I spent an afternoon walking the Limbe Golf Course in Blantyre with the Pink Golfer last week.
I love the caddies looking on from the club house in this shot. Everyone knows Matt. He’s likely the only boy from Blantyre playing professional golf in the States.
His caddy Lucky — in the background — walked the course barefoot while he carried Matt’s bag. Lucky was a trouper, to say the least. He made US$15 in kwacha that day. Considering the daily minimum wage in Malawi is US$1, it was quite the day. That said, carrying Matt’s bag for 18 holes of golf in humid, sticky Blantyre would be torture for most. Lucky took it all in stride and smiled with a wide grin full of bright white teeth. He was a good guy but quickly tired from also burdening my constant questions. He soon figured out the best way to shake me was to stay ahead. By the 16th hole, I’d given up on his life story and was clanking the ice in my gin and tonic back in the club house.
(What? I’m not a groupie. I was there for the walk. And I was sweaty. And gin and tonic helps prevent malaria.)
The course maintenance left quite a bit to be desired. Granted, the rainy season in any tropical country must cause havoc on golf courses. Unlike the course in Mozambique I’ve seen, the groundskeepers here had lawn mowers. In Beira, they use shears.
With unemployment rates in the 80-90% range, someone is willing to cut a golf course by hand. Can you imagine? FOR ONE DOLLAR A DAY?
Next time my latte is served cold, someone cuts me off in traffic or forgets to send a thank you card — I’m going to remember this. Oh selfish self, your life is so damn charmed. Don’t let the tedium of the first world ever make you think your life is anything less than fortunate. The day you pick up a pair of scissors and set off to cut six miles worth of Bermuda by hand for the grand reward of $1, you may cry a little pitiful tear for your existence. Until then, please keep the complaints to a minimum.
Probably. Ha! Dear Carlsberg, you need a new marketing team — for certain.