Muya Kaoma = life is good
Muoh Kaoma = beer is good
Why are been and life so closely related in this culture?
We began touring the CBOs (Community Based Organizations!) on Saturday with Paradiso. It is very appropriately named; the place is a small Malawian paradise. A small dirt road winds you up the side of a mountain/hill where people are breaking rocks into gravel with small hammers and deposit them into small heeps. As you turn the corner a small teal building emerges, poised at the heighest residental point. There is a small structure to one side where a cow grazes (and occassionally harasses the kids) and a porch that is always filled with women. Paradiso's success can be contributed to the strenght and determination of its director, Mirriam. She is quite possibly the most amazing woman I have ever met. She has transformed the lives of so many people and continues to improve her own. Shes quite the bundle of energy and takes charge no matter where she goes. The solidarity of the women who work at Paradiso is unmatched anywhere else we have seen. They are all so friendly and full of life. They also preform traditional Malawian dance and make sure to include us all. Man can they move their hips... All the kids laugh at us azungos because we aren't nearly as capable!
We spent the day entertaining the hoards of children that came flocking to Paradiso. We first encountered the youth group which consisted mostly of orphans and meet every other week. We got the opportunity to watch Mirriam interact with them all (a side of her I had yet to see!) and play games outside. There was also a few older kids who came by. I shouldn't say kids since they were nearly all older then me.... Woops... I thought it would be a great idea to play football (soccer) with them all before realizing that i've never played in my life an they are all just naturally talented. It ended up being the azungo females against the Malawian guys. We scored two goals! (thanks soley to Emily and Alexis...I contributed absolutely nothing...) But I think they were just humoring us and we most definitely lost.
It was an absolutely lovely day spent with amazing individuals!