Cultural Differences: “The Boy’s Quarters”

Since being here, I’ve gathered that class is important. In this neighborhood, it is commonplace to have a garden boy (gardener), housekeeper, and cook. Here, they are known as the servants. They tend to live on the premises with their family. Where they live is called the “Boy’s Quarters”.

Most wealthy Malawians who live in the city hire people from villages to work for them. Often they do provide a place for them to live, but it doesn’t seem like they are paid well enough to move up in the world. You can call it what you want.

I have not been able to adjust to this part of the culture here. It is a constant sense of discomfort for me. The fact that the staff has much worse living conditions just doesn’t seem right to me. I have a constant feeling of guilt that I have more; among other things, we are staying in this huge house while they are in a small one. God is teaching me more about generosity, and that all there is, belongs to God –while we are simply the caretakers.

Injustice does not sit well with me.

Even though I know that injustice exists in every place, every society, every culture; I will never be at ease about it. Before coming to Malawi, a friend of mine asked how I would be able to handle all of the need here. It has not been easy, as the needs are overwhelming and the injustice is around every corner and directly outside my backdoor. What I must say is that I am struggling with it, and I always have. God has shown me how heartbreaking this world of sin and brokenness is. It should never be easy to handle though; no matter where we happen to be living.

If injustice is not confronting you daily, it’s not because it is not present, but it is because you are looking the other direction.



Filed under adventures, faith, Malawi

2 responses to “Cultural Differences: “The Boy’s Quarters”

  1. Sarabeth

    Hailey, that last sentence is very profound. It’s making me think. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Pingback: Cape Town.. Rest and Relaxation | Catching a little Light

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