Monday, February 9, 2009


Not surprisingly, none of the dirt roads around here are signposted, so yesterday on my ride to Mangwe village, 22 km from home, I was flummoxed every time the road forked. The second time I took bad advice that led me down what turned out to be the wrong path, I remembered the cardinal rule of asking directions, which is: Never ask anybody under 20.

This rule was promptly broken when I finally arrived in Mangwe. After standing for a few minutes to marvel at the harmonies coming from the Catholic church, I stopped in at the first tuck shop and said I was looking for Helen Singogo. The shopkeeper called over a random 10-year-old strolling by with his friend, and they led me another kilometer through the village and behind the defunct tobacco factory, right up to Helen's door.

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