Two for Tuesday: Malawi Village   16 comments

Lake Malawi, Africa

Lake Malawi, Africa

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!

Two local women crack up while preparing casava in a small village above Lake Malawi.

Two local women crack up while preparing casava in a small village above Lake Malawi.

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16 responses to “Two for Tuesday: Malawi Village

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  1. Great idea to let them take pictures of you trying to do this. It gave you a chance to express your respect for the difficulty of the work. I lived in southern Africa for six years–in Lesotho, and then during Mandela’s presidency, in South Africa. I was a professor of theatre-for-education and empowerment. I will always be dreaming of going back, although now I doubt I will ever get back again. Most of the people I knew in Lesotho have died. But thanks for the memories and for this excellent story of a photographer leveling the field of power.

    • Thank you Kendall, but never say never! I’m going back to be sure, possibly to live. I did manage to travel through Lesotho, though it was a short detour. Beautiful rolling green!

  2. So glad you made the women feel at ease and validated.

  3. Great shots.

  4. Such a gorgeous view from that thatched hut.

  5. Malawi can be an exquisitely beautiful country, but it is also impossibly poor

  6. Beautiful! I hope you might consider posting one of the pics of you goofing off too. 🙂

  7. I love your wonderful adventures and the people you meet..

  8. A nice picture and interchange. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Hope she got the message that this image comes across as both fascinating and powerful. Definitely a cultural eye-opener. In a good way. Thanks for sharing it, and the story.

    Melissa Shaw-Smith
  10. Interesting

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