some thoughts

Some of my regular readers may remember that a while back I used to regularly post links to news about Malawi. One of my initial blogging ideas was to be a news aggregator for interesting internet articles on Malawi. Nchenga’s low-budget approach to crossing the digital divide.

In the past months – actually since I moved to this new domain – I have stopped my news postings. I’m still following the news at The Nation and BBC Africa, but somehow I don’t feel I can continue postings about current affairs in Malawi.

Recent political developments have been very surprising and may also include a turn for the better. I’m certain that one year ago, nobody could have predicted or even imagined a similar development.

Yet, somewhere within me I feel a continuous sadness for my home country, and there’s something that is blocking me from following through. A layer of sadness.

Living in Switzerland where some people are *very* nationalist, I’m strangely aware of the fact that nationality is one of the few things that you can’t choose. The other thing you can’t choose is the kind of family you are born into. I’m lucky in both ways. Cos I have the best kind of family you can imagine (intelligent, caring, tolerant, funny, and international) and I don’t feel the need to nurture nationalist feelings. Rather I’ve been blessed with the positive aspects of 3 cultures and more. And counting. Cos there are a lot of things that I like about Switzerland.

This past week has been a sad one in my family. Last Friday my uncle passed away. He lived in Africa for over 42 years. In Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Swaziland, and for a long time in Masvingo, Zimbabwe. And he loved Africa.

He was very ill and his passing is in many ways a relief from years of sickness.

I have happy memories of picking him up at Chileka Airport. Unpacking his presents. Biltong and peppermint chocolate. Stopping in Masvingo on our way to Johannesburg. He had a very South African way of dressing. Pink shirts with red ties. He was my closest relative outside of my immediate family while growing up, as all my other relatives were in Germany or Australia. And I believed some of the wild stories he invented to entertain my sister and me.

He moved to Africa during a time when there were high hopes for a brighter African future. And I guess that’s my silent wish for Malawi. Hope. Suffering leads to perserverance, perserverance leads to character, and character leads to hope.

Maybe my sadness is not linked to Malawi as much as I think it is. Maybe it is linked to my awareness that our lives are so fragile and finite. And yet we spend so much of our time destroying and hurting others. With words or weapons. For our own gain.

I have some new ideas for this blog, but I don’t know when and how and if I’ll put them into practice. So far it’s been a great technical playground and lots of fun. Topics will continue to reflect aspects of software development, travel, linguistics, as well as personal thoughts and ideas that cross my digital paths. Meanwhile, feel free to leave a comment. I’ve been sending round my favorite Dilbert of the week. And needless to say. I’m addicted to email and comments.

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