My Adventures in Malawi

26 Nov

CHAPTER ELEVEN — 11/06/2007 — Little Things

I am the first one to be annoyed at the tiniest little things for reasons only known to my OC disorder.

On the other hand, I also realize that the littlest things can make me happy (and it doesn’t ALWAYS have to be chocolate-covered).

The interesting part is when something that usually annoys you suddenly amuses you. It doesn’t happen often (to me anyway) except when I am traveling.

For example, I cannot stand rain in DC; I enjoy it here and in Ireland.

I would not imagine going to work without make-up; guess whose face has been living au naturel for the past 2 months.

The morning the water was out (no shower!) was not the happiest, but I know it would have been unbearable had I been home.

The light in my bathroom has been acting out for days, and it’s only yesterday morning that I told the staff. In DC, the fact that it wasn’t fixed by the time I got back would ruin my mood; here, I smiled, said “Thank you for helping” and MEANT it.

Germs are energetically eliminated (weapon of mass disinfection) both at home and at the office; here I return to my blissful ignorance of the early days when I would be found in the garden eating dirt… No, I am not saying I have tasted Malawian dirt just that I don’t fuss as much about dirty surfaces.

American bugs are repulsive; there isn’t a week that I don’t find some strange looking insect scurrying around my room and I make a deal with each of them: my space (gesturing towards my bed), your space (everywhere else), let’s live in peace (except of course mosquitoes, which get a thorough chase until death do us part).

Even insomnia is sweeter in Malawi than in DC. Now you know why I like to travel: I am a much better person on foreign soil!

Of course there are also the things you enjoy doing anywhere. I cannot wait to host my Girls Night Out Party tomorrow night (no no not farewell party). I am surrounded by great women — some things don’t change: men are elusive everywhere! I have great chats and meals with Ingrid, my favorite Zim girl.

Today, we had an impromptu lunch after delicious food from a meeting was left uneaten. About 7 of us (all women…) had a picnic in the big conference room, laughing and chewing sesame chicken bits, samosas, crusted stuff, etc. There is a tiny part of me that likes surprises and spontaneity… in small doses!

Then there are the things you cannot stand anywhere in the world, like housework and farewells.

My deep deep deeeeeeep denial about my departure is melting like snow in the sun. In my head, I am not leaving Malawi, I am going to Ireland to prolong the 2 months of bliss: no cooking, no laundry, no ironing (I would not dare ask for more… well, except for some books and dark M&Ms).

I cannot wait to see my aunt and be pampered. I can easily forget that once my Irish vacation is over, I’ll be heading to the dreary 1818 H St corner instead of the Greenhouse Lodge’s magnificent garden in Area 43.

I was in blissful denial until good-byes started (2 people from the office are traveling and won’t be back by Saturday) and some people have said “we’ll miss you.” No no no no no — if you don’t say it it won’t happen — if I close my eyes you won’t see me — where is Khwima with the dark M&Ms Magda (aka my savior) has bought for me?!


10 Responses to “My Adventures in Malawi”


  1. Malawi: A Growing City and its Pay-to-Cross Footbridges · Global Voices - 15 J00000010Australia/Sydney 2011

    […] they were in Air Jordan basketball sneakers. A Swiss blogger, Janique Racine, wrote in 2007 about being frightened to death upon crossing a swaying bridge. She said: Of course you don’t want to look down but you have to because your foot might get […]

  2. Malawi: En växande stad och dess avgiftsbelagda gångbroar · Global Voices på svenska - 15 J00000010Australia/Sydney 2011

    […] Racine, en schweizisk bloggare, skrev under 2007 om att hon var livrädd när hon korsade en svajande bro [en]. Hon sa: Of course you don’t want to look down but you have to because your foot might get […]

  3. مالاوي: مدينة مزدهرة ودفعها مقابل عبور جسور المشاة · Global Voices الأصوات العالمية - 15 J00000010Australia/Sydney 2011

    […] مدونة سويسرية، جانيك راسين، عام 2007 عن رعبها أثناء عبور جسر معلق متأرجح. […]

  4. Malawi: i ponti pedonali a pedaggio di una città che cresce · Global Voices in Italiano - 15 J00000010Australia/Sydney 2011

    […] blogger svizzera, Janique Racine, nel 2007 raccontava della paura terribile nell'attraversare un ponte sospeso in Malawi [en]. Chiaro che non vorresti guardare in basso, ma devi farlo, altrimenti rischi di rimanere con […]

  5. Global Voices | 马拉威:都市发展与收费桥梁 | 轻度穿墙: - 15 J00000010Australia/Sydney 2011

    […] Racine曾在2007年提到,走在摇晃不已的桥上让她差点吓死: […]

  6. Μαλάουι: Μια πόλη που αναπτύσσεται και οι γέφυρες με διόδια · Global Voices στα Ελληνικά - 15 J00000010Australia/Sydney 2011

    […] […]

  7. Winning IvyPrez Idol Can Get you Far « Travelling Tastebuds - 15 J0000003Australia/Sydney 2011

    […] It made me reminisce about my time at the World Bank, and the highlight of my time in Washington, ironically, is my trip to Malawi in September and October 2007. […]

  8. A Growing City in Malawi and its Pay-to-Cross Footbridges | This Big City - 15 J0000008Australia/Sydney 2011

    […] Swiss blogger, Janique Racine, wrote in 2007 about being frightened to death upon crossing a swaying bridge. She […]

  9. Malawi: Una ciudad en crecimiento y sus puentes peatonales con peaje | This Big City en español - 15 J0000009Australia/Sydney 2011

    […] blogger suiza Janique Racine escribió en 2007 sobre tener miedo a la muerte al cruzar los puentes colgantes [en]. […]

  10. 馬拉威:都市發展與收費橋樑 | This Big City 城事 - 15 J00000010Australia/Sydney 2011

    […] 瑞士部落客Janique Racine曾在2007年提到,走在搖晃不已的橋上讓她差點嚇死: […]

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