Mfuwe has a police department and a local clinic which is usually staffed by doctors who come for short periods and are hired by the safari industry. There is one gasoline station and one occasionally working ATM machine where a small herd of goats seems to like hanging around. Some stores sell minutes for cell phones or “Dongles,” the wireless cards we use with our computers for Internet service which is still spotty at best.
There is a store that sells nshima (ground cornmeal, their staple) in bulk, big bags of bulk rice, and an assortment of basics for villager’s needs like thick plush blankets they put on the ground inside their huts to sleep on. It is possible to purchase tools, paint and hardware, but one has to know which store to look for because they all sell a strange combination of goods.
There are many beer bars selling homemade beer and only a few places to eat. The road is also dotted with churches and schools. Few schools continue past the 7th grade. While crossing the river along the road, it is common to see women washing clothes there when there is water in the river and laying them out on the bushes to dry.
People are friendly, they all seem to have memorized the phrase, “Hello, how are you?” We smile and respond and they return our smiles. It is a place where it is good to look people in the eye and smile and say hello.
Witten By: Pat Cole