The minibus system: you’re never sure why things work the way they do, but the amazing thing is that they actually do work. … More Minibuses: The mayhem. The mystery. The marvel.
Crouched on the ground, dirt staining the tips of our fingers, our group of international and local Malawian volunteers plucked small green weeds from the tree nursery at the youth centre. As we worked, the conversation turned briefly to religion. “Sasha, do you believe in God?” one of the Malawian volunteers asked me without preamble. … More “Do you believe in God?”
One bright Saturday morning, Silly Azungu decides to brave the two-minibus trip to town to go to the bank. Her volunteer organization has requested she pay back funds lent to her when she arrived, and so, armed with the bank account information, she assumes this won’t be a difficult task. Dressed inappropriately (because of heat, … More Silly Azungu Goes to the Bank
The sun is setting over the hills near my neighbourhood. The sky is still light blue on the horizon, streaked with yellow-gold and white clouds. The noises of the neighbourhood are all around us as the evening turns to dark: children yelling, families chattering, radios playing, dogs barking. The compound where I am staying sits … More The View Over My Back Wall
I think about race a lot at home—how a person’s race affects their socioeconomic status in Canada, or how we as a society hold assumptions and beliefs about people based on the colour of their skin. I know it can be an uncomfortable topic, but racism is a real thing in Canada; in fact, I … More Azungu, Azungu: Being white in Malawi
Forget that you don’t much like nightclubs in your own culture and your own city, where you feel safe and comfortable. Walk with purpose into the dark club, where some people sit around tables in an open-air section and others dance on a compact stage by the bar. Make room for your group on the … More How to enjoy a Malawian nightclub
You know when you watch the news and the weather reporter points at the green screen behind her to a mass of swirling, chaotic colours that represent an incoming storm system? Well, that green screen is my brain. A cerebral vortex, if you will. Today’s day 3 in Malawi, and so far the most consistent … More First Impressions: Cerebral Vortex