Archive for the ‘english’ Category

The strange Zimbabwe

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

P1030738.JPGIn the midst of the current social thunderstorm that is hitting Africa, this country seems to be all right. Which is weird. Zimbabwe is weird. Everything about it. The prevailing peace seems natural, though awkward considering everything this country has been through. The internationally acclaimed, feared and loathed dictator Mugabe still rules the country, but his subjects don’t seem to mind too much. Curious as our laziness allows us to be, we went and investigate the so called current state of fragile affairs here and, as most of the times, this country did everything wrong. The sad part is, it probably couldn’t be done any better.
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Gimme a clinic!

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

TLH and part of the OCA crew.And thus were our days in Zambia filled with helping On Call Africa at their mobile clinics and, almost naturally, with their vehicles that were very short of some fine maintenance that we were able to provide. Needless to say, our own Doutzen was in need of some grooming as well. After all, we’d driven an entire 1000 k’s with her, pushing her limits as we tried to make it to Livingstone on time -and made it. Volunteering as we do, including researching the effects of a certain organization, brings us time and time again to surprising findings and one of those we’d like to share, as it’s very curious and questions the western presence in Africa.
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Who’ll help Matias the Malawian..?

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

After our quite awesome volunteering spell in the middle of the so called nowhere with On Call Africa, we arrived back and being the children of our era that we are, hurried to our laptops. Once these were running quickly, bright and shiny on our trusted Linux Operating Systems, we opened our e-mail. Amongst all the delirious fan mail, which we always reply to, we found the following message,
Matias\' mail to ThreeLeftHands
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On Call in the bush

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Vroom..!So there we were, on the side of the road on our first day in Zambia after we’d finally fled Malawi, talking to the driver and passenger of the Landrover that had just passed us by. Two people that we hadn’t seen or spoken to in over a year. Faith, coincidence or whatever kind of higher power you wish to attribute this unexpected reunion to, had dealt us another lucky card and in the process decided to provide us with a new opportunity to get involved with a great organization.

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The last bit of Malawi and a double reunion…

Friday, June 10th, 2011

The last parts, we take 'em!And so, finally, we left Monkey Bay for what would be the very last time. It is a shame that a place of such beauty, that meant so much in our trip, became such a morale bashing prison. However, our spirits were somewhere amongst the stars, as Doutzen pleasantly spun her engine and took us towards the next border. This border would of course not be crossed without Noflik, or at least the knowing of what happened to our now three year young Dobermann. Is she alive? Is she not? Is she eaten? Is she pregnant? For the how many-eth time? How many bastard Noflik’s are walking the earth now? Would she be turned in to a scruffy and vile streetdog, battling each day for survival amongst the ugly scruffy and vile streetdogs of some Malawian city? We didn’t know, we only knew that the Norwegian lady that we left her with, had moved back to her Scandinavian country of origin some odd months ago and left our loyal friend with a boy she trusted, named ‘Shadrek’. And so our quest began.

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Done with malaria, back to fixing the car. And actually fix it!

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

This is Cape MaclearNaturally, the malaria didn’t kill us. Where in the western world they (read: ‘you’) associate malaria mainly with a southern hemisphere terrorizing illness, caused by an almost impossible to battle parasite that killed, and kills, many adventurers, explorers and Africans, In Africa they think of it as a southern hemisphere terrorizing illness, caused by an almost impossible to battle parasite that killed, and kills, many adventurers, explorers and Africans. African;s just don’t make too big a deal of it. You’ve got it, you take a shit-load of tasteless yellow pills, you feel like a wreck and then you get over it and celebrate with a Gin&Tonic. Remind your liver there’s more work to do.

After this victory drink, we realized that we still had a car that had broken down again, almost causing an instant mental breakdown with Marten, who spend innumerable hours screwing, hammering and tweaking that engine. However, Marten made one mistake; he was assisted by some local mechanics who supposedly are very good at their job. That might be, but as everybody knows, drinking does not really improve your skills, unless making up stories, murmuring incomprehensible words and passing out are considered to be useful skills.
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Well, thats another failed escape attempt…

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Frisian flag chairs!“So we’re leaving Malawi today?” “Yeah, maybe tomorrow if we fail to find Noflik today.” And with these words we left, for what was to be the last time, the picture perfect surroundings of Lake Malawi which proved to be a prison instead of a paradise, refusing to let go of us. But finally we had broken free and moved on as far as Mua. Mua is a pretty place that we did not know and, if it wasn’t for some mechanic that might or might not have forgotten to put something in or leave something out because he got traditionally drunk around lunchtime. Somewhere near Mua, the Doutzen Cruiser suddenly mixed some ‘tick-tick’s’ in between her content diesel induced humming that made us stop her immediately. Before we knew it, it was an hour into dark and there was not much we could do, there in the middle of the night, which of course was dark. No need to point that out, except for the fact that you kinda need light to check whats wrong with your engine which is black already. Not long after that, a 4×4 pulled over and a guy stepped out, sporting a funny looking beard without a mustache. Funny he might look, but he also offered his help, pulled us to his place in Mua, fed us dinner and let us have a shower. When we entered his house, we saw women with dark-blue veils in pastel colored dresses that covered everything from their ankles to their necks and boys with their buttoned and also rather plainly colored shirts tucked tightly in their trousers, which made them look somewhat nerdy. The father then explained us, they are Menenites. Well, they might be strange, for us, but also incredibly generous and friendly to a couple of what they’ve must have thought of as 1970’s relics in a ragged down orange van. I mean, we could be psycho’s too.
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Free education, yippee?

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Kids that should be IN schoolNot everybody was happy and impressed with our previous article, and this has resulted in us postponing our second part of our letter to the Malawian president to times or places that are better suited for these practices that simply are not without risk. Yes, you read correctly. We, the ever-so-bold and arrogant adventurers crossing the borders of Africa, have collapsed to the pressure. For now. In the meanwhile we’re already distracted with another story.

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Dear Mr. president of Malawi

Monday, March 28th, 2011

The President of MalawiAs I have resided in your country for a bit, I thought it would be nice to express my feelings about the piece of land that you’re supposed to govern. How beautiful your lake is, that this guy Livingstone so fittingly named ‘The lake of stars’, like a fairytale. How nice sometimes the people are and how cool I think it is that J.R.R. Tolkien based his world famous Middle-Earth on your land with it’s Shire-river, Mulanje mountain and immense baobab trees. Yes, I could go on and on about this; I simply love your country and almost everything in it. Almost. But Mr. president, a couple of days ago, I read something strange in a newspaper here, something concerning, so to say, and I need you to explain me the things that I don’t get. That’s a reasonable request, isn’t it?
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Some Malawian volunteering, but no playing with monkeys

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Lilongwe Wildlife CentreArriving on the territory of the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre we felt a little nervous, as we always do when we come to visit a new organization. Yes, dear reader, even men as though and cool as us are sometimes uneasy, not completely sure of their own purpose. After so many countries, so many people and so many efforts to help we should be a bit more convinced of our own abilities. But still, we knew what was coming, which was a project manager that would be slightly unimpressed with our presence, who we had to make understand what we are about. And indeed, after knocking on the door, the conversation we had so many times unfolded again. Firstly awkward, us gaining confidence as the minutes progressed.

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