Getting to know more about the culture

Karonga Travel Blog

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After I had been in Karonga for three weeks, I started my journey back to Blantyre. It took about 16 hours. Usually the bus is so full that some of the people needs to stand whole that 16 hours (or sometimes even more). When I bought my ticket, I noticed that next to me, is sitting this huge man and I knew that it would be difficult to sit next to him for so long, because he was already using my seat. So I decided not to sit there. I found place for myself and I prayed that I could stay in that place whole time without no-one coming to inter- up me or sitting next to me.. And that happened! I had two seats for whole that time I was in the bus. I couldn't sleep at all, because the music was so loud!! I tryed to listen my own music, but no.

. I couldn't hear it. When people in Malawi play music, it is always loud so that everyone can hear it!! After few hours driving, the bus stopped. It is normal in Africa that bus just stops everywhere.. There is five things why it stops on the way. First, someone is coming or leaving from the bus. Second, It's market area and people that are travelling wants to buy something, and this happens every 30 minutes. Third, roadblock by police. Fourth, the bus brokes down. Fifth, The bridge, that bus should cross, is broken. The last one happened to us! The bridge was broken and we needed to wait while those guys were fixing it!!

Living three weeks in Blantyre was nice. I was living together with one Malawian family. They where mom, dad, little girl, small babyboy, brother of dad and two of their cousins and one girl that was helping them.

Being with them I learned that families there are so different than here. It's so difficult to even explain, but I try. :D Okay, there was this one girl, Nanna, she is lovely girl that I got to know little better. She had mother, older mother and little mother.. Not aunties, mothers.. They are so much more important to them. Nannas mother had died and she doesn't have job. So she was living together with her cousin who was taking care of all of her needs. Sometimes she went to see her "older mother" and that time this mother was taking care of her. If you don't have job, you cannot survive! So family is always taking care of the children as long as you have a job, or when you get married. Nannas prayer is to get job soon. So for Nanna, her mothers sisters are also mothers, but her fathers sisters are aunties.
In the same way it goes with men. For Nanna, her fathers brothers are also fathers, but her mothers brothers are uncles. :D Is it simple?? I don't think so! So for Nanna, all children of her all fathers and mothers are not cousins, but siblings. And children of her uncles and aunties are her cousins.. :D It is so difficult to understand, you need to really take some time.. First I thought that the families are reallyreally big ones, but now I know the truth. Well, families are still big in Malawi. But it was really confusing when they said: " This one is born from the same mother than me, but this one is born from my other mother..". Pardon me??

So, I got to learn about the families and how they all work together. Well, in some villages where I visited, it wasn't so sure that "older mothers", aunties or other relatives would take care of the children if their parents would die.

. Sometimes there was no relatives and sometimes they were so poor that they couldn't take care of anyone else besides their own families. In Malawi, there is about 13,1 million people and more than one million of them are orphans. More than two millions from the population are HIV- AIDS positive people.. So it doesn't really look good, ha? HIV is something that is spreading all over very fast.. People don't know about it so much yet and then if they don't do HIV- test, they don't know if they have it or not. There is still polugamy in some places and then there is also some believes, that if you have HIV and you have sex with virgin, you'll be purified from the HIV, which is NOT true!! It is so sad. But things are getting changed. Now you can do free HIV- tests in Malawi and then you will get medication if needed. But yeah, there is huge problems in that continent still. I'd like to challenge people to go there and teach people about stuff! If we have the knowledge, why we are keeping it in ourselves or only in these well- doing countries.. Let's go over- seas. :) We cannot change the whole world.. But we can change someones life. Isn't it great??

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Karonga
photo by: tinni