Picking up the pieces at Mzoozoozoo

Trip Start Sep 17, 2007
Trip End Oct 08, 2008

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Flag of Malawi  ,
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A respite. 

Malawi is a very rural country, and we have finally found a city about a third of the way down it, and even this city feels like a small town.  That happened in Kenya too, when the town was in fact huge, so maybe it's a clever African trick.  Small town feel, big town population. 

We're in Mzuzu, the place where you can buy almost anything you need, the only really big place north of Lilongwe.  The banks have Mastercard acceptance as well as Visa (we were getting a bit worried, but all is now well).  There's a grocery store with a lot of useful things instead of not a lot of useful things.  And we found a camera.  Along with a 2 gig memory card it ended up costing us $400 dollars, but a camera we have, and we can play again.  It only took Travis two days to finally bite the bullet and buy said camera, even though the choice is this camera or no camera.  The only trouble is knowing that if you 1) weren't an idiot or 2) were in your home country, you wouldn't be spending this massive amount of cash. 

Malawi is beautiful, but the dark days clouded over our first taste of it.  Now, in Mzuzu, we're in a backpacker hostel, Mzoozoozoo, which is all that a hostel really ought to be.  There's a resident dog (it may have fleas, so I won't let Travis pet it). There's a large book exchange (Travis has taken a few more books than he probably should have - we gave some back).  There's comfort food (a real BLT, french toast...ahhh).  Most importantly, there are people that talk to other people.  After a rough few days and many more isolated hotel rooms, being with people is more than welcome. 

So we've made Mzuzu our base while we pick up the pieces.  We've managed to find journals, an alarm clock (Travis had to take it apart to make it work, though, so before you buy have a battery handy), a camera, a plug adapter, a spoon, and various other goodies.  Since Malawi also has no ATMs anywhere useful (like, where the tourists commonly go...figure that one out), we'll also cash up here.  The hostel even has a Southern Africa Lonely Planet, but since we're not allowed to trade for it we've plundered it for information.  We are no longer blind. 

Mzoozoozoo seems to be the expat hangout in the evenings, and the Irish manager/owner/I'm not entirely sure is a gregarious and easy-going chap.  It's a warm place.  I like it.  I like Malawi.  Life is good. 

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