Note: I wrote this blog post this summer on July 14 from Domasi, Malawi while I was staying in Ndwiasa Village.
I fell asleep to the sounds of African drumming and women singing all through the night. Didn't sleep much actually, which is fine, because I rested under my mosquito net, curled up on my reed mat, and loved hearing the sounds of the initiation ceremony in the background. There is a primal and instinctual connection I feel to the people here. I feel this especially on days like yesterday when I had the opportunity to dance with the village women as they began the ceremony initiating a young woman into motherhood. I think about the history behind these traditions and how far reaching... they are. It's a beautiful thing to have kept them alive.
Development presents and interesting dilemma. How much history and identity are people willing to sacrifice for electricity, vehicles and tin roofs? A lot of the time, I feel more and more like an anthropologist. I just want to be here to learn and to observe, not to judge what's right or wrong or to decide how to "change" these people in the name of progress. At the same time, I feel like a hard-nosed businesswoman with belief in the power of social entrepreneurship, a hybridized capitalism. Use the free market and globalization for access to stronger markets, but supplement with charitable work to improve quality of life indicators more quickly.