Messages from Malawi

“We are eating mangoes now. The picture I have sent is one of our own trees outside our house.“ I wake to messages like this often. They arrive on my phone all the way from Malawi in the middle of the night, at the latest by 5 o’clock, when most Malawians have been up and … More Messages from Malawi

Malawi Matters

I’ve taken you out to Margret’s Malawian Kitchen, and introduced you to Israel (again) and F Man (briefly). So here now is a fuller idea of why my son and I went to Malawi. (This post can also be found on Empathy Action.) I’m tagging along on my son’s trip (he’s here to gain some … More Malawi Matters

About F Man

A little bit about my friend, Fazili Gama, shared originally by Empathy Action. Meet Fazili, otherwise known as F Man. He lives in a town called Kasungu in Malawi, and is THE man to go to if you need your phone fixed. He started out young, fixing his teachers’ phones when he needed to pay … More About F Man

Israel

I first met Israel in 2016 at a primary school in rural Malawi. I remember introducing him here on this blog, telling of his penchant for my sunglasses and the sparkle in his eye. He was nine years old. I wondered whether I would ever see him again. But when my son and I revisit … More Israel

Margret’s Kitchen

Jon chops onions, I take photos, and Margret is sensational in yellow. We are in Margret’s kitchen, to the rear of the house she shares with Kenneth, her husband, and their son, Jonathan, in rural Malawi. It’s the end of a fascinating trip (more of which later). Clean pots and pans wait as fires hot … More Margret’s Kitchen

A Serious Case of Escapism

In an attempt to take my life a little more seriously than I habitually do, I make coffee, then grab a pen and a whimsically-covered notebook. I plonk random pieces of fruit next to me for colour and inspiration, and read snippets of this fabulously escapist and informative book (another Oxfam bookshop gem). Funny and … More A Serious Case of Escapism

Lovely Luffa

Last year my naive experiment of growing a luffa plant (in the relative cool of Kent) from a seed shaped in the sunshine of sub-Saharan Africa, came to a leaf-withered, sorry-looking nothing (despite having survived a nasty accident with a bike). I was sad. After receiving a lesson in luffas from Bettie in Malawi, I had planted … More Lovely Luffa

Luffa plant needs wine

I know this is a reasonably big glass of wine. It is much required. Vino’clock came knocking on my door this evening, with some urgency, after my precious Malawian luffa plant was ridden into at (what appeared to be similar to) supersonic speed by one of my cherubic children on a bike. Recently replanted after its happy … More Luffa plant needs wine

Luffa Leaves

There is no doubt that Bettie was right: luffa plants are easy to grow – even in the cooler climes of Kent. See today’s happy and unexpected proof … Two small curls of fresh green leaves, one not yet fully unfurled from the poor soil that has nourished it. My careless chucking of seeds in a random pot has … More Luffa Leaves