by Corey O’Driscoll, Honours Student, University of Queensland
During the second half of the 2011 MEMSAP field season, I undertook the role of site technician and data assessment. My job entailed organizing and checking for errors all ArcGIS data collected during each day of excavation at our Mwanganda’s Village site. During the field season my responsibilities grew to encompass site coordinator and managing a field crew of up to 20 international students and researchers. One aspect of MEMSAP which really stood out to me was the group cohesion. From the professional scientists to the undergraduate students to the local Malawian excavators and guides, the understanding and willingness of people participate and pitch in ensured that the field season continued apace, making my job remarkably easier than it would have otherwise been. This all culminated near the end of the season when the project put on a BBQ (with a Kālua pig roast no less) that was shared between the MEMSAP team and the residents of Mwanganda’s Village who made our entire field season possible by permitting us to excavate on their land. This further brought together the greater MEMSAP community in Karonga, ensuring a successful future professional relationship and growing friendship between multiple countries and traditions.