Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Random news from America!

-Well  Joy and I are in the States for a few weeks to visit family, get some work done and even try and have a little vacation.  It’s cold and raining as I write this.  Malawi you are a beauty.  But change is good so we are happy to be driving around my old stomping grounds in Columbus Ohio.  Not much has changed here.  There are a few new restaurants and some buildings have received face-lifts.  After four years away the biggest change I see is every seems to have a new or newish car.  Perhaps I’m just used to seeing beaters in Malawi but it does seem a flash car is now mandatory in Ohio.

- I’ve begun reading from academic journals more lately mostly environmental history of Africa.  Perhaps the articles I have been reading are not representative of the field, or at least are only representative of on part of it, but I find much of the research to be driven by political ideologies.  This isn’t surprising or even necessarily a bad thing. But I would like to find historians who are seeking relevancy through skilled literary craftsmanship and a desire to tell new stories.

- Our Prez in Malawi, Joyce Banda, was recently given and honorary doctorate by Jeonju University in South Korea.  Some Malawians aren’t too impressed with this gesture given the state of the Malawian economy but according to Joy Koreans often bestow titles on people as an incentive in the hope that they will live up to them rather than as rewards for previous accomplishments. 

-Our weather station has arrived and is looking pretty good, no more manual collection of data.  I’ll put the current weather and forecast for Kande on the Maru’s website as soon as I get back in Korea.
-We have quite a few volunteers and interns coming in the next few months.  It is exciting to think of all the research we can do with the extra hands!  If you would like to apply to volunteer or intern with us go to www.themaru.org/involved.html