United Against Malaria

more dancing

The drama group

the crowd!

Saturday afternoon, Sandy, Ginny, and I drove a half hour outside of Blantyre to take part in a Malaria awareness event in Lunzu,  a bustling market center with several lodges, a conference center, a few bottle shops and a large primary school.  The event started with a walk through the town with everyone involved dressed in bright red shirts that read “Malungo Zii” which means silence malaria.  We walked behind a large banner and a local school’s drama group.  The students were singing and dancing as we progressed down the road; people stood and stared – some smiled and waved, some joined in the group, and some asked where they could get the t-shirts.  We ended up at the primary school, having attracted most of the town with our chanting, dancing, and red shirts. 

The walk

Everyone lined up in a semicircle around the stage where someone from Sandy’s NGO gave a brief talk on malaria prevention.  I stood next to two teenagers who were curious about who we were, where we come from, and what America is like.  The Black Missionaries played a set – they are the stars of the Malawian music scene.  Everyone in the crowd knew every lyric and were dancing along.  There was also a dance troupe with drummers and the event culminated with a soccer match. 


more faces in the crowd

There were probably two and a half thousand people gathered for the event.  Sandy, Ginny, and I were the only azungu.  People were so lovely and gracious.  I spent most of the soccer game surrounded by children teaching me Chichewa. 

Chichewa lesson

We don’t even think about malaria in the west.  It’s not part of our lives.  But here, people live with the threat every day.  Cathy, the lady who helps us with the house, lost her oldest son to malaria last week.  It is so frightening that such a small annoying insect can be a killer.  Here is more about the campaign: http://unitedagainstmalaria.org/

A few more pictures:

very serious

walking with us

hanging out with his tire

distracted from the match


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2 responses to “United Against Malaria

  1. Barb Jones

    Good to hear from you. Very colorful pictures and interesting message. Wondering if malaria is more of a problem there than aids???? Glad Ginny is settling in and it seems you keep quite busy. Those children and their eyes are mesmerizing………

  2. Susie

    Kate and Sandy,
    Can you express our sorrow to Cathy for her terrible loss? We are so proud that you are working to erradicate this disease that is so prevalent in Africa. We love you! Hugs to Ginny and you both.

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