Bestings is probably about ten years old and Sunday morning he joined me a few hundred meters after I started my run. Many children, usually in groups, will do the same, but they usually drop away quickly amongst a chorus of laughter, so I don’t normally slow down; we might exchange greetings and maybe names which I usually forget within a few moments as my thoughts go elsewhere.

Saturday night was the start of the rain season, it rained from late afternoon until late night. Sunday morning was overcast which kept the temperature down. There were large puddles on the road. It smelled of wet earth. I saw and heard new birds and there were new bugs all over the ground. Small African wildlife that was all very new and interesting to me.

Last week the Wildlife & Environmental Society of Malawi invited me to speak to the Wildlife Club at a local school. They discussed the club’s tree planting project which lead into my talk about the forest reserve around the Mpira Reservoir. The Mpira water system delivers tap water for about 500,000 people including our water in Balaka. Maintaining, expanding and improving the Mpira system is the primary responsibility of the District Water Office where I work.

As Bestings and I continued our jog around his block, we struggled to find words we both knew, generally I had to respond with the Chichewa version of “I don’t understand”. Then Bestings said “Mpira !”. Now I understood why he had the big smile and why he joined me — I had used my very limited Chichenglish to tell people I go running in the morning and they should join me. I was very happy that Bestings remembered me and more importantly, he remembers the source of his water.

I don’t know the name of the trees that are all flowering right now with incredible pink / red / orange blossoms, but they make any road look beautiful.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


About donmcmurtry

I went to Rensselaer, I worked at RDM and at RIM. Perhaps we have paddled together or worked on some kind of conservation project together. In any case welcome to this blog which will most likely be used for my Engineers Without Borders project in Malawi.
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2 Responses to Bestings

  1. Michel Gauthier says:

    Thank you for this article, Don. I am learning a lot about Malawi by following your posts. Please pay my regards to the other EWBs. You guys are doing a great job out there.

  2. Sean says:

    Nice! That’s super cool Don.
    (and the trees! So colourful!) All the best!

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