out of nowhere to watch us eat lunch. We’ve had shuttle buses stop, whole classrooms of children come from nowhere, whole families walk up or down hills to watch, and just random people passing along watch us. At times you kind of feel like a dick because here comes the healthy clean looking white man touring the countryside eating food at will. And a lot of the time the people who come up to us are very dirty looking kids carrying a hoe to farm with. Or dudes carrying an incredible load of different stuff on the back of their bike uphill sometimes. I think the most # of people we have had watching us eat is 35 school children crowding around us. Some asked for food but most are just curious of the white men who came out of nowhere. We are taught not to give handouts to little kids because it teaches them to beg. But at times we have given stuff out like candy or something small. On our way back from the run, the same kids who we were holding hands with while running seemed to multiply. There were probably about 10 kids now and they really just wanted to jump all over us and play with us. Most of the kids are extremely dirty but being in Africa you become kind of numb to that fact and have gotten over that fact. Back home I would suspect most of us(or maybe just me) are afraid to pick up a dirty child or shake hands with random strangers constantly, but here it’s kind of the norm. The people aren’t dirty because they want to be, they are dirty because they probably can’t afford the means to shower like we do. Most people in the rural parts have to break out water from the town well and sponge water over themselves from a bucket. Not exactly the same as us with our loofahs, shampoo & conditioner, body wash, back-scrubber, face wash, and all the water you could ever want at the desired temperature you want it at. -We had another great dinner followed by some drinks at the bar for a bit. I ended up staying up kind of late and talking to the Danish guy which was fun.