Bye to Malawi...

Trip Start Jan 07, 2008
Trip End Jul 22, 2008

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Where I stayed
Mabuya Camp

Flag of Malawi  ,
Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I am sad to leave the beautiful land of Malawi.. the people are gorgeous with huge smiles and so friendly - Malawi is known as the 'warm heart of Africa' and it's so true.. even though i don't have a lot of other African countries to compare to, except North Arab Africa but I certainly haven't been disappointed.

I have been here a month already and just got the idea to do a travel blog (actually taken me more like 4 yrs of traveling but better late than never eh) so i have a lot to inform you aboot (i know it's really about) but will be forced to pick the essentials as i feel fit.  I have been volunteering here rather than purely traveling which was a new challenget for me.  I was in Monkey Bay, south Malawi, close to many wee villages and not many amenities which i enjoyed.  Our mansion in African standards was on Lake Malawi.  I soon learned the task of feeling useful would be easier said than done.  I was there to coach sports and help out at the school in whatever way.  Coaching proven to be difficult as there were no netball poles or nets or balls yet and my other option of football (aka soccer) proved again not to be my strong point. My money was able to buy netball posts but i wasn't fortunate to see them up before my exit.  I cleaned up the office at the school and found some blackboard paint (few yrs old however) so was able to paint the boards as they were in great need of a new coat as the kids could barely see the chalk.  I wasn't able to finish that job to my disappointment as politics and miscommunication between the school  and school committee discontinued our work there.  Politics exists everywhere and i can't be bothered to get into detail about it... but it was annoying!  We were placed at another school but i only had a few days left.

  The poverty was like nothing i have seen and found it difficult to get my head around.. kids walked barefoot and people barely had the necessities of life (complete opposite to our western lifestyle where we live well beyond our means).  Certainly didn't stop everyone from being so friendly and smiling so brightly... amazing!!  I managed to take a few weekend trips to a National park and Zomba Plateau.   Spotted many hippos, few crocs, plethora of various species pf monkeys (some that raided our food while camping), one warthog, some bushbuck and waterbuck, some impalas (those latter three are kinds of deers as i didn't know) many birds and a partidge in a pear tree.   

I could go on and on about Malawi but unfortunately a month is too much to write in detail so that will have to do for now.  As of yesterday i was dropped back in the capital leaving the volunteer organization... I was on my own traveling again, backpacking some might say...I am taking a bus tonight from Lilongwe to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania...and 27hrs later i will get there (if the dodgy looking bus doesn't break down).  I am slowly getting mentallly and emotionally prepared for the bus ride...It will definitely be an experience, an African experience i reckon.  I'm hoping there will be at least one other Muzungu (means white person in Chichewa, the local language, as i've been called many times by the locals, endearingly i'm sure) on the fully booked bus.  Please wish me good luck.  It's not all so bad... on my arrival in Tanzania, i look forward to booking a safari and hanging out with some lions and elephants (don't worry mom)...until then.... 
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