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Malawi: Murderous Thanksgiving, AIDS Day and crossing the Zimbabwean border

Thanksgiving in Malawi

Mikey McKay has been living in Malawi for a couple of years. He has been very key to the ICT world in Malawi in his own way. Though we almost never covered him on Malawian GV roundups, he is a man who has been in the background encouraging a few ICT pioneers in Malawi. He recently blogged about Thanksgiving which turned out to be an adventure as he had for the first time come face-to-face with a live turkey:

I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do it. But I wanted to do it well – I didn’t want to make the turkey suffer – it should be fast. With my resolve set I went for it – and planned to cut the neck in a few strokes. But it wasn’t easy. My strokes weren’t cutting the red loose neck skin. I had to push harder, and grip the neck tighter. Then I pierced the skin, the blood splurted and I pushed with all my might until the neck snapped and I was left with the turkeys face free from its body, opening and closing its mouth in my hand, while its dismembered body quivered and tried to get up and run. George held the body down – it took what seemed like forever – probably 3 minutes or so – for it to calm itself.

Mikey is leaving Malawi in a few weeks, and we wish him all the the best. Thanks for being an encouragement to the Malawi's blogosphere.

AIDS Fight On

While the international and local communities continue planning strategies for the fight against HIV and AIDS, this year's World AIDS Day was commemorated in a different light.

An Adventist Development Relief Agency in Malawi thought of mobilizing some people in their project areas under this year’s theme Stop AIDS: Keep the promise with the subtitle Leadership: Lead, empower and deliver. The organization, which has been in Malawi for 26 years, blogged about its recent visit to Machinga:

Community mobilization was done through group village heads and a meeting with the people from Traditional Authority Liwonde occurred on 27th November 2008. Rehearsals were done on 29th November.

The communities lead different activities including drama, songs, traditional dances with HIV and AIDS messages, making the event a success. Most of the groups that did well in their performances were mentored by ADRA Malawi through theater for development training that it offered to its youth clubs and facilitators. For example the best drama group was a youth group from Mangamba another site for ADRA in Machinga.

In a related development, Japan-based Malawian blogger Clement Nthambazale wishes the much-talked about end of HIV could be true.

Is there anything good in Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe is seen to be like hell by many who have been there or follow the news about the country. But for Malawian blogger Boniface Dulani, Zimbabwe was the only place where he found solace during his 36-hour trip from Malawi to South Africa. Though he acknowledges the problems he saw, he blogs about his unique experiences under the heading A 36-Hour Road Trip to Johannesburg:

Things are bad in Zimbabwe, and this is obvious from the numerous road signs and warnings about the need to be extra vigilant about the cholera epidemic there, the constant flow of people from Mozambique and South Africa into Zimbabwe carrying all manner of commodities etc. But, despite all those challenges, there is a positive story to tell from my trip: Zimbabwe is the only country where I didn’t have to pay any bribes to get both an entry and exit visa. The Zimbabwe immigration officers at Nyamapanda and Beitbridge were also among the quickest to process visas so much that there were never any queues at either end of the border- both on my outward and returning trips.

Meanwhile let me wish all bloggers all the best of the festive season.

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