You really know how to dance… (I am inadvertently on a song referencing spree at the moment).
But truly, I will resume the list from yesterday. It’s time to talk about the top 5 things I love about living in Malawi.
Number 5: Saint Andrew’s International High School– This past year I worked for 6 months at Saint Andrews High School here in Blantyre and I loved every minute of it. Okay, I can’t say EVERY minute as it was a HUGE adjustment coming from the American curriculum and teaching the British curriculum; but after a few weeks I was back at the top of my game.
The students at Saints are fantastic and were eager to be taught by the only American on campus. “Ms. you’re such a stereotypical American!” “You mean loud and obnoxious?” …. It was neat for me to be able to share my culture with them as they shared theirs.
The neat thing about Saints is that students come to this school from ALL over the world. At International Evening (a night hosted to celebrate everyone’s different backgrounds) there were 48 countries represented at the school!
Number 4: Afro Lounge— Yum! Malawi is known for its coffee production and let me tell you, it doesn’t disappoint. My favorite place to grab a latte is Afro Lounge. A small cafe that recently opened where the service is phenomenal and the prices low (always a perk in my husband’s eyes).
On occasion we will come here to relax, surf the web (is that even still a phrase anymore?) and enjoy some delicious coffee and food.
Number 3: Every American feels like Family– This sounds ridiculous, but when you’re in the middle of Africa and you stumble upon an American, no matter what state they’re from, you’re instantly friends. More than this, you feel a sense of camaraderie that is inexplainable.
Usually, upon realizing you’re both from The States you’ll begin chanting “U-S-A, U-S-A” just loud enough that those around you realize that you’re both American. It sounds childish, but you’d understand if you too were so far from home.
Oh, and did I mention Americans are rare? We’re the equivalent of unicorns here in Malawi; most expats are European.
Number 2: Landscape– Malawi is gorgeous. From the Zomba plateau, to the waterfalls at Mulanje there’s something for everyone here. The country is home to the largest collection of fresh water fish in the world residing in Lake Malawi–which in all reality resembles more of the ocean than a lake it’s so gigantic.
Even from our house, Mike and I can look out our back windows and see mountains in the distance. The flowers are always in bloom (think San Diego or Hawaii) and the sun is always shining, what more could you want?
Number 1: Culture– The number one reason I enjoy living in Malawi is the culture. It’s exciting to be able to experience a completely different culture than your own. Whether it be at work where there’s a collision of over 48 different cultures or simply walking into a supermarket and observing the differences.
For example, no one abides by line etiquette. I’m not sure if you realize how frustrating this is for two A-type Americans, but it can cause some severe headaches. “Umm…excuse me? I’ve been waiting for two hours…”
We’re always meeting new people and this allows us to have a greater understanding of the world around us. It helps us establish patience with all people, and it encourages us to explore our own ideals coming from the U.S.
So there you have it, the top 5 reasons I enjoy living in Malawi. There’s never a dull moment here; whether your roof is caving in due to water leakage or you realize someone has stolen the emblem from the front of your car, there’s always something to make you laugh!