Malawi
Northern Region

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  • Day44

    Day 43 & 44: Lake Malawi (North)

    March 17, 2019 in Malawi ⋅ ☁️ 31 °C

    Lake Malawi is a beautiful place ... just look at the lake 🌴

    The only problem: it’s so incredibly hot... much hotter than anywhere else I have been before on this trip. And: there are so many flies 😱

    In the morning we went to the local village. This village is supported by an NGO, namely the lodge that we are staying at (and USAid). Any profit this NGO makes go directly into support for the local village. A very nice idea - which makes the fact that our accommodation was very very basic (no water today for washing) seem irrelevant. The village was beautiful 💛 So many happy and proud people. They were especially proud of their local hospital. And we were very impressed by everything they have accomplished 🙏

    Remember I was supposed to give Anne’s umbrella to the local kids? Well, I did and they were soooo happy about it. Just a simple umbrella. And more than 10 kids were excited about it ✨

    In the afternoon I was ready for another adventure. I wanted to go up to Livingstonia. Not hiking - too hot - driving up. It was an adventure for sure. We drove in a small car, no 4x4 ... and of course did not make it to the top 😂 At some point two passengers actually jumped out of the car as the car was just going downhill backwards (quite scary when the driver is not doing anything to stop this process) ... I stayed inside trying to explain to the driver how to drive an automatic car. He did not quite like it (he was actually surprised that I can drive a car in my home country) ... but finally accepted help and we made it safely back down to the hotel. The others were a bit terrified ... but I loved this trip ... when things do not go as planned you usually make the best memories 🤷🏼‍♀️☺️🙏
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  • Day43

    Work with wood needs power

    February 17, 2019 in Malawi ⋅ 🌧 30 °C

    Ausgeschlafen, Frühstück und dann ging an die Holzarbeit.
    Wahnsinn! Es gibt keinen Schraubstock, der die Figur hält. Entweder mit beiden Füßen oder einer Hand sollten wir das Holzstück festhalten.
    Wir arbeiteten mit gefährliche Werkzeuge. Beim Abrutschen habe ich mir sogar am Fuß verletzt. 😅 zum Glück nicht so tief.
    Sarah und ich haben Respekt bekommen, wie sie die Figuren verarbeiten. Wir hätten nicht gedacht, dass der ganze Körper eingesetzt werden muss.
    Unsere Teile mussten noch geschliffen werden, da schleppten sie uns zu ihrem Shop. Sie wollten uns wieder was noch zusätzlich verkaufen. Man können sie nervig sein. Wir können verstehen, dass sie Geld brauchen, aber so verscheuchen sie doch nur die Leute. 🙈
    Einer von denen war Vater von einem gehörlosem Sohn und fragte, wie viel so ein CI kostet. Er war erstaunt, dass wir sprechen können. Ich versuchte ihm zu erklären, was ein CI ist und dass wir es selber nicht bezahlt haben. Aber wo sie die Summe erfahren haben, schauten sie uns an, als wären wir reich und zeigten uns Dinge, Figuren und Bilder. Ich so: we don't need it! Sie waren zwar beleidigt, ließen uns aber endlich in Ruhe.

    Wir brauchten nach der Arbeit eine Abkühlung und vergnügten uns danach mit Buch lesen.
    Alle haben an dem Tag schön gechillt und einfach den Tag genossen.
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  • Day126

    Nkhata Bay

    January 19 in Malawi ⋅ ☁️ 30 °C

    Mayoka Village, perched on the edge of Lake Malawi, has to be one of the best places we have stayed so far. A series of little houses and bungalows seem to tumble down the hill, threatening to spill into the lake.

    We take a room which is directly on top of the lake- we can walk down the step and into the (surprisingly tumultuous) waves of the lake.

    Today, the head chef of the lodge has offered to cook for us at his house, so it’s an opportunity for us to peel away from the tourist places and experience the “real” Malawi. We are treated to Cassava Nsima- the national dish here, which is ground cassava, cooked into a solid mashed potato. It is eaten with your hands, by ripping off a small piece, rolling it into a ball and dipping it into sauce. It’s an acquired taste, but we’re now fond of the maize nsima (which is slightly lighter).
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  • Day127

    Living with Phillip & his family

    January 20 in Malawi ⋅ ☁️ 32 °C

    Morning starts off early and rushed with breakfast at 7am and set off from Mayoka Village at 7:15. Today, we are headed to Chimbota Secondary School, a private high school in the village of Chimbota which is about 15 minute drive away from the centre of Nhkata Bay. We’ll be staying here for two nights and quickly learn that driving there isn’t all that easy since the road keeps washing away with the daily rainfall.

    Phillip, one of the founders of the school and member of staff at Mayoka Village is going to be hosting us for the next couple of days while we help out at the school and live with his family.

    Chimbota Secondary School opened its doors in 2016 and currently has over 100 students enrolled. Before, the nearest secondary school was in Nhkata Bay which meant that students previously had to walk over 2 hours to get to school. During rainy season this means it was near to impossible for many eager students to get to school as their method of transportation is by foot.

    With a vision to expand, Phillip hopes enrolment will continue to grow in the coming years as demand for education is growing. However, many families face difficulties in meeting the school fees which are set at 29,000 kwacha (about $35 USD) per term. With today being the deadline for students to pay, the class sizes seem to be dwindling and many students are seen walking away from the school.

    As the school day comes to an end, we pack our things and head home to Phillips house. It’s about a 30 minute walk which is either blazingly hot or torrentially wet. We’re greeted warmly by everyone in the street. The local butcher passes by and shows us his bucket full of pig. We pass on purchasing any as we don’t have anywhere to cook, it but thank him for his generosity. We also meet a guy who calls himself Honeyman, a local bee keeper and nephew of Phillip. We don’t believe his name until we hear some others shouting out for him. He seems to be a popular fella.

    Lunch and dinner is cooked by Phillip’s family as we sit and watch the village life go by. As seems to be standard in Africa, we have an early night, and turn off the lights (by disconnecting the bare ends of wire draped across our door).
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  • Day122

    Lilongwe to Nkhata Bay

    January 15 in Malawi ⋅ 🌧 27 °C

    The latest in a series of sketchy African coach journeys, this one from Lilongwe to Nkhata Bay, a small tourist town on Lake Malawi.

    The coach, due to set off at 11pm, doesn’t arrive until past midnight, and the seats are in a state of disrepair. At around 4 in the morning, the coach stops for around an hour, alarms blaring, until the driver and conductor can get it running again. We arrive into the nearest big city (Mzuzu) at 6.30 in the morning, and get off the bus into a giant rain storm. We’ve been fortunate so far to have avoided getting caught in downpours, but not this time. We need to get across town to the bus station to get a minibus to Nkhata Bay, so we’re forced to brave the deluge. Soaked, we arrive at the bus station and are mobbed by touts telling us that there are no busses to Nkhata Bay. I politely try to inform them that we’ve heard otherwise, whilst Katie straight up calls them liars. Sure enough, there is a bus to Nkhata Bay.

    It is worth the journey though. Our accommodation, Mayoka Village, is perched in and around a small bay on the lake, affording views over nearby headlands, and across the lake to the shoreline of Mozambique (where the lake is called Lago Niassa). The lake is home to an array of different coloured tropical fish darting around the rocks.

    We rest for most of the day, with Katie feeling slightly under the weather, but we look forward to getting out on the lake and snorkelling in this real-life dentist’s aquarium.
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  • Day79

    Livingstonia

    July 24, 2017 in Malawi ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Great name, for an unusual – you could even say a little odd -- place.
    Up the mountains 15km on a very rocky, potholed road with 21 switchbacks, which took about an hour to drive up and scared the hell out of Christy with sheer drops off the side of the mountain. We picked up 3 travellers at the bottom of the hill (many people walk up) and gave them a ride up to where we were all staying-the wonderfully named Mushroom Farm. Our passengers were 3 young ladies, 2 from Chile and 1 from The Netherlands. The amazing coincidence was Elise, from Holland, had been on our night drive in South Luanga. Another meeting in the middle of nowhere with someone we’d met in a different country, several hundred kilometers away! We got some good information about Chile and are now even more excited to visit, even if it’s still a few months away. We’ve had some great campsites, but this one was spectacular. High up on the plateau we were perched on the edge of the cliff, overlooking the valley and Lake Malawi below.
    Livingstonia, named after the famous Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone, looked like a ghost town, but was still a busy place. It was established as a missionary outpost in the 19th century, with a hospital, university and large church. Most of the university buildings are now empty, but the church still has services every week. There’s an old house built of stone, now a museum, that used to house the mission’s doctor and other staff. We walked up about 5km from our camp to look around, and realized this was the longest walk we have done since leaving the US – it sort of hurt, but it was good to stretch our legs a bit.
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  • Day37

    Kande Camp

    December 31, 2019 in Malawi ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Chui shudders to a halt. We're here, at our New Year's Eve campsite. We're here for 2 nights. Jemma, our tour leader, comes up the steps and opens the back door. "we're the only ones here" sez she. "ah" I think to myself "chance of an upgrade, then" I'm really going off camping now, due to the rain and the humidity at night. We go to reception and a beach cabin costing 7 €uro a night is mine. OK, it ain't the Ritz but it's not a tent and has a big fan blowing delicious cool air all over me. It also almost on the beachside itself. Perfecto.

    I get myself ready, bring my night bag to the hut and have a snooze until around 5ish. I consider having a shower but decide against. I had one earlier today so not too whiffy. At least, no more so than the others. Ramble around the camp and along the beach so get a sense of the place. Really nice relaxed place. I notice a whole suckling pig being spit-roasted over a charcoal fire. It even has an orange in its mouth. It looks delicious. I push my vegetarian consciousness deep. I chat with the guys cooking and buy them a beer.

    At 6pm we all meet with Jemma, our tour leader. She tells us how the evening will pan out. Herself and Often, our driver, are cooking a New Year's Eve dinner for us. It too looks delicious.

    But first, to kick off the evening, we have a fancy show. Yesterday, we were invited to pick a piece of paper out of a brown. On it was written the name of one of our fellow travellers. We were invited not to divulge that name but to buy some fancy dress at today's lunch stop. Today, we would buy that fancy dress. I chose a blue art deco style dress for a woman. To tell the truth, I wouldn't mind wearing it myself. It looked very me!

    We go around in a circle and present the surprise to the person we had bought for. It's great fun. I am presented with a brown shapeless dress whick would have easily fitted a 600lb mom, with room to spare for a weeks shopping. It is topped off with a shapeless scarecrow type hat. Not the height of elegance. It's a great laugh.

    Then the call to dinner and what a spread is laid on for us. The spit roasted suckling pig is the piece de resistance and there are many other dishes. All this is cooked on 2 gas burners. Silence reigns as we tuck in and go back for seconds. The roast pig is delicious. One of the local guys who cooked it said he started cooking it at 8sm this morning so it was on the go for 11 hrs.

    In the meanwhile, most of the others make a huge bowl of pretty lethal looking punch based on the number of bottles of gin and vodka poured into it. It's really fruit flavoured neat gin and vodka mix. Then they get stuck in and start to get slightly sozzled, leading to great craic.

    After dinner, the party drinking games start and 'never have I ever; starts. I bow out and go to made some phonecalls to friends and family back home. I rejoin the group an hour or so later and the volume has increased in direct proportion to the wideness of the grins. All great gas.

    A new game starts. An empty giant cornflake box is put on the ground and you are invited, in turn, to bend down and pick it up with your teeth. Then you tear a strip off the top to make the box a bit smaller for the next person. And so on, tfe box getting smaller and smaller all the time. The older ones start to drop out; I get around halfway through and feel quite proud of that. Near the end, the ones with the elastic hips and flexible knees won the day. It was really enjoyable.

    Then a lull. It's about 1015pm and we retire to the bar where a New Year's Eve party is in progress. We stay there until midnight and count the New Year in with a fireworks display. We all hug each other and stand around chatting. I keep a weather eye open, as always, for lively lads of my particular persuasion. Alas, my gaydar stays silent all night and doesn't even ping once.

    A local guy starts chatting to me and I welcome having contact with an African person to learn more about his culture and world view. He had some contact in the past with Irish people and knows some of the Irish expressions. I engage with him. He starts to tell me a story about his difficult family circumstances and how he wants to study to be a kindergarten teacher but has to support his family and could not pay the fees. He says he has a little shop where he sells his art and carvings and would like me to visit.

    I have heard this story, or various versions of it, before. It's all a ruse to get me into his shop where he will sell me overpriced rat I can buy all over Africa. I'm disappointed but also understand the economic imperatives at play here. I make a vague promise and move on.

    I hang around until 12:30am-ish and then head off to bed. I read for 39muns and then to sleep, perchance to dream.
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  • Day38

    Another Day, Another Decade

    January 1 in Malawi ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    I wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with a slight sense of satisfaction at the schadenfreude to come as my travelling buddies stumble around, later on, with hangovers from the excesses of the previous night. But I won't be smug and and I probably won't tell them.

    All this goes out of my mind when I put my nose outside my cabin to find the weather stiflingly hot and humid with not a puff of wind. I go down and made some coffee and have some cereal and then retreat back to my cabin to take refuge from the heat and sit in front of a coolish blast of air from the fan in my bedroom. It is 7:30am!

    I venture out again a few hours later and, although it just as hot, if not hotter, a slight wind is present and it's less humid. Bearable to walk around, but not for great distances; no more than 50 metres or so for someone as unfit and heat-adverse as myself. Luckily, everything is within range.

    Today is one of those days where I really do nothing in the company of others doing the same. There's a certain sense of lassitude about the pkace and very few people around. I think most are sleeping off hangovers. Down, schadenfreude, down; bad dog.

    I use the day trying to assimilate all that's happened to me during the past month. A lot has happened. Ireland seems a long was away now and I'm just a third of the way into my trip. I sometimes wonder if I'll be able to complete the trip but then think I just have to yo keep on doing what I'm going and I'll be grand. Pacing myself is the key so days like today are really important..

    Overland expedition travel is such an intense way of life and very demanding on so many levels. The benefits greatly outweigh the cost though. Because of the sensory overload, it can be difficult to assimilate all the new stimulating and exciting things we see and experience. I find myself forgetting what I did a few days ago. It like a totL amnesia. And no, it's not a senior moment thing. The young 'uns have it too. I think it's just the vast amount of new data our brains have to process. I find writing this blog very helpful as does organising my photos into folders so I can review them later.

    I notice some strange clouds on the horizon. They are dark and move it a way I don't recognise as cloud movement. They also seem thick at the bottom and wispy near the top. Somebody mention that they are Lake Flies; billions of tiny flies swirling around.

    Lake Malawi is famous for the huge swarms of these tiny, harmless lake flies,  Chaoborus  edulis. These swarms, typically appearing far out over water, can be mistaken for plumes of smoke and were also noticed by David Livingstone when he visited the lake. 

    The aquatic larvae feed on zooplankton, spending the day at the bottom and the night in the upper water levels. When they pupate they float to the surface and transform into adult flies. The adults are very short-lived and the swarms, which can be several hundred meters tall and often have a spiraling shape, are part of their mating behavior.  They lay their eggs at the water's surface and the adults die. 

    The larvae are an important food source for fish, and the adult flies are important both to birds and local people, who collect them to make kungu cakes/burgers, a local delicacy with a very high protein. I though that burger I had last night tasted a bit strange.

    Having a dip in Lake Malawi looks a very good option but there's a nasty parasite in the water. It causes a disease called bilharzia, also known as schistosomiasis or snail fever.

    Bilharzia is a disease caused by parasitic flatworms called schistosomes. The parasites are carried by freshwater snails, and humans can become infected after direct contact with contaminated bodies of water including ponds, lakes and irrigation canals.

    There are several different types of Schistosoma parasite, each of which affects different internal organs. Although the disease is not immediately fatal, if untreated it can lead to extensive internal damage and ultimately, death.

    Lakes and canals initially become contaminated after humans with bilharzia urinate or defecate in them. Schistosoma eggs pass from the infected human into the water, where they hatch, then use freshwater snails as a host for reproduction. The resulting larvae are then released into the water, after which they can be absorbed through the skin of humans that come to the water to bathe, swim, wash clothes or fish. 

    The larvae then develop into adults that live in the bloodstream, enabling them to travel around the body and infect organs including the lungs, liver, and intestines. After several weeks, the adult parasites mate and produce more eggs. It is possible to contract bilharzia through drinking untreated water; however, the disease is not contagious and can't be passed from one human to another.

    So, no swims in Lake Malawi.

    The beach is empty for most of the morning and early afternoon. Then hundreds of locals come and party in their exhuberent African fashion, it's unusual seeing a beach where everyone in black. Even in Thailand, most people there were of European heritages. We are worried that the thumpa thumpa might go on all night but I don't hear a thing from my cabin.

    We're off early tomorrow morning. From here we continue on to the capital Lilongwe in the south of the country.

    Happy New Year to you all.
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  • Day36

    Chitimba Camp

    December 30, 2019 in Malawi ⋅ ☁️ 26 °C

    Well, today was a relaxer. Polepole, as we say in Swahili, slowly, slowly; where everything was slow and relaxed.

    I slept almost 9hrs solid, unusual for me, and woke up full of beans. I had breakfast and decided what to do for the day. There were lots of options organised by the local community and I decided to be equanimous in my decision making and do none of them equally.. So, I practiced a skill I'm beginning to excel in; doing nothing.

    Being full of beans can lead to lots of gas so I had my first day, so far, of a very mild version of the Tanzanian trots where I had a deeper rwlationship with the porcelain throne than usual. A few hours later and the beans were has beens and I was grand.

    Some local people came around to see if anyone wanted dresses or shirts made. They brought along a lot of different fabrics in the most gorgeous patterns and colours. I decided to get a shirt make and looked at the colours and designs. I really wasn't sure what I wanted and fumbled through the fabrics. One of the women on the trip, a London woman who knows Africa, just plucked one out of the pile. That'll work for you. How did she do that, I wondered. What magic powers does she possess. The one she picked, I would never have chosen but the more I looked at it, the more I liked it.

    I was originally drawn to very bright busy designs bur someone said that such bright colours really only work on black skin and look wrong on pasty European skin. I could see what they meant when someone draped a bright cloth around their shoulders.

    The rest of the day, I did nothing and, even if I say so myself, I did so excellently.

    The camp is really a little resort on the shore of Lake Malawi. There a lovely bar/cafe area with plenty of chill out areas with sofas and cushions.

    Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa  in  Tanzania and Lago Niassa in Mozambique, is an  African Great Lake and the southernmost lake in the East African Rift system, located between  Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.

    It is the fourth largest fresh water lake in the world by volume, the ninth largest lake in the world by area—and the third largest and second deepest  lake in Africa. Lake Malawi is home to more species of fish than any other lake, including at least 700 species of cichlids. 

    The Mozambique portion of the lake was officially declared a reserve by the Government of Mozambique on June 10, 2011, while in Malawi a portion of the lake is included in Lake Malawi National Park.

    Lake Malawi is a meromictic lake, meaning that its water layers do not mix. The permanent stratification of Lake Malawi's water and the oxic-anoxic boundary (relating to oxygen in the water) are maintained by moderately small chemical and thermal gradients.

    It is between 560 kilometres (350 mi) and 580 kilometres (360 mi) long, and about 75 kilometres (47 mi) wide at its widest point. The lake has a total surface area of about 29,600 square kilometres (11,400 sq mi). The lake is 706 m (2,316 ft) at its deepest point, located in a major city depression in the north-central part. Another smaller depression in the far north reaches a depth of 528 m (1,732 ft). The southern half of the lake is shallower; less than 400 m (1,300 ft) in the south-central part and less than 200 m (660 ft) in the far south. The lake has shorelines on western Mozambique, eastern Malawi, and southern  Tanzania. The largest river flowing into it is the Ruhuhu River, and there is an outlet at its southern end, the Shire River, a tributary that flows into the very large Zambezi River in Mozambique.

    So, enough of the factoids already, I hear you saying. We had dinner at 7ish, a very spicy veggie chilli. Sure cleared the sinuses. Then to cabin to read and chill.
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  • Day37

    Journey to Kande Camp

    December 31, 2019 in Malawi ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

    Slept very well last night and up at 6am to allow time to shower, and move stuff to the truck for 7am breakfast and 7:30am departure for Kande Camp, our next destination.

    As I am showering, I look out of the bathroom window onto an area where firewood is stored and where a heavily pregnant goat and her kid are kept. The goat is by a tree and seems to be eating a stick. I wonder what nutritional value could be in an old dried up stick. I notice she looks like she is playing with it as she keeps lunging at it and biting at it and then moving back. Then I notice that the stick is actually a brown snake about a metre in length and fairly thick. It looks quite dead but the goat keeps lunging at it and biting it. I wish I could stay longer to see what happens or go around the back to get a closer look at the snake to see what species it is, or was, but, tempus fugit, I have to get back on the truck to leave.

    Breakfast is a bit rushed. I hate rushing but accept that we need to get on the road ASAP. There are dozens of small bees buzzing around a honey jar on the table. I have cereal and make a flask of coffee for the journey.

    I bought a clever little gadget on Amazon before I left. Its a cafetiere that's also a flask and a travel mug. You put freshly ground coffee in the bottom, top up with hot water, insert the filter section and wait for coffee to brew. Then you plunge the filter section down, like a regular cafetiere, and add milk. Presto, a flask of fresh hot coffee. Then screw on the lid which contains a sealad and leak proof drinking clip. This keeps the coffee hot for several hours. Coffee is extensively available in East Africa and is really good.

    Back up on truck and we trundle back onto the road again, along a small path with branches of trees bashing inside the open sides of the truck and maybe dislodging the enormous African spider we keep expecting to see or maybe a venomous tree frog whose touch kills agonisingly or maybe even a tree snake, fangs poised and glistening to sink into some unexpecting pink exposed flesh. But the worst thing that ever happens are the long 4-5cm thorns of the acacia tree. So far, nothing has happened.

    I was snoozing once and the shout "Brian, incoming" caused me to instinctively jackknike forward to avoid involuntary flagellation. "Is there such a thing as voluntary flagellation" you might ask. "I couldn't possibly comment" I might have to reply.

    The scenery on the road is very beautiful, with the lake in the growing distance as we climb higher and higher and lush greenery and sparcely wooded hills. There are many little terraced farms along the way. Some of them are on impossibly steep slopes. How people farm there and don't roll down the slopes is a puzzle. Maybe they do, frequently, but have no choice. No work, no food, no welfare state and, eventually, no existence at all. Chilling thought for a citizen of one of the richest countries in the world with an extensive public safety net, especially for old folk like me.

    I did notice that there are a lot more men working in the fields. In the more Islamicised countries we passed through, men sat in the shade and scratched their arses while the women work in the fields in the broiling sun, enveloped in voluminous swathes of clothing so the same men never have to take responsibility for, or even consider, their inability to keep their dicks in their trousers. OK, culturally insensitive rant over. For the present.

    Malawi is a mainly Christian country. The religious breakdown is:

    Roman Catholic (17.2%)
    Church of Central African Presbyterian (14.2%)
    Seventh Day Adventist/Baptist/Apolistic (9.4%)
    Pentecostal (7.6%)
    Anglican (2.3%)
    Other Christian (26.6%)
    Muslim (13.8%)
    Traditional (1.1%)
    Other (5.6%)
    No Religion (2.1%)

    The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area. The country is nicknamed "The Warm Heart of Africa" because of the friendliness of the people.

    I can attest to this. We constantly hear the high pitched delighted cries, almost screams, of children as our big yellow truck heaves into view "hello, hello" as they run beside the truck, either close by or at a distance. Their faces wide open with huge smiles and beautiful white teeth and eyes contrasting with the matt black skin. Adults are the same. Everyone smiles hugely as they wave at us. Being around such human beauty and beautiful humanity has a very uplifting effect on my spirits.

    The only time this seems to change us when we take photos from the open truck. They get very angry at this. We stop for lunch and to change money at a market town with a huge open-air series of markets selling almost everything. People wave and smile at us and some of us succumb to the temptation to take photos of this very photogenic scene. When the local people notice this , the mood changes and turns ugly very quickly. It seems a mob mentality is arising with people shouting at us and with very angry faces. One guy, his face distorted with hate, brandishes a sharpened stick like a spear and moves forward. Another guy pucks up a stone and prepares to throw it but doesn't. I think it's more threat posturing and not an attack but who knows what might happen if we didn't desist from taking photos? A darker side of the dark continent? Meanwhile, the locals take photos of us and the truck while this is happening. One of our guys leans out and shouts "no photos, no photos" while gesticulating. They ignore him and keep taking photos. Ho hum. Different sauces for the goose and the gander here.

    Back on the truck and off again. We stop at roadside handicraft market. I buy a lovely carved wooden round traditional hut with 6 carved coasters for cups nestling inside. The guy wants $35 and I bargain him down to $10 by pretending to walk away. I feel awful about this because I think the set is worth $25 to me and that's the price I should pay but I get carried away with the bargaining frenzy. $15 would mean more to him than to me.

    We remount Chui again for the final leg of the trip. She lurches off road and up a small path. More opportunities for involuntary flagellation and then we arrive at our campsite at Kande Beach, on the shores of Lake Malawi.
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