This is an occasional series on my blog where two pictures tell one story. The images are from a trip to southern Africa a few years ago. Malawi is an amazing country. You can’t drive to this small village above Lake Malawi, and it’s a long steep walk to Livingstonia. Everyone was very friendly.
Halfway up, passing through a small village, I met a woman who offered to guide me to a local waterfall: so beautiful and refreshing! After that, we passed another woman pounding casava into flour in a giant wooden mortar and pestle. I tried and boy was it strenuous!
She was embarrassed at first to be the subject of my pictures. She was actually afraid I would take them back home where she would be ridiculed for her poor way of life and for being similar to a monkey! I couldn’t believe what my guide was translating to me.
My guide and I assured her none of the people I showed the pictures to would ever dream of making fun of her. I said both she and her village were beautiful and very impressive to me and everyone else back home. I asked to use the mortar and had her take pictures of me goofing off, trying to be funny. It didn’t take long for her to warm up to me (she’s the one seated).
With travel, not only are your own preconceptions about other cultures shattered, you get to correct what others think about your own culture as well!