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  • Day242

    Planning in Africa

    June 23, 2017 in Malawi ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    So, I've been in Malawi for almost a month now... And several times already, I realised that you can't really plan ahead what you're going to do the next day...
    The healthcare is pretty bad or non-existent for the 95% (?) people who can't afford it, resulting in sudden deaths happening way too often in a family... And when someone died, then all the relatives take the 2-3-4 days off it takes to reach "home" and be at the funeral.
    Meetings are cancelled, food is not cooked, houses are not guarded, walls are not built then... For the same reasons, plus the malaria and HIV, sickness leaves also have to be taken pretty often by the people you work with. So, you wait for their return in a better shape...
    And then there are "problems with the car" that just wouldn't start that day, or other transportation surprises...
    Oh and don't delay your soup-making or taking a shower, or sending that email, because the power might be cut for the next 3-6-9-12 hours...

    Today the minibus drivers went on strike in Blantyre, because of a change of law rising the fines when they contravene (too loaded, wrong parking...) -well I wouldn't see the problem until I read that they are not supposed to carry bags more than 16kg now... 16kg??? When a maize bag is 50 ? And when it's the only affordable transportation option at all? This is kind of ridiculous.

    And so then you get up in the morning, thinking this is your last day around because the next day you're planning to go to a national park for the weekend, then to Lilongwe and Zambia, but actually No! You're not going to go anywhere today, shopping at the market and working on constructuring site will wait, and maybe not the next ones either, because the situation has changed completely from the day before : people are angry, they are gathering stones along the road and use them against cars and other people, minibuses are being torched and supermarkets might get looted and the police is moving now and last time something like that happened 20 people were killed.
    Oops.

    So everybody who managed to come to work is sent home, and you just wait to see if it's worth packing your bag or not.
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