How to stop your husband from cheating on you and other essential Malawian How-To’s

1). How to prevent your boyfriend/husband from cheating/taking a second wife:

I haven’t figured out all the details on this one but I know with certainty that it requires the tail of a lizard. This morning, my friend plaintively confided in me that her husband had decided to take a second wife. Shortly after, she whacked a lizard that had been listening nearby. While the meat of the lizard managed to escape, its tail remained behind. Without hesitation, my friend picked up the still appendage, wrapped it in a piece of plastic and put it in her purse. After seeing my bewilderment, she explained, “I’m bringing this to the msing’ana (traditional healer). He’ll make a lizard tail medicine out of it that will bring my family back together.” What exactly is in that concoction, I’m not sure. What I do know is that if you’re having boyfriend troubles, you best be lizard huntin’.

This guy better watch his back if any other other of my friend’s husband decide to stray…

2). How to make your baby stop pooping green mush:

Don’t worry, you don’t have to make any changes in your baby’s diet or even bring the babe to the health center! There is a much easier, surefire fix. Simply string a long necklace with green beads and place it around your baby’s waist, right above their diaper. Wait only a few days, weeks or months and wa-la! The green poo will become normal-colored again.

3). How to assure your child will have a normal shaped head:

This one is VERY important. Failure to abide by the following directions will leave your child with a grotesquely misshapen head. An alien head, if you will. You don’t want him/her to be the laughing stock of the entire village, do you?! To prevent this calamity, simply buy a head-shaper necklace from the traditional healer. It has tan, penne-shaped beads and should be worn by your baby for the first two years of his or her life. Make sure that no matter how much of a strangulation or choking hazard it is, that your baby does not remove the necklace!

4). How to assure your papaya tree will produce fruit:

Enough about babies. This one is about that sweet, orange fruit that can grow the size of your head. For all the non-botanists reading this, I’ll preempt the instructions by informing you that not all fruit trees produce fruit. I learned recently that trees can be male, female or even hermaphroditic and that (at least for papaya), you can’t differentiate sexes while the trees are still seedlings. Therefore, this how-to is essential if you find yourself with a lame male plant that just stands around all day (hmm sounds similar to male humans here). Anyways, for this reason it’s extremely important to take matters into your own hands so that your tree will produce! To do so, find a shucked ear of corn. Using a torn plastic bag or other debris, tie the corn vertically to the trunk of your papaya tree. In no time at all, it’ll be producing that sweet, juicy fruit and you can credit yourself with its sexual transformation!

Praying for a baby girl!!

I hope you have enjoyed these useful How-To’s and that I’ve imparted some wisdom on you! I owe it to my neighbors who have taught me all of these tricks over the course of the past year.

My next post will be about World Malaria Month and what a typical project might look like for a Peace Corps Volunteer. I’ll be uploading pictures, videos and a detailed account of how it all went down. Stay tuned!


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