The Mountain Snake's Bite

I went to see the aftermath of a deadly cyclone in Malawi. I found tales of a mythological snake that sleeps under the mountain.

The Mountain Snake's Bite
Photograph by Mandy Sham / Instagram

LISTENING: to the airplane engine rattle
FEELING: inspired and motivated
SEEING: passengers eagerly await to board

For the past three days, I've been in Malawi. It's a small country (smaller than the state of Pennsylvania) in southeastern Africa. I was invited to come do some reporting here on the aftermath of Cyclone Freddy, which hit the region in March.

I've learned many things about the country since that invitation. It's a country with a population of over 21 million — a population full of lovely and kind and generous people. The food? Divine. Though the nation is landlocked, it is home to Lake Malawi, where locals fish chamba, a variety of tilapia that is best eaten fried. Here, LGBTQ+ rights remain a fight due to religious beliefs. Across the land, you'll find its many jagged mountaintops reaching for the clouds, towering threats locals have grown to fear. More on that soon.

Most relevant to you all, however, is the fact that Malawi is among the most vulnerable nations to climate change.

During my time here, I've been thinking about the Black Panther movie series. It's probably because this is my first time on the African continent. The films illustrate the possibilities of an Africa without colonialism — an Africa without the violence of extraction and slavery.

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