Archive for November, 2006

Wood carving

Friday, November 24th, 2006

carving1 The CD-Duplicatemachine from Andrew Msiska is close to be finished. The woodbox is now full of african carvings. The eagle stands for Andrews Artist Company, the chamäleons are dedicated to Alex, the dicdics to Ramon and the monkey to me. What about the Gnu? The Gnu is dedicated to all Gnu Friends.

carving2 Iwould like to add, that the computernerds from here, when they come into the office and see this beautifull box, they get little stars in their eyes. One Student likes it so much, that he would like to build one also for his computer.

More detail pictures will follow next week. The low Internet bandwidth at the Polytechnic don’t allow large image uploads.

Thinclient Network finished

Friday, November 24th, 2006

thin1 thin2 thin3

The 2 Thinclient Networks are now properly setup with squid as proxy service and work perfectly. The research and article of Ramon Cahenzli was pretty helpful for the setup, because doing research on the internet in the Polytechnic is very frustrating because of low bandwidth.

The past days we did some stress tests and fine tuning of ltsp, dhcp and squid. The system is pretty fast compared to the old crappy computers of the Polytechnic. We’re now waiting for an order of about 12 TFT screens from South-Africa to be installed with the thinclients. The handover will probably take place next week.

Mulanje Mountain

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006

mulanje1To refresh our brains after this weeks of work, last week-end we climbed the mulanje mountain. Our 2 friends from Germany and a guide are part of this adventure. The path is steep, very steep, the heat makes you think, you’ re walkint throug a oven, climbing a cake. The vegetation is amazing. From above, you can have a look down to the villages, the rooves made out of metall, are funkling like stars on the red floor. The floor is plain and wide. Out of nothing, there are this hills and mountains. They look as if a big animals had stoppet, desciding to take a rest.

On the way we cross one of this mans, walking down the mountain, carying a tree on his back. Once more very uncommen for our eyes. As higher we get, as fresher the temperatures are getting. When the nights falls, we finaly arrive to the hat, with a big big hunger.

mulanje2 mulanje3 mulanje4

This big hunger, as also the fact that 4 europeans are meeting who eated in the last 2 month nothing else than nsima or rice with chicken, jambo or beef, provoces long conversations about things like pizza, risotto, olives, gorgonzola, curry and chocolate…

GNU stamp

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006


After Andrew has produced some stamps for his artists company I also wanted to produce some stamps for myself. One of the samples was the “Heckert GNU”.


Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

tarantula tarantel2 This morning, when I wanted to put on my trousers, the one my tailor in Blanytre made, there was a huge tarantula on it. It must have come in our sleepingroom during the night.

It’s part of our all-days ritual to beat the shoes and the cloths. 🙂


Friday, November 17th, 2006

gnuNathalie and me have decided to publish all photographic pictures, that we took in 2006 in Malawi will be released under the GFDL (GNU Free Documentation License). This “copyleft” license allows the use, copying and redistribution under the condition that the work keeps it’s freedom and the author is mentioned.

ccThe drawings, that were made by Nathalie are published under a similar license called Creative Commons “Attribution ShareAlike” Lizenz. This license also allows the copying and redistribution under the conditions that the author is mentioned and the work keeps its freedom.

Azunghu amaganiza kuti… Anthu akuda amaganiza kuti

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

*(White people think… Black people think…)


We all dont really like to think in cliches, but somethime it is not so easy.
How shell we be able to read pictures from places we never had the chance to smell, never were able to listen to the noise it does? Our brain automaticly puts together a picture, a meaning made out of this little pieces we get on the other edge.

Munthu in Chichewa means human beeing. Because we, Alex and me, have white skin, we can not be Munthu, we are Azungu. (Azungu=Ghost, today used for white person).
That only people with black skin are Munthu, might sound somehow strange. Our Chichewateacher did explain it to us like this:
The word Munthu originates from the time bevore any white guy stept on the african continent. According to this, a human beeing was a beeing with black skin, walking on two feets.
Suddenly a white guy apeard, they where very surprised, they thougth this must be a ghost, an Azungu.
So, Munthu means human beeing, but without the white ones. You got it? 🙂

Somehow i thougth this issue of the skins color is not a big one anymore. Im very surprised, about myself and my surrounding, that it is still a big one. Not necessarily in a discriminating way to each other, its more something you can’t hide, you will always see.
For us one of the fact is, that everithing is a little bit more expensive. Tomatos, Onions, Bananas, what ever you want. If the seller goes much to much over the normal price, (cause we slowly do know the possible prices) we say: “com’ on, this is Azungu price!!, give me Okuda price..”
So basicly. In the venes of a white guy, ther must flow gold instud uf blood, or even platin.
In the other way, if we think honestly about it, are this strange pictures we have about Okuda. The picture from this wilde wilde human beeing, eating things like grasshoppers, ants and snakes, that probably lives on a tree, who is poor and without education.

So i started to draw this kind of pictures. The first ones you can see below.


Thursday, November 16th, 2006

tau1 tau2 tau3

This is how malawian centipedes looks like, and if we can belive in wath Andrew is telling, it is a medium size one 🙂

reading newspapers

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

This is how it looks, when students at Poly ride the newspaper.



Thursday, November 16th, 2006


Chishango (Chichewa) means Shield

The Problems that concernes Aids and HIV in Afrika, should be known. In Malawi there is more and more publicity, that tells about the virus and motives to the use of condoms. In every bottelstore and in every kiosk you can find packages of condoms, redy to buy. One package with 3 condomes costs about 30Kwatcha (30Rp).