Newsy update

Since the last few posts have been food themed, I thought it was time for a general newsy update.  Feel free to skip if you’re not interested in the minutiae of Amy in Malawi.

First, the rainy season is here.  Last Monday morning I woke up and actually felt cool.  The sun was not glaring in my windows at 6:30 AM.  I hardly knew what to think; it has been pretty hot ever since I arrived, and the rainy season provides a welcome (if humid) respite from the 90 degree heat.  The term “rainy season” is used to differentiate it from the dry season, which lasts from about March until November.  So far, it seems to rain a few hours in the afternoon or evening.  Some days are more gray than others, but it is not oppressively cloudy (as, say, Ithaca is from December to April).  Despite the “rainy season” moniker, it has been pretty sunny all weekend.  Of course, it is by no means, cold or even cool to my midwestern blood – we’re still talking about highs in the upper 70s and lows in the 60s.

The upsides to the rainy season include slightly cooler weather and greener grass.  The downsides include more unreliable electricity and internet service, and more horrifically, the proliferation of the bug (and other creepy crawlies) population.  The mosquitoes, predictably, are out in full force.  Millipedes, big, fat ones, have also appeared out of nowhere.  Buzzing moths suddenly swarm the outside lights at dusk, only to drop into crunchy, gross piles a few hours after their appearance.  (The Dude likes to eat them.)  There are strange mud tunnels that have appeared in our yard, which a google search suggests might belong to cicadas.  Not ideal, I guess, but better than the snakes I was afraid MIGHT be living there.  Here is a photo in case there are any entomologists reading:

The scale is hard to judge in the photo, but the muddy patch is about 3 feet wide.

The scale is hard to judge in the photo, but the "muddy" patch is about 3 feet wide. It's at the base of a tree.

As if the bugs outside weren’t bad enough, it seems a huge ant population has moved inside, as well as the usual assortment of spiders and other gross things.  Let’s just say that I keep a shoe close at hand (at foot?) at all times.

Secondly, I have started playing soccer with a ladies’ expat league on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Now I know what you’re saying:  “Why Amy, I had no IDEA you played soccer!”  Yeah, me either.  I played soccer for the first time ever, in my whole life, last Tuesday.  Fortunately, no one on this team is a professional player, and it was fun to run around with some other people.  I went Thursday and will probably go again.  We have to pay a couple bucks for the lights (which are then swarmed by the buzzing moths) each time, but it’s worth it.

In response to your many inquiries, The Dude is doing well.  He’s definitely growing and sometimes behaving.  His many and varied hobbies include biting, chewing, chasing, biting, growling, tossing, and biting.  We’re trying to work on the biting thing.  He has learned to sit – sometimes, if he’s not too distracted or wound up.  He has also learned that he is not supposed to come in the house, which doesn’t keep him from sneaking in if he thinks he can get away with it.  (He can’t.  Ever.)  He enjoys exploring our large garden and collecting piles of things to chew on.  Unfortunately, he was chewing on his brush and seems to have carried it off – who knows where or if we’ll find it.  One of his favorite activities is chewing on, tearing apart, tumbling over, tossing around, and otherwise destroying the cardboard box that he came home in.  He is definitely a puppy.

A typical puppy pose; that is, jaws at the ready!

My weekend has mostly involved errands and relaxation.  I purchased tickets for my South Africa trip in January with Elizabeth.  I got the part(s) I needed to fix my shower and actually managed to fix it, which is pretty exciting.  I caught up with some friends via Skype, and plan to do some more catching up once it becomes a reasonable calling hour in the US.  I’ve also been contemplating The Future, but that is a subject for another post.

On Saturday I went for an afternoon at the lake with my housemate and actually went swimming this time.  (I didn’t have my swimming suit for the last lake trip.)  The water was pretty clear but lukewarm; it would have been more refreshing if it felt a little less like bathwater.  On the way back to Lilongwe, we ate at The Red Zebra Cafe right outside the Sunbird Livingstonia and, frankly, it was the best food I’ve had since I got to Malawi.  Not that I’ve been packing in a lot of delicious dishes, but I had some excellent coconut chicken that, with some spice, would have tasted a lot like Thai.

I’ve also been working on Christmas (post)cards, despite the utterly un-Christmas-like season.  If I don’t have your address and you’d like one, just let me know!  I’ll end with a gratuitous puppy photo:

Unapologetically chewing on my flip-flop.

Unapologetically chewing on my flip-flop.

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One Response to “Newsy update”

  1. Rachel Says:

    The bug thing…yuck. I’m glad that bugs are at least gone from Cold Weather Land for awhile. I don’t even want to know what is beneath those mud piles.

    The Dude looks very cute. Be happy that he has small teeth. Duke, Andy’s dog, loves to bite…and his teeth aren’t so little anymore.

    I will be sending a Christmas card your way soon. You should re-send me your address over there because I’m not entirely sure that I have it in my mess of email.

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