NeighbourGoods Market!

We went to a market called “NeighbourGoods Market” in Baamfontein near Johannesburg.

At the entrance

At the entrance

Size of the pan :)

Size of the pan 🙂

The way the drink come to your hand...

The way the drink come to your hand…

 

One sketch on the pavement caught my eyes. We used to play a game using the same drawing in our childhood. But here, it gives some very important messages.

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We just strolled around the place and here are some pictures that got my attention.

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Two Road side shops

Two Road side shops

One shop in close look

One shop in close look

An Ad on the tree for destroying the insects

An Ad on the tree for destroying the insects

Three (artificial) bugs on the pavement

Three (artificial) bugs on the pavement

A road sign that is new to me (is it for "don't put pavement shops" ?)

A road sign that is new to me (is it for “don’t put pavement shops” ?)

A thin building that looks like a biscuit

A thin building that looks like a biscuit

Too many "don't do" signs in the park :)

Too many “don’t do” signs in the park 🙂

A quite clear disclaimer in the park

A quite clear disclaimer in the park

 

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We were in Soweto!

We visited Soweto township too on our Sunday trip.

We were taken to Soweto Back Packers and had the lunch out there first. We could taste the local food and some tasted the local beer too. They demonstrated how to drink the local beer and how they should respond. After tasting the beer one is expected to say an ‘aha’ with a smile in his face, no matter how it tastes or smells :). People were advised not to smell before they drink :).

The group was divided into two and one group decided to bike and the other decided to walk. I selected the ‘walking tour’ and it was very good to stroll around with a good guide. He gave us lots of historical information in an interesting manner.

The surroundings in Soweto

The surroundings in Soweto

Beautiful Bird's nest

Beautiful Bird’s nest

Inside the house

Inside the house

Inside the house

Inside the house

Inside the house - an upstair set up

Inside the house – an upstair set up

Oil lamp is hanging

Oil lamp is hanging

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Surroundings

Surroundings

Some of our group members played football

Some of our group members played football

Birds

Birds

Birds

Birds

Display of the items

Display of the items

The yellow train

The yellow train

Surroundings

Surroundings

The lady of the house (got the permission from her for the picture)

The lady of the house (got the permission from her for the picture)

Birds

Birds

The railway station

The railway station

Surroundings

Surroundings

The original form of the house

The original form of the house

Our guide (got the permission for the picture)

Our guide (got the permission for the picture)

Beautiful Bird's nest

Beautiful Bird’s nest

The place where we had lunch

The place where we had lunch

The place where we had lunch

The place where we had lunch

The place where we had lunch

The place where we had lunch

There are three landmarks to Soweto, the twin towers, Soweto table mountains and the Orlando stadium. There is a bridge between these two towers, originally a Power Station Cooling Towers, and this bridge is nowadays being used for bungee jumping. The table mountains are formed by the gold mining according to the guide. The Orlando Stadium is the home stadium for the Orlando Pirates Football Club.

 

The twin towers

The twin towers

Orlando stadium

Orlando stadium

Soweto table mountain

Soweto table mountain

The twin towers

The twin towers

Soweto is a township where two Nobel Peace Price winners lived. One is Nelson Mandela and the other is Desmond Tutu and both lived in the same street, called ‘Vilakazi’. We could get the chance to see both houses.

Nelson Mandela's House

Nelson Mandela’s House

Nelson Mandela's House

Nelson Mandela’s House

Nelson Mandela's House

Nelson Mandela’s House

We were told by the guide that the name Soweto means South West Township and almost 99 % of the Soweto habitats are Black South Africans. Originally, they were brought to Soweto to work on the gold mines.

Soweto became to the world’s attention for ‘Soweto uprising’ against the enforcement of Afrikaans language in education and the killings that happened in the protest. One 13 year old boy, Hector Pieterson also was shot dead when the students were running when the police started shooting. The guide told the whole story and that made me very sad. We saw the Memorial and walk through the ‘confrontation corner’ where the shooting took place. The day is now marked by a public holiday, which is celebrated as National Youth Day.

The memorial

The memorial

The memorial

The memorial

The picture describes the incident

The picture describes the incident

The memorial

The memorial

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Display of the confrontation

Display of the confrontation

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Visit the Apartheid Museum!

FK Norway arranged a one day trip on Sunday, the 23rd August. We went to Apartheid Museum and Soweto, a township where Nelson Mandela and another Nobel price winner Desmond Tutu lived.

Apartheid Museum:

It was good to know many stories related to the Apartheid System, the racial segregation system, that existed in South Africa until a couple of decades ago and a lot about Nelson Mandela who is one of my favorite leaders.

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Preparatory Course!

The FK (Fredskorpset) Norway arranged a two weeks preparatory course to all FK Participants in South Africa this year.

I flew from Malawi to SA on 16th August, leaving behind my husband and daughter in Malawi.

People are walking from the flight into the airport

People are walking from the flight into the airport

Malawi Airport

Malawi Airport

When I was at Malawi airport, waiting for my flight to SA, I heard a few Sinhalese words behind my back and wondered who it could be. I started talking to them, and to my surprise, they said there are nearly 50 Sri Lankan families living here. Out of them, two families are Tamils and they shared with me their contact details too. They also said that there is a Hindu temple and we can meet many Indians and Asians if we go there. There are some Indian shops too.

A small network with Malawians (thanks to Siw), Norwegians and Asians is already established. 🙂

Here in SA, there are 48 FK participants from 12 different nationalities and we stayed in Indaba Hotel, Johannesburg.

FK participants - 2015

FK participants – 2015

All the lectures and the activities are arranged inside the same hotel. This hotel is a beautiful place and it covers a huge area. We could find lot of birds, including peacock within the hotel compound. I share a few photos here.

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The first couple of days!

House in Area 3 where we are going to live for some time

House in Area 3 where we are going to live for some time

Surroundings

Surroundings

Driveway

Driveway

Garden

Garden

Garden

Garden

Siw's party

Siw’s party

Backyard

Backyard

Front

Front

The dog 'Mini'

The dog ‘Mini’

Siw took us around Lilongwe and showed us several places which we need to know.

We visited the KCH and for me, it looks like that I visit a hospital in Sri Lanka. We also visited BMIS, the school where Anjali’s going to study. The staff at BMIS were very friendly and the school environment was good. Anjali liked the school very much and said that she can’t wait start the school sessions :).

The night temperature was around 10 to 15 degree Celsius and the day temperature rises to 24 degrees. It doesn’t feel hot or sweat. Specially inside the house, it was like in AC without any AC :).

In the evening, we strolled around area 3 and also went to the market with the house maid’s daughter Chitenje.

For the first time, I did ‘right hand’ driving and it went OK, though I was a little tensed at the beginning.

Siw arranged a small party and we also got the chance to be introduced to a few people with whom I will be in touch at my work place.

The people are very nice and the environment is very good as well. We like the place and hopefully, it will be easier for us to integrate and settle down.

Traveling and Landing in Malawi!

We traveled to Malawi on 12th August. We had two transits, one in Sweden and one in Ethiopia. We had to wait 7 hours at our first transit Sweden and the flight touched Vienna, Austria too on the way from Sweden to Ethiopia and that’s why the time of travel is stretched to almost 29 hours. But the excitement of going to live in a new place kept me not being too tired.

When we were waiting in Sweden, my daughter Anjali said that she hadn’t yet felt any butterflies in her stomach as it sounded like that she was going on a holiday trip to Malawi. I got the same reaction from her at the Ethiopia airport too. It was a little cold in Ethiopia airport as it was morning with 15 degree celsius temperature.

Inside Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, Ethiopia

Inside Addis Ababa Bole  International Airport, Ethiopia

Outside Addis Ababa

20150813_082438 Outside Addis Ababa

Usually, it was me who get the window seat whenever we three travel together. When we flew from Ethiopia to Malawi, there were only a few clouds here and there and otherwise everything was clearly seen from 40000 feet above the ground. I could view a variety of beautiful landscapes with lots of patterns on the ground and wondered about the nature.

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Landscapes viewed through the window...

Landscapes viewed through the window…

I looked through the window when the plane was landing, I couldn’t see any tar roads and was wondering whether it would be like this throughout the country. But to my relief, it was not like that. 🙂

Weather was very nice with 24 degree Celsius when we landed in Lilongwe Airport, Malawi. They did a ‘body temperature’ test before we entered into the airport. When we were waiting in a long line, we got the chance to meet two people from Norway. They were standing behind us and it was nice to know that the girl was going to the same school as Anjali.

Siw came to the airport to pick up and we arrived home around 3pm on 13th August 2015.

The beginning :)

I planned to create this blog before I came to Malawi. But somehow, I couldn’t manage to get enough time to do this. So, I’m writing here briefly the things happened after I decided to come and work here in Malawi.

I first tried to get the school admission for my daughter at BMIS, Lilongwe, Malawi for IB DP and she was very happy when she was accepted in the school. I gave the affirmative answer to the offer only after my daughter’s school admission was finalized.

When we were selected as a FK participant for the ‘Exchange of personals’ project, the Department for International Collaboration for Haukeland University Hospital advised and guided us to do a variety of things. We had to be vaccinated for several diseases. We also participated a one day course (Course for the Expatriate Workers), which was arranged by the Department for International Collaboration.

Before I was engaged in this project, we had already planned for a trip to Sri Lanka in July. As we had to travel to Malawi in August, we had very little time in between these two trips. So, the days were flying and we needed to do lots of arrangements for our long stay in Malawi.

We traveled to Malawi from Bergen on 12th August and it was a long trip. It took us nearly 29 hours from our home in Bergen to home in Malawi. But the excitement made the things easier for me. 🙂