About Malawi

EWB National Office: “…Anne, you’re going to Malawi!”

Anne: “Malawi? Cool! That’s where Madonna adopted her baby right?”

EWB National Office: “umm…yea.”

That’s a great reference point isn’t it? Anyway, I have never heard of Malawi before the controversy started, which dispels the myth that I’m a geographical expert on the continent of Africa. I decided that I was going to research this country, which I will be calling my home for the next four months and I’ve found some interesting things.

Malawi is in South East Africa, a landlocked country wedged between Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia. 20% of the country is made up of Lake Malawi, which is the 3rd largest lake in Africa. The Malawian economy depends mainly on agriculture but they have 3 main exports: tobacco, tea, and sugar. Malawi has 2 official languages: English and Chichewa. In my placement, Chichewa will be mostly spoken in the area that I will be in, which is going to be a new experience as last summer in China, I was able to understand the basics of the language. I hope to learn Chichewa and to be able to use it in daily interactions during the placement.

So Malawi is like the little train that could. Despite facing some challenges such as insufficient nutrition, low income (less than $1/day), lack of school education, and widespread HIV/AIDS, Malawi’s GDP (gross domestic product) managed to grow 3.9% in 2004.

Malawi’s known as the “Warm Heart of Africa” and seeing how I have somewhat of a chillier core, I’m hoping this experience will somewhat thaw my heart out.

For more information on Malawi, please visit wikipedia, the hub of all my knowledge lies on that site.


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