News from Malawi by way of New Jersey

I I talked with Jake for a little while this weekend. For those who’ve seen Bush League, if you don’t remember, he’s the Peace Corps volunteer in the film. Above is a picture of him from last month with his forth graders on Crazy Hat Day. He’s now in his second year of study for a Masters at Rutgers and a fulltime fourth grade teacher. The guy is BUSY! He spoke with Chatwa back in Zolokere, Malawi this week and here’s the latest from the village:

Chatwa (the farmer and team captain in Bush League) is having trouble with elephants trampling his crops at night. It’s very unusual to see an elephant in that area, Chatwa thinks it’s because the elephants are increasing in population that they’re moving out of the Vwaza Game Reserve, which encloses a large wetland south of the village. They’re chasing the elephants away by banging on plastic tubs with sticks. Chatwa also reports that his fifth child and first son is doing well and is “very strong” like his father.

Jacklyn is doing fine and her health appears to be good.

Issac, who appears in Bush League several times but is never named got a serious head injury during a recent football game. He was unconscious for several minutes before coming to.

Tough Gong, the artist and sign painter who made the maps in Bush League (he lives in Mzuzu several hours from the village) is doing well and has a new girlfriend. TG always has a new girlfriend.

No word on Mlawa the soft-spoken young father in Bush League but no news is good news.

The other big news is that the Malawian Government is at work constructing an irrigation system in the Hewe Valley. Chatwa says that they’ll be able to grow vegetables year round once the system is built. Right now fresh vegetables are only available during the rainy/growing season. If this is really happening, it’s a really big deal.