Monday, April 2, 2007

Super Maheu and Other Rotten Things

i am currently in lusaka as i begin my easter vacation. we are going first to south luangwa national park in eastern province, then on to lake malawi which is located in, yes, malawi. should be good times.

it is with sadness that i announce the end of moustache march, an annual luapula tradition. it's a fun time but can also have serious implications for our work (parker claims people stopped attending his meetings when he had a moustache last year), social life, and general self-esteem. i am pleased to say that i was the proud owner of one of the "best" moustaches, meaning the most gross looking; others who will not remain nameless (shawn) did not fare as well: it looked like a caterpillar with mange died on his upper lip.

the great (or not so great, depending on with whom you speak) hair experiment has also ended, i am now clean-shaven with a buzz cut for the first time since i've been in country. it was for the best, and may have preempted a threatened haircutting intervention by one of the girls. plus this means i can now attend kim's birthday party, she made a general announcement that anyone with moustaches or other similary unacceptable hair manifestations would not be allowed in the door.

my friend joel has been visiting me for the last month, he was a pcv in guinea but was evacuated after the country began to experience a lot of internal unrest. it's been great having a good friend from home around, we've spent some time at my site but have also been traveling around kawambwa district seeing what there is to see. since joel spent about a year in guinea he's well acquainted with the strangeness that can occur over here sometimes, so he's had no problems adapting to pc zambia life. although, in my opinion, he has actually assimilated a bit too well, as he now professes a love for a maize-based drink called super maheu, a fate that doesn't normally befall someone until they've been in country for a long time and the resulting food desperation and loss of taste buds has set in. joel's poor culinary sensibilities has actually plunged him in the midst of a long-standing feud between shawn and i: shawn claims that super maheu is delicious and can serve as both food and drink (probably because of the floating maize chunks), whereas i claim that liking it is the surest sign one can receive of approaching senility. richard has even joined the fray on shawn's side, something that saddened me and made me realize that things like "logic" "truth," and "sound reasoning" were going to have no currency at all in the discussion. things degenerated to the point that my manliness was questioned: my formerly long, flowing hair and love of musicals aside, i'm as manly as the next guy. an uneasy detente now exists over the subject.

well, i'm going to keep this short as i have pressing business to attend to (i'm watching the red sox season opener!! parker has a friend who'll be watching the game, he wisely decided to tell me about it knowing that if he didn't it would be a serious blow to our friendship). hopefully i'll have time in the next month or so to let you all know how my vacation went and how work is progressing. hope you all are well.

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