My Nkhotakota, hour by hour

 

06:00. I wake up to disco music from the neighbour. I turn off my best friend (the fan) and enjoy a couple of minutes in ”silence” before the heat kicks in, making it too hot to think clear.

 

06:30 Morning workout. With music on the speakers, we start running around the house. The dogs love this game, and even the guards join in for some rounds (I have a feeling they find this very strange). Lifting water bottles (5 liters), punching the boxing pillow, jump rope… After just a few exercises sweat is dripping!

 

07:30 It’s breakfast time (and malaria pill time). We chat about silly news in the Norwegian news papers, and what we think the day will bring (we are usually very wrong).

 

08:30 The maid arrives and ask me how I woke up, and I say I woke up fine, what about her, yes she woke up fine as well (as always). I ask her how her house is doing, oh yes her house is doing well, she smiles, what about us. Yes, everything fine in our house.

 

08:33 As I leave the house, I greet the guard and ask him how he woke up. He woke up fine, what about me, yes I woke up fine, thank you. Thank you. He brings me my bike, but turns out the chain has fallen off again. I try to fix it, but end up with greasy fingers and an even more sweaty forehead. I give up and decide to take a bike taxi for work.

 

08:45 I enjoy the nice wind on the back of a bike taxi. People scream ”azungooo- how are you!” as we pass. I give them a thumb up.

 

08:50 I arrive at the office (and greet everyone – you know the drill by now). I want to print something before class, but the power is out, so no printing possible. I change my plan for the first class and walk over to the Cultural Center.

SONY DSC

09:00 Only two student showed up for class at the correct time. (Actually they don’t even know that time is 09:00 and that I’m having a music theory class now, so they are just lucky.) I tell them to grab chairs and join me over to the ”classroom”, were I have gotten a blackboard hung up. As we walk, two more students join us.

 

09:20 Two more students arrive and now we are now six! After a short clapping exercise, I teach them how to write some rhythmical notes. I brought paper for them to write their own rhythms, but no one has a pen and we have to go get pens before we can continue.

 

11:15 Students seems to like what they have learned today, so I am happy too.

SONY DSC

11:30 I visit the accountant at the office to try to understand how the system works for getting money back from work expenses I´ve had.

 

11.45 Sille is joining us for lunch, so I get a ride with her back home (jippi). We eat spaghetti with tomates and onions and garlic and eggs. Followed by a lovely cup of coffee, this make us sweat even more, and I hug my best friend (the fan).

 

13:00 Quick power nap is needed, but I’m to restless and end up scrolling facebook and answer a few emails instead.

 

13:30 I get a ride back to centrum with Trygve (jippi), and walk the last 500 meters to the Cultural Center. Once again I walk to fast and arrive too sweaty (note to self – learn how to walk in malawian tempo!).

 

14:05 Makes me happy to see the recorder girls comes running to class, although they are a bit late. We practise our little song which we plan to show at the big Nkhotakota Cultural and Music Festival coming up in December.

SONY DSC

15:00 Being a Cultural Center, I miss paintings on the walls and colour around me. It is a complicated issue, because everything (everything) gets stolen very easily. Even the notice board itself, with nails and everything. Especially colourful posters are attractive. Despite this, I have brought painting and colours for the girls to paint. At least, the classroom should be colourful.

 

15:15 I ask the girls what their dreams are. They tell me they want to become a doctor, nurse, lawyer, judge.. I tell them to paint their dream. They nod and paint houses and trees and families instead.

SONY DSC

15:45 More and more kids (boys) flock around the table and are super curious (and a bit jealous) seeing the girls paint.

SONY DSC

16:30 Me and Sille visit the local radio station to promote the festival and the talent show (audition) we’re arranging. We get half an hour delayed because our deal with the radio station suddenly has changed without Sille getting this information, and she has to negotiate a new deal.

 

18:00 It get’s dark in Nkhotakota.

 

18:30 Dinner time. Trygve has cooked a lovely meal today (jippi).

 

19:30 I prepare tomorrow’s classes. Boil water and put it in the fridge/freezer. Try to plan the schedule for my visit in December by reading about safari in Malawi.

 

21:00 I crawl into my mosquito net and read a few lines in the Malawian guidebook with my headlight on my head. Just a few minutes later my eyes give up and I´m entering dreamland.

 

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06:00. I wake up to disco music from the neighbour. I turn off my best friend (the fan) and enjoy a couple of minutes in ”silence” before the heat kicks in, making it too hot to think clear.

 

06:30 Morning workout. With music on the speakers, we start running around the house. The dogs love this game, and even the guards join in for some rounds (I have a feeling they find this very strange). Lifting water bottles (5 liters), punching the boxing pillow, jump rope… After just a few exercises sweat is dripping!

 

07:30 It’s breakfast time (and malaria pill time). We chat about silly news in the Norwegian news papers, and what we think the day will bring (we are usually very wrong).

 

08:30 The maid arrives and ask me how I woke up, and I say I woke up fine, what about her, yes she woke up fine as well (as always). I ask her how her house is doing, oh yes her house is doing well, she smiles, what about us. Yes, everything fine in our house.

 

08:33 As I leave the house, I greet the guard and ask him how he woke up. He woke up fine, what about me, yes I woke up fine, thank you. Thank you. He brings me my bike, but turns out the chain has fallen off again. I try to fix it, but end up with greasy fingers and an even more sweaty forehead. I give up and decide to take a bike taxi for work.

 

08:45 I enjoy the nice wind on the back of a bike taxi. People scream ”azungooo- how are you!” as we pass. I give them a thumb up.

 

08:50 I arrive at the office (and greet everyone – you know the drill by now). I want to print something before class, but the power is out, so no printing possible. I change my plan for the first class and walk over to the Cultural Center.

SONY DSC

09:00 Only two student showed up for class at the correct time. (Actually they don’t even know that time is 09:00 and that I’m having a music theory class now, so they are just lucky.) I tell them to grab chairs and join me over to the ”classroom”, were I have gotten a blackboard hung up. As we walk, two more students join us.

 

09:20 Two more students arrive and now we are now six! After a short clapping exercise, I teach them how to write some rhythmical notes. I brought paper for them to write their own rhythms, but no one has a pen and we have to go get pens before we can continue.

 

11:15 Students seems to like what they have learned today, so I am happy too.

SONY DSC

11:30 I visit the accountant at the office to try to understand how the system works for getting money back from work expenses I´ve had.

 

11.45 Sille is joining us for lunch, so I get a ride with her back home (jippi). We eat spaghetti with tomates and onions and garlic and eggs. Followed by a lovely cup of coffee, this make us sweat even more, and I hug my best friend (the fan).

 

13:00 Quick power nap is needed, but I’m to restless and end up scrolling facebook and answer a few emails instead.

 

13:30 I get a ride back to centrum with Trygve (jippi), and walk the last 500 meters to the Cultural Center. Once again I walk to fast and arrive too sweaty (note to self – learn how to walk in malawian tempo!).

 

14:05 Makes me happy to see the recorder girls comes running to class, although they are a bit late. We practise our little song which we plan to show at the big Nkhotakota Cultural and Music Festival coming up in December.

SONY DSC

15:00 Being a Cultural Center, I miss paintings on the walls and colour around me. It is a complicated issue, because everything (everything) gets stolen very easily. Even the notice board itself, with nails and everything. Especially colourful posters are attractive. Despite this, I have brought painting and colours for the girls to paint. At least, the classroom should be colourful.

 

15:15 I ask the girls what their dreams are. They tell me they want to become a doctor, nurse, lawyer, judge.. I tell them to paint their dream. They nod and paint houses and trees and families instead.

SONY DSC

15:45 More and more kids (boys) flock around the table and are super curious (and a bit jealous) seeing the girls paint.

SONY DSC

16:30 Me and Sille visit the local radio station to promote the festival and the talent show (audition) we’re arranging. We get half an hour delayed because our deal with the radio station suddenly has changed without Sille getting this information, and she has to negotiate a new deal.

 

18:00 It get’s dark in Nkhotakota.

 

18:30 Dinner time. Trygve has cooked a lovely meal today (jippi).

 

19:30 I prepare tomorrow’s classes. Boil water and put it in the fridge/freezer. Try to plan the schedule for my visit in December by reading about safari in Malawi.

 

21:00 I crawl into my mosquito net and read a few lines in the Malawian guidebook with my headlight on my head. Just a few minutes later my eyes give up and I´m entering dreamland.

 

ceciliewagenheim
ceciliewagenheim

Cecilie smiles a lot. She explains to me what music means to her and the answer is a well known cliché; «music makes me happy.» And it certainly seems that way.

She is 22 years old, she plays the piano and the accordion and teaches Zumba on a weekly basis. I ask her why she chose to apply for the MOVE project and she answers that teaching is something she’s always been interested in, along with the adventure of a new country, culture and people. She is from Hurum, just a short hour south of the capital, and just came home from a musical year in Denmark.

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