ONE Week in Africa

By Rebecca HarperAmerican journalist, author, and blogger Cathleen Falsani documents her myriad adventures across the African continent.Day 1: Africa rises against AIDS and poverty"We spent eight days in Malawi, Zambia, and South Africa (plus a brief but memorable walking trip into and out of Zimbabwe) where we saw Africa rising (and, frankly, in some cases, fully arisen.)"We listened to Africans – young and old, farmers and doctors, pastors and potters – who insist on having a say in what the future of Africa will be. And we heard time and again how the faith, generosity and sheer chutzpah of Americans (and other foreigners) has changed lives."Each time we were invited into the homes of strangers who told us their stories, I was reminded of the African spiritual idea called ‘Ubuntu’. It essentially means 'I am because we are.'" Day 2: Mom and Son find joy in visit with his Malawi family"...each adult, including the headman of Vasco's ancestral tribe who had given us permission to adopt Vasco in 2009, asked about his education."'How is Vasco faring in school?' they wanted to know. 'Is he smart? Does he study hard? Are his marks good?'"I was happy to answer yes to all. He is also generous, has many friends, loves God, and is known for being kind. That seemed to make Vasco's family in Malawi happier than anything else I told them (just as it does Vasco's family in America, frankly)." Day 3: Couple sows seeds of hope for Malawi"Beginning in 2001 and hitting its peak in 2002, many Malawians struggled to find food. ... According to the World Food Program, at the height of the crisis, about 5 million Malawians were 'most vulnerable' to starvation.'""The first year [2003] they gave us a handful of seeds," Osborne said, three lines of corn that they then crossbred into a hybrid that works best for the area they farm and that they grow along with a more hearty variety that can withstand harsher conditions but has a smaller yield."We've gone from a handful of each one to production of 270 tons this year. It's been hard. We've had to nurture every single seed."Follow the rest of her story at the ONE website.