Saturday, May 26, 2007

colour wheel

One day, I was out with three other EWB folks. As the four of us walked down the street, we passed a young man who flashed us broad grin and pointed down the line from David, to Parker, to Louis and to me and said "







I thought that those of us of chinese persuasion were yellow.

This reference to me being orange happened again today.

Maybe I'm getting a bit of a sunburn....

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Chiyombwe household, Malama community

"Come Ka-Hay, I’m going to introduce you to the lady you will be staying with”. We’ve finished the Malama community meeting and Jonathon takes my hand and leads me over to a lady dressed in a bright green chintenge.

“Mulibwuia Buti” I greet Madame Chiyombwe with a small curtsey and she returns a small smile, a gentle handshake and a softspoken “Kabutu’. I tried to read the somewhat restrained and emotionless face, and as I came up empty handed, a part of me wondered what the next few days were really going to be like and if much of it would be spent in silence.

It wasn’t. Over the next four days, I shadow Madame as we go into the fields, as we walk around the community to visit village headman. During our time together, I discover that she is a community leader, a risk taker, and above all a mother who represents the simple hope that is common across communities and cultures.

I arrive at the house, and look around me to and see the tin roof on the main house, four mud brick thatch roofed houses, maize in the three sheds, the ox ploughs, a latrine, plenty of chickens, pigs, cattle, a well, and a the sizeable woodpile. This is the time of year when many households are trying to hold hunger at bay for another few months until harvest season arrives but I can see that this is a secure household and I was curious to know understand what made the Chiyombwes a successful rural farming family.

Madame is 50, healthy and still built like a horse. We get up at the crack of dawn and head into the fields to weed her groundnut and sweet potatoe fields. As much as I want to slow down with as my spoiled hands form blisters and my weak back begins to pain from being bent over, I have to stifle these thoughts as Madame shows no signs of weakness.

Madame tells me about how she first had to learn to use the ox drawn plough – a rare task for women because of the strength required. Mister Chiyombwe was teaching, and there was no one else who could help with ploughing and so I had no choice’. She says this with a quiet pride as she recognises that in ploughing her own field, she had bucked the gender trend.

Madame, Muzinga and Whista, weeding sweet potato field

She is a community leader, an HIV/aids peer educator and takes care of HIV patients when she has time. She used to sit on the committee for Food aid distribution, was one of the first women to join CLUSA – a cooperative initiative, and also one of the first women to join Zambia national Farmer’s union. Because of these leadership positions she is highly trusted within the community.

"Why doesn’t mr. Chiyombwe put the cattle in the health plan? I asked as we walked to visit the village headman one day."

Madame had attended the livestock meeting to learn about what the Herd Health Plan was all about. Her husband, Mr. Chiyombwe has about 70 cattle but none of them were yet on the health plan, and for what she understood, it makes sense that they invest a little money to keep the animals healthy. Afterall, the family had lost 50% of their cattle during the disease outbreak 10 years ago.

‘ ah, I don’t know.’ And then with a small smile, she says ‘but you and me, tonight, we’ll talk to him, and I’m sure he’ll agree.’

You see, in the Chiyombwe household, Madame is the risk taker. She was one of the first farmers in the area to grow paprika and soon became the lead famer. One of the challenges in getting farmers to adopt new behaviour is that the vulnerability of poor farmers make them highly risk adverse and it is difficult to get them to take on a new behaviour because any slight mistake would cost a household their security for the season. She is the one who was willing to plant fruit orchard when Mr. Chiyombwe thought it was a waste of time. After two seasons, Mr. Chiyombwe saw the value in the fruit and decided what a great idea having an orchard is! And decided to create one for himself.

On our way back from weeding

And of course, Madame is a mother. she is a mother of 7 and a grandmother of 28. While she was not able to attend secondary school, her daughter Muzinga has and in fact, Muzinga is now a teacher in the nearby community, Mazabuka.

I ask Madame what she hopes for her children and grandchildren. ‘Security. Not needing to worry about food, about money. To continue to pursue learning and get an education. ’

Muzinga (daughter), Madame, Little Chipu ( grandaughter)

It’s simple isn’t it? At the end of the day, this is what development is all about. That you may not have gone to high school, but you work hard so that your daughter might. And while she might not be able to finish high school, she will work hard to ensure that her daughter can. Step by step, this is how progress is made and you work hard to provide a better future for your children, a future with opportunities and freedoms that you had only dreamed of.

And when I think of this simple fact, I can’t help but think about the one woman who embodies this same spirit; the same simple dream, a better future for her children. This woman is an incredibly hard worker and has inspired me to be a better person; she taught me about compassion, to care about others, to not be afraid to laugh at yourself and to see the beauty in the world.

I see this women in all of the inspirational people like Madame that I meet and this woman is of course, none other than my mother.

My mother 'recently' turned 60, and I am proud of her for many reasons. Not just because of raisingus four kids ( three pain of the butt brothers and me, the angel daughter :) hehe) but because she finally decided to take time to take care of herself and do things that she wants to do. And it's been amazing. She taught herself how to use the computer and is now on the internet using messenger and webcam; she learned to play the violin, began ballroom dancing, she goes crazy with her tai chi ( hence not doing anything for the reputation that us chinese all know kung fu). She continues to be a child at heart and in doing so, has not lost even the tiniest bit of the care and compassion that she has for her family and her community.

Mom, thank you for all of the gifts that you gave me and my brothers; the love of art and music, the love of laughter, the care and compassion for others, the love of sport and learning. But maybe most of all, thank you for giving us the opportunity to lead a life that we value, for the freedoms and choice that enable us to follow our passions. And I hope that you will know that part of the reason why I'm doing what I'm doing today is because of these gifts that you given me and for that, I am forever grateful.

Happy Mother’s Day mom. Miss you lots and can’t wait to introduce you to Madame when you and Dad come to visit.

Like mother...

like daughter.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

administrative details

woah. i know.

i don't post for a month, and then i go bonkers.

And sorry, this one is pure administration. Have had a few requests for contact details and thought I would share widely in case oh, you have some spare time on your hands...

you can go old school and use snail mail:

Ka-Hay Law
c/o PROFIT Project
Private Bag 307X RW
6 Tukuluho Road
Lusaka, Zambia

join the power and go new age:

mobile: +260 979406298 (** note this has been updated recently**)
skype: Ka-Hay Law (Zambia location)

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Safety first.

When you’re new in a city and culture, it is easy to be distracted by bright shiny objects and miss the deep dark underbelly of society. We all take safety seriously, and it is top of mind to avoid sketchy situations. Lusaka, generally, is quite safe. Sure, there’s the odd pick-pocketer along Cairo road and City market, and it’s probably not safe to wander the streets after 2000 hours, but generally, it’s pretty safe here.

A few weeks back, I discovered that I might actually have a bit more freedom than other volunteers. You see, I discovered, since my looks shout Chinese, there is an automatic conclusion that in fact, I am from China and further more, I know kung fu.

My initial reaction when I first heard this stereotype was oh god, not this again.

You see, growing up in white rural, southern Ontario, I didn’t like the fact that I was ‘Chinese’, hated how people judged me because I looked different, and cringed when people would make assumptions like how I must know karate. Although I always got the last laugh watching people behave like fools as they showed off kung fu nonsense, deep down, I would resent how I would be stereotyped into a culture that I knew very little about. Unbeknownst to me a decade or so later, and half way around the world, I would be revisiting these scars of childhood.

At least things change, with age comes wisdom and I have since come to discover that as much as I dreaded that stereotype, there is actually some silver lining in it.

Globalization in all of its power, has opened the doors of Zambia to massive foreign investment by the Chinese who, like the rest of the world, has particular interest in Africa’s wealth of natural resources ( interestingly, China just handed Zambia $39M support package to purchase agric equipment…sigh). But I’m not in the mood to debate the positives and negatives of FDI in this post. Instead, I wanted to focus on the brighter side of the liberalization of markets, which brings with it what? None other than the influx of Chinese pirated DVDs of course! Of particular interest are the ones that feature kung fu superstars like Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. HAIYA!

Thanks to this cultural invasion (or is it…revolution?), people not only believe I know kung fu, they also believe that I can kick anyone’s ass. Now, this is of course TRUE, but the point of the story isn’t the fact that I really CAN, but that there is an automatic association between the Chinese and getting your ass kicked and so people naturally fear messing with me.

The first time I discovered this, I was sitting around chatting with a few friends. Out of the blue, Max, who actually reminds me of Eddie Murphy asks me,

“Tell me Ka-Hay, you know kung fu right?”

“Ahh……sure?” ( It’s a half truth... one of my ancestors probably knew kung fu)

“Ah, see! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (squeal of amazement as one realizes the truth).

Tell me, you have been training since you were this small yes? (holds his hand out to indicate the height of my little 1 ½ year old nephew)’

Ahhhhh…..(can’t answer through my tears of laughter)

“Tell me also, have you seen Jackie Chan with your naked eyes?”

Jackie Chan is worshipped here. Seriously, anyone know his agent? Get him on the next plane to Lusaka and he will be mobbed by rabid fans. Ok, maybe not mobbed but certainly worshipped…from afar…far out of the reach of his hands an feet.

Through fits of laughter, Max tells me about how this belief came to be. The legend here in the town of Monze (but surely, you can replace it with any other Zambian town or city.) goes something like this:

“You see, there was this chap in Monze – my friend Laurence's cousin—who was one of the best boxers in town. He trained all the time and no one could beat him no matter how hard they tried. This guy was GOOD, tough!”

Max emphasizes the last point with a flex of his bicep

“One night, he came across a little Chinese man just on that road over there (point in the appropriate direction) and one thing led to another and they had a quarrel. And then the little Chinese man, who looked like only a small boy, beat HIM! UGLY! UGLY!

I AM TELLING you! UUUUGGGGGLY!Aaaaaaaaaaaaah (squeal of delight).

And so, we don’t mess with you people. You guys, you can walk around the market at 2300 hours and you will be safe.”

“So, do most people here think that all Chinese people know kung fu?”

“No, uh ahn, not most people.

ALL people, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. EVERYONE knows that the Chinese know kung fu.

And you people, you don’t have bones. You can be beaten and nothing, no bleeding, nothing. But us, aaaaaaaaah, we will be beaten UG-LeY.”

So, I’ve tested the scope of this belief; from Mkushi to Choma, to Lusaka and it is true, no one wants to mess with me for fear of being beaten ugly. And so I can be one of the few volunteers who can wander around until about 2300hrs, by myself, and maybe even with a few million kwacha hanging out of my pockets, gold chains around my neck, swinging strings of diamonds around and wearing a sign that says ‘Rob me, please…I beg you’, and I would still be safe.

I am conscious of the many privileges and stereotypes I bring and do actively try to break as many of them as possible; But you know, this one, this is one that I have consciously decided to let run wild.

I do have to mention however, as with all good things, there is an exception, and I learned about it on Easter weekend a little while back. What is it? Well… its that the Chinese association only works if you’re awake.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the southern Africa EWB volunteers got together in Malawi for our quarterly meeting over the Easter weekend. After putting all of the trial and tribulations of the travels to Malawi (see demonstracion del gongo post) behind us, we got to work and put our heads together to chat about our placements our work, our organizations, and opportunities to have more impact and other such things. All of this was done at Senga Bay campgrounds ( would suggest anyone who is traveling in that neck of the woods to check it out) which is a gorgeous place right on the coast of Lake Malawi. In between our work sessions, we were able to have campfires on the beach, jump in the lake to cool off when the sun got too hot, and just enjoyed being surrounded by scenery and nature around us.

One evening, some us of decided to sleep out on the beach. Just picture this, it was a brilliant; the stars were out, the air warm, and the sand soft. I laid down my chitenge (African cloth) to sleep on, rolled out my sleeping bag and to protect myself against my own carelessness (high risk factor), I put my glasses in its case and put the case beside my head.

OOOOHHHH, it was a glorious slumber; warm breeze, sand moulded bed, moonlit and star scattered sky, waves crashing against the shore. In the morning I woke with the rising of the sun and looked out across the waters of the lake. I thought about how perfect it was and how lucky I was to have been able to experience such a lovely sleep.

And then reality set in.

It turns out, during the night, some guy had walked by our group and made like it was Boxing Day. He did some five finger discount shopping acquiring a cell phone from my friend Trevor, a head lamp from my friend Danny, and from me, from little innocent ol’ me, from beside my big fat head, a pair of glasses.

That’s right MY GLASSES! Gone! You know, I always thought it was just a figure of speech, but that night I was literally robbed blind.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Maybe it was because my face was buried in my sleeping bag that this unbelievable event happened. Surely, had he seen the Chinese features I had inherited from my parents, he would have thought twice about taking what was not his because I would have, most definitely, beaten him UGLY.

We looked for my specs on the beach. (ok, alright. My friends looked, I blindly tagged along like a drunken fool trying not to fall into piles of garbage or bump into kids). Nothing.

We talked to the kind staff at the campgrounds who suggested our first action should be to report it to the police. (Hahaha, Oh stop, it hurts.)

I even offered a bounty of $100 USD for anyone who could bring back my glasses in one piece, no questions asked. (Vision after all is priceless). Nothing.

So, as you read this, somewhere in Malawi some poor soul is trying to pawn off my pair of coke bottle glasses. What’s sad is that he even doesn’t realise that he’s never going to get any money for them because they’re strong enough to make anyone nauseous, dangerous enough to blind someone for life and powerful enough to knock anyone out cold the instant they put them on.

In the meantime, if you’re eager and passing through Malawi anytime soon, the bounty is still on. Just send me the goods in a brown unmarked envelope and if all is intact, I’ll send you the cash.

And as for me, well, I’ve kicked my kung fu training up a notch. I’ve trained myself to sleep with my face uncovered, well exposed and visible at all times. Oh, and to remedy my temporary blindness, I’ve taken to using my spare pair of glasses…

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

demonstracion del gongo


Yes, I’ve been delinquent. Thanks to those of you sending emails to check in, see how things are going, and make sure that I’m actually still in Zambia and not back in Canada hiding out somewhere in Kits eating bon bons and drinking organic fair-trade non-fat cappuccinos extra hot while getting a reflexology treatment and green tea facial.

I am in fact, still here, still alive, and doing more than well. There is a lot to update on in terms of my project now with PROFIT and Zambia National Farmers Union as things are falling into place, but I’ve been selfish in keeping personal experiences on this side of the Atlantic and thought that I would devote a bit of webspace to being me in Zambia.

So, if you’re looking for deep development insights, check back in a few days. Otherwise, if you' re just looking for some story telling to distract you from your work, fix yourself a cup of coffee, pour yourself a glass of chardonnay (one or the other...would not suggest both) and read on. Sorry if it is a bit text heavy, but there are some pictographs scattered throughout to satisfy you visual types.

All the best you as spring arrives throughout the land of the maple leaf!

Randomness. Entropy. No, I’m not talking about the second law of thermodynamics, I’m talking about good old fashioned, random, *surprise*, 'what-the!' kind of events that shake you around, leave ou laughing and remind you that you are alive.

One of the parts of Ghana that I loved was the energy that seemed to swirl around you. Things were systematically chaotic, orderly enough to save pedestrians from being annihilated by a manic taxis, to keep goats steady on the top of buses traveling 100km/hour, to let you fall head over feet into gutters the size of roads and still be ok, to make a 4 hour bus ride stretch into 8 hours and give you a gorgeous moon to stare at. This chaos was so perfectly choreographed it left you wondering if there was a master puppeteer out there and hoping that he or she could pay us a visit in Canada to inject some energy and excitement into our well planned, orderly and dare I say it, predictable lives.

I have to be honest. When I arrived in Lusaka, I was impressed and excited by many things, but I was also longing for chaos as things here are a lot more western here in style and order. Gutters are covered so you couldn’t fall into them even if you tried or paid someone to help you;i have yet to see goats surfing on the top of buses, cars generally stay within the speed limits and usually stop at the red lights, the phones usually work; you usually have water and electricity is relatively stable. So naively, after my first month, I let my guard down and thought to myself ‘wow, everything seems to happen here as planned.’

Record screeches to a stop. Fork clinks against the plate. Awkward silence fills the air.

Thankfully, a series of events that happened a few weekends ago reminded me, that if fact, the chaos exists, the randomness is here, and that I should rid my mind of that silly notion as the powers are alive and well.

Every quarter, EWB volunteers will get together over a long weekend to update our training, go over our respective projects and share ideas with each other and catch each other up on our placements. The first one for me was over the Easter long weekend and I was excited to be heading over to the neighbouring country Malawi.

The BIG PLAN was fairly straight forward. Take the 0600 hours bus from Lusaka to Chipatat and arrive in the eastern border town of by 1400hours. Next, make a quick dash over the boarder into Malawi, hire a taxi ride over to Mchinji ( yes, that same town made famous by Madonna), hire another taxi or bus over Lilongwe where we would meet up with other EWB volunteers. Together, we would all take a bus to Senga Bay on Lake Malawi by 1900 hours.

Easy peasy, connect the dots, 1-2-3-and we’re done.

But consistent with the realities of development, and to feed the Jeffery Sachs vs. William Easterly showdown, we quickly learned that the realy challenge isn’t in making good top down BIG PLAN, the real challenge lies in implementation and being able to SEARCH FOR SOLUTIONS when things stray from the BIG PLAN.

Here’s how it all went down:

0530hrs: The six of us arrive happy at the Intercity bus station and begin to settle in for our long journey to Chipata. I had remembered the randomness of buses in Ghana (read: it gets there when it gets there, if it gets there) but was reassured by my friend Paul that

"no, no, the buses here in Zambia are MUCH more reliable, comfortable, leave on time"

and it was going to be smooth sailing.

0600hrs: Departure time passes, bus is still in the station but no worries, we roll out of the station 20 minutes later and after a small detour to the filling station we were soon on our way, accompanying the sun rise over the country side.

0710hrs: A small announcement wakes me from my slumber. ‘Someone’ had not tightened the cap properly and hydraulic fluid had leaked out. Ah, acuna muthatha, no worries, all they had to do was get some replacement fluid and then tighten the cap and we would all be on our way. We pullover to the roadside in Chongwe, 40 km out of town.

Sometime past noon. Miracle of miracles. It turns out refilling the hydraulic fluid and tightening the cap is an intensive 5+ hour process becauseamazingly we were still in Chongwe, still the same 40 km outside of Lusaka and no further along on our journey. I could have walked and gotten further.

So, what is there to do when stranded on the side of the road and there's no CAA to call or Tim Horton's to visit?


For one, we chatted with the locals.

Fellow volunteer Jen with candy man who entertained stranded travellers with sweets

Checked out local latrine building techniques and conditions (hold your nose)

Played some ultimate Frisbee and watched as our bus drives off, in the opposite direction of where you want to go…with all of your things still on it... including two of your friends.

uhmmmm what's wrong with this picture?

We even played Iron chef and launched Zambia’s first ever Banana Fritter.

Big pile-o-greasy fritters (the original)

A fritters is a fried dough that is one of the few street foods here. We made friends with seller and learned that in the course of one day, she can net about 100, 000 ZMK ($30) selling them. I remembered how my mom makes fried bananas and suggested to her that perhaps she try adding a little someth'n someth'n in the way of bananas to differentiate herself from her competitors. Naturally, Madame was a bit hesitant and doubtful at first. but fear not, Jen and I used a market facilitation approach; we helped buy down her risk by investing in test bananas ourselves and then guaranteed her a market (us).

Madame testing out new fritters with our investment of bananas

We're not sure if she did this out of pity for our boredom, but she gave it a go, and while it probably requires a dash of sugar and a touch of salt, we would have to say, pretty successful!

Cooking of the first ever banana fritter in zambia!

And then as we were digesting the grease of the friteer, we waited.

And we waited some more.

And, after a few of the market ladies overheard us wishing for an impassa (reed mat), they generously brought one from their house. We laid down for a nice nap, sheltered from the sun, right beside the tar road and a maize field. Ah, such is the life

ant-eye view as we nap beside a field of maize (whichclearly hadn't had fertliser applied to it.)

And then, the moment we fell asleep, a replacement bus pulls up ( problem solved).

7 hours later, we arrived in Chipata without another hitch. Got some food, and then made our way over the next leg of the trip – crossing the border

Borders, for whatever reason scare me. Even when I’m passing into the US ( which of course, is scary in its own right) I get nervous. It’s not like I’m a fugitive, or have things I’m not suppose to have, hiding somewhere they’re not supposed hide. But even though I’m entirely innocent, I still get nervous.

So you can imagine my feeling that night, trying to cross from Zambia to Malawi with an expired visa (longer story). The border guard didn’t seem too impressed by small detail but thankfully I had gotten malaria the week before and even more thankfully, had my medical clinic receipt on me and this seemed to be a good enough for the guard. Problem solved, and I was waved through after only small confrontation.

Border behind us, we moved on and looked for a taxi to take us to Mjinchi. We found one about the size of a Honda civic and 6 of us + driver (= 7) piled our bags and bodies into a car in a manner that resembled those car commercials touting lots of interior space: two guys in the front passenger, four of us in the back. If life was really like what it looks like on TV, it would have been relatively uneventful and boring, but fortunately, that’s not the case and we were enjoyed a more colourful version.

Paul and Ed, two of the biggest and tallest volunteers among us, crammed into passenger seat

First, let me set the context, it’s not like any of us are heavy or ‘big boned’ ( KK, don’t even go there), but when you add 7 people into a 5 seater which already was lowered, pack the trunk full of bags, take away any elasticity in the shocks, and drive it over unpaved roads so bumpy it makes a mogul run look like a sheet of glass, you get an up and down ride that goes something like this :



Ssccccrrreeeeeccchhh, cccrrruuuunnnchhhhhh, ggrrriiinnnndddd




(oh here we go again, cringe)

Ssccccrrreeeeeccchhh, cccrrruuuunnnchhhhhh.




Repeat for another 10 minutes with intermittent pauses as we dragged our way up to drinking bars ask if there is petrol for sale. (This is not because cars run on Redbull and vodka here, it’s because this is how fuel works in Malawi).

Amazingly, we didn’t leave a single piece of the exhaust system behind us.

After the off roading stint, we found some nice tar road and of course, nice tar roads come with road blocks. We rolled up to the first one and the policeman walked up to the window and saw our taxi driver looking back at him. The black face was familiar to him and he was about to let us through until the light of his flashlight caught sight of 6 shiny muzungus piled ontop of each other with our glowing innocent faces peering back out at him. ‘ Uhhhhhhhhhh….Hi officer”

“AHHHHH!!” he yelped. He looked as though he had seen a ghost and I thought he was going to pass out from shock. He didn’t.

In fact, I think he was probably more scared than anything else because he waved us through without hesitation.

We rolled into Mjinchi around 2100 hours with another 300 + km of traveling ahead of us. Our taxi wasn’t going to take us any further and we had to negotiate for another. A few emerged from the shadows but the prices were looking to be quite high and we were prepared to settle in for a good bartering session. We didn’t have to wait too long though as we got a great deal from one man who was very eager to drive us. So eager he began to wave around the bottle of beer he was drinking.

Uh Ahn. Safety first. We informed him that he had successfully disqualified himself but he insisted that he would find one of his drivers who would be able to drive us. Three minutes later, he cruises up alongside us and informs us that he can’t find his driver, but he has an idea: why doesn’t one of US drive because by the time we arrive at our destination, he’ll probably have sobered up and can take his car back.

Brilliant. And in that instant, Paul become our taxi driver, we acquired a new passenger, played a bit of musical chairs and packed ourselves into the car. Problem solved and we moved onward.

Things went relatively smoothly after that. We passed through check points mostly un-accosted and after 18 hours of traveling and were finally starting to ‘win’ as my friend Mike once put it when writing about the way things work in Africa. We were reveling about things were going so well and dreaming about how we would soon be able to take a nice long sleep and then….


We blew a tire.

1 km from our destination.


They say that most discoveries happen by accident and I’d have to attest to that. In blowing a tire, we discovered a new breathalyzer test; screw walking in a straight line, forget touching your nose with your fingers, throw away that fancy machine officer, just get someone to change a tire.

Over the hour and half ride from Lilongwe, the driver had gathered his senses and passed with flying colours. In three minutes flat (seriously, no exaggeration) to all of our astonishment, the spare was secured and the car repacked. Problem solved we were ready to go.

We re-packed ourselves back into the car, sat in silence, held our breath and kept our eyes peeled for ready for anything, ANYTHING to happen in the last 1000m. I half expected the ground to open up and swallow us whole, or a tree to emerge from the barren roadside and crash across the road, or seven dwarfs to wander in front of the car and chain themselves to the road, or even a pterodactyl to swoop in and pluck our little car from the crust of the earth.

Amazingly, nothing did.

We finally arrived at our destination, 1am the next morning, full 6 hours later than planned and 19 hours since we started off. We lived through the escapade, a bit tired, unscarred and two lessons richer. The first lesson being that one that most development agencies still don’t fully grasp – a good plan is worth crap if you can’t implement it and in implementing, it’s all about searching for solutions.

And then, the second, perhaps most important lesson we learned was about holds the balance of power here.

And it sure ain't us.

OFFICIAL EWB Southern Africa Volunteers in Senga Bay, Malawi

True colours