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Edith Kaphuka - Ngwale Village, Malawi - Nyanja (Global Lives Project, 2007) ~05:15:42 - 05:30:43

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[Pots and pans banging. / Singing. / A running stream.] I just saw a big dog up there. Hey Memory! Be careful over there! I'm watching. I've already picked up a rock. When I see it, I'll run away. I wouldn't run away. I'd wrestle it! You're lying! I'm picking up a rock, but you won't. While you're getting a rock, I'd have already taken off. [Birds chirping.] Yesterday, in the afternoon, when I came to clean dishes... I'm telling you, I saw the dog up there. Yeah me too! The other day my heart was beating so fast and hard! That day, I was fetching water right here and it sprinted right past me! It didn't even stop. It just went right by panting like this... I was about to run away. But then I pretended to chase it and it just took off. Yes! It runs off breathing real hard like this... Nobody knows how it managed to cross the stream. -I usually see it way ahead, over there. -Wow! -It comes from up there and then it goes down over there. -Yeah. -Sometimes it comes from down there going upwards. -Yeah! So I just pretend like I'm going to chase it. -It's always out of breath. -And the dog took off so fast... -Huffing and puffing. -And it steps on the water in a strange way. -Yeah! All of a sudden you see dirty water! It's really weird! [Running stream.] -I will bring 100 Kwacha to school. -I will bring 50. -That's 100 Kwacha, yeah! No one should even try to come close to me with that money, I'll slap them. I will bring vi vi, vi vi..., I will bring 5-0! -I want it to get to 100 Kwacha. -I will bring 5-0. -50 Kwacha. Do you have it? -Yes, I do. Don't count on me paying you back. I'll pay you the week after next week when I get paid. -This is how I do it... until all the dishes are finished. -You mean like this... like that? -Yeah. [Singing.] I do it fast. I don't take long with it. -Oh yeah! -They do it like this. -Oh, I forgot. I just do this until I finish cleaning all the dishes by myself. -Oh yeah! [More singing./Birds chirping.] -Oh no, we have to go to school again! -We have to bring hoes today. -They didn't ask you to bring some? -No! -Did they ask you? -How come they didn't... I... -Did they ask you? -Yes! -I'm not bringing one because they didn't ask everyone to bring hoes. -Did they ask you? -Yeah! -You are going to do some hoeing today! Anna, did they ask you at the assembly or in class? [Imitating the teacher.] At the assembly. They said no one..."tomorrow boys you should bring slashers, and girls..." They said we should bring mops! -That means you'll mop your classroom. -Yeah, we'll mop our classroom. No, not every classroom! We only clean ours. [A running stream.] -I thought there were ten dishes... that was fast. -There were two cups, two wooden spoons, and plates that's all. -That's all. -Yes! -Which ones? -The white bowls and plates. [Running stream.] [Singing.] We pass by those hills on the way to school you know. Yeah, those boarding students man! Yeah, they feel it more than we do. -At six o'clock or something they have to get up and study. -No way! -They get up at four o'clock in the morning. -And after dinner, they go back to study. No, I mean, to class. -Then they're put to sleep... -At 4am... -They get woken up to go to class. Then they get up again. The teachers work late. They go home late too. -Men can manage that. -I thought there's just one? -Yeah, one. Wow! This eucalyptus tree is really, really tall! The little flowers fall like flying little birds, scattered all over. If I saw a bird's nest now, I'd shake the tree so hard, or I'd climb it... I'd balance on the little branches carefully. Those ones! [Birds chirping./Running stream.] [Singing.] -Should I get ready to go? -No. You know Pilira, Pilira Nazaza? -Which Pilira? -She's umm... Stan's wife. -No Memory... -Yes that's Pilira. -Ok, l'll tell aunt what you just said. -It's true! -Oh yes, I'm telling aunt what you said! I was carrying a bucket on my head... Then I heard her say, "You there!" It was Parson's mom. She said that when I was lifting the bucket onto my head I was farting! She said my farts made tiny noises, then Stan's wife threatened to throw you into the water. I said to myself, you dare touch me and I'll throw you in! I'd do it to her with her ugly cornrows. Edith, this will look good now that they got paid... -Why? -It will look good with iron sheets, one iron sheet... -She wants me to go fetch tap water? -She says both of us. No! [Singing.] -Did you hear that Munena, she said you should use the one in the kettle. -Yes. -Edith, take this one... -I thought you said I should give it to Munena? -No Edith, take this one. -Just use this one to fetch water. -Memory? -Please go, it's getting late. -Hey Memory, let's go. -Memory go. -What should I bring? Please be quick. Just fill the buckets half way. Be quick on the path. -Did you hear me Edith? -Yeah. Yes. -Memo, hey Memory... Did you go yesterday to fetch water? -Yes! That owl was hooting around here. Did you hear that Memory? That tree! Over there.

Video Details

Duration: 15 minutes and 2 seconds
Country: Malawi
Producer: www.globallives.org
Director: Jason Price
Views: 237
Posted by: glm_administrator on Jun 24, 2008

Light breaks in Ngwale. Edith and Memory are down at the stream doing dishes and chatting. They discuss a mysterious dog, what awaits them at school, and an accusation about little farts. Memory notices the way flowers fall from a tall tree, and she wants to climb it. They return home and are sent to the well for more water. There, Memory asks her sister about a lurking owl.
[Transcription and English Translation: Jos Garric / Revisions: Tiffany Banda & Jason Price]

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