Saturday, August 28, 2010

Observations and sayings of the Carlisles

(For the first two weeks)Where is Africa? When are we going to the the other Africa?
(The first Sunday we were here) "Can I take this stick to Scout?"
(Gwen or Samuel when one of them hears the muezzin--in Islam the one who calls the people
to prayer 5 times a day.) Are they worshipping idols again? We need to pray for them."
 (Periodically) "I miss my friend Thomas [Clinton]
 (Upon his first visit to the pool) "They have enough chemicals in this pool, it is blue."

(While at the Market for the first time) "Why are all of the people here brown?"
(At lunch) Dad asks, "How was school today?" Gwen replies, "O, math and Bible were great!"
Dad, "what was great about math and Bible?" Gwen: "Bible was unique, pleasant and quiet."
"Today was stressful!" (At lunch some other day)
(At lunch yet another day) Dad asks, "How was school today?" "PE was the best thing of my 
life!!!!" says Gwen. "Wow," replies dad, "what was so good about PE today?" "We got to sit 
way high up--imagine Gwen stretching her arms as high above her head as she could--on the bleachers!!!" (Ah for the simple things in life!)   
"When are we going to start telling people about Jesus?"
"Can we go play with ...." (Fill in the blank with any of about 11 children age 6 or under that
literally live within 50 yards/metres of us.)
(On waking in the morning) "Momma I woke up two times in the night and I was blind." 
(There were two power outages during the night, so no light on in the hall)

(After we spent the equivalent of $12 on 5 "tupperware" containers and one of them was
cracked when we got home and another one cracked shortly after got home while we were
putting them away) Brian says, "maybe we should have gotten the more expensive ones?"     
Scharlie responds, "Sure, then we'd have more crummy tupperware." (The principle being,
the only thing that changes with increased cost is quantity---you just get more of the poor
quality stuff. Higher quality is not to be found. Not all "made in China" is created equal!)
(To her kindergarteners) "The first thing you should always do when I hand out your papers is 
write your name. Please write your name at the top. Yes, you can write it right now. Please 
 finish writing your name before you start. _________ finish writing your name please. 
 _______ please give _______ his pencil back so he can finish his name.  Do we all have our names on or papers? NOW, let's get started."

"Boy, I am tired." (Somethings never change!
(To Laura Chinchen) "You are going to need to repeat some of this again. I cannot listen that  fast." "That costs a lot here." (Said about most things)
"I was planning on paying cash for a vehicle." The man replies, "I can take a check." Brian 
  replies, I can write one, but if I write a check like that I will probably get deported!" (The
  asking price for a 2002 Chevy Blazer was a mere MK 4.3 million[Kwacha] or about $25,000
  USD. But he would be glad to give it to me for only MK 4 million.) Crazy Mzungus [white
  people who are of course all loaded and filthy rich!!!!]
  "Hi, my name is Brian [or Mr. depending on the person] Carlisle I am the new Headmaster.  Can you tell me your name again. (To most people he meets at the Academy.)

Spontaneous outburst of clapping and cheers across the campus of the Academy can only mean one thing, the power just came back on. (This is Africa after all :))

"In Malawi, they practice the democratization of corruption."  (You get stopped by the police) "Hey, I am thirsty." (HEAR: I need a bribe before I let you go.) Or you go by to see a government official and they say "I am hungry." (HEAR: I need a bribe for you to get done what you need done.)
"Hey, this is Africa after all." (This is said on any occasion when something happens that  you do not understand or that seems like it could have been easily avoided or for any number of other reasons."

All that said... Things are going really well for the Carlisles here in the Warm Heart of Africa. The people--Malawian, Missionary folks, expats--could not be more helpful or encouraging. Every place has its quirks. We hope these are half as enjoyable for you to read as they were for us to remember and put here!!
--Brian and Scharlie


  1. I love getting to peek into your lives! Thanks for posting!


  2. Thomas Clinton misses Samuel Carlisle too. :(

  3. Love the post. Love & miss you all!!!

  4. Praying for you all. This is wonderful-knowing about what is happening with you. Thank you.

  5. I love that y'all have decided to blog while in Malawi. Tell Gwen that Abby washed her footprints to her when we went to the beach in August.

  6. Hey Carlisles! we are very excited to be able to read your blog. I am sure all of you are enjoying the new adventure. Wyatt asks about Samuel a lot and today was concerned that Thomas had moved to Malawi with you (he's on vacation). We will keep you in our prayers...have a wonderful week.