Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mystery Photo--George's Post

For years Travel and Leisure published “mystery” pictures, inviting magazine subscribers and well-seasoned travelers to identify the location of the photos.   I always liked looking at the shots, even if I didn't have a clue where they were taken.  Invariably they represented some exotic place in the world, which we had yet to visit.  When I took this picture the other day, I thought it would be fun to ask if anyone could identify, not the location of the shot, but its subject. 
First the clues.  This photo was taken when we took Maxwell Mbera, a young man in the Zingwangwa Branch, to Blantyre’s office of Malawi’s Department of Immigration.  The photo was taken of a canopied area in a small parking area about 50 yards from the office.   If you look carefully, you will spot on the ground scraps of sliced paper and a car battery that is being used to generate juice to power a printer.   The product we purchased had a “red” background, not quite what one would expect of a similar product in the United States, but at a purchase price of 800 kwacha or $1.80 it was definitely a bargain.  The cottage industry that had grown up around the Department of Immigration was just what we were looking for.  It shows how enterprising Malawians can be, when given an opportunity.   How many copies we needed may be debatable, but in any event, we got four.
By now most of you, certainly all of my grandchildren (over the age of five), will have guessed the right answer.   The little shop generated passport size photos for those applying for passports and visas.