Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Rains Have Begun

This has been a most unusual beginning to the rainy season. People have said that it has been decades since there has been rain as early as this year. Throughout mid-late October, there were many isolated hard rains. Last year, we had a brief 30 minute shower in October, but then the "real rains" started in late November or early December.

It is so beautiful when it rains. The temperature drops afterwards and everything begins to green up again. It really is a completely different landscape.  It is also lovely to be under a tin roof when it begins! I have posted a clip of the first hard rain during a school day while the Academy is in session. This is looking out the front doors of the Admin Bldg. This happened on Tuesday 15 November. (It took about 45 minutes a piece for these clips to load. I could have used a different format, but looking at it on my computer it was so grainy that it did not seem worth posting. I am not able to tell if this will be any better. If someone with a "real" internet connection can look at this and tell me if it was worth posting, I would appreciate it. If it is not, I will probably give up trying to post videos and just stay with pictures. [I could not get the second one to load at all!] )

Please pray for the people of Malawi. Pray that the rains will be what they need for their maize crops to do well. In the last six months fuel has gone from MK256/ liter to MK380/liter ($1.46-$2.17) for petrol and about the same percentage increase  for diesel. Now most Malawians of course do not have vehicles, but many in the city use the mini-bus to get to work and they are significantly affected by the rise in the price of food due to the increase in transportation costs. During this same time Kwacha has been devalued some, not as much as the IMF and World Bank would like, but that has also had an affect on the rise of prices here recently.

Then, this past week the Parliament unanimously voted themselves an increase in their overall monthly compensation package from MK390,000 to MK 1,000,000 ($2,228-$5714)! The President said that he would only sign it if the MP's impeached his VP!

Things are getting increasingly difficult for the average Malawian. Please pray for their leaders to place the needs of their people ahead of their own personal and financial gain. This problem is not unique to Malawi, but it seems much more egregious here.

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