While recently attending the funeral of a dear friend and colleague, Absalom Phiri, I was struck by the overwhelming community support that coalesced at that trying time for the Phiri family. Thousands of friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and church members sat with the family and sang together to say “we are all here with you.” I thought about how different this was from most Western funerals, where it’s not inconceivable to have a funeral with no one attending.
As an American colleague and I discussed this we asked “Is this progress? Is this development? Is this what we are trying to help these countries move toward?”
Earlier that week, a more humorous manifestation of this idea flooded my senses. Everywhere I looked I could see something that has become trendy in the West–something the young, rich, and educated are willing to pay more for here–but are simply a way of life in Malawi. These include:
Free range poultry/livestock
While I liked the parallels between these Noah’s Ark toys, the average Malawian would probably be playing with something like this:
(All pictures come from Flickr’s creative commons collection or Wikimedia; except wooden toy Noah’s Arks, which link to the originating websites).
Print This Post
Explore posts in the same categories: International Education Development, Seward News