(Another update from our friend Lizzie in Africa. A bit of explanation, Lizzie is a trained art therapist, so she’s over there to work with children for a few weeks.)
We are now in Kande Beach (I know last time I spelled it Candy, silly American) Since I last wrote we have traveled from Rumphi through Mzuzu, the largest Boma in Malawi. It is bustling with people and shops. There are many autos (cars) and a large bus station.
Women still walk balancing their goods on their heads and there are dogs and chickens roaming the streets, but as Malawi goes it is very cosmopolitan. (Just a side note, there was a young girl balancing a bundle of 5 foot sugar cane stalk on here head with no hands and she was probably only 5 foot herself, I am in awe)
Our last day in Rumphi we decided to take the day off and go to a wildlife preserve. It was wonderful. The whole thing was on foot with a guide by the name of Patience. We roamed for three hours amongst African elephants, baboons, impala, and various snakes (I could have passed on that part.) The animals were so close to us that every once in a while we had to crouch down, be quite, and step back. All Patience had to protect us was a large gun, which in itself made me hope nothing would happen. It would have been awful to have to spook the animals with a gun shot. Luckily it was a peaceful adventure and my favorite part was watching the baby elephants play in the lake with their families.
To answer your question Dad, Malawians are not vegetarians. They eat chicken, eggs, pigeons, and of course goat. Some even have a few cattle. Of course their diet mainly consists of veg tables. Cooked greens with tomatoes, potatoes, and most of all nsima. nsima is a staple of Malawian diet. It is a dough-like substance made from maize flower and water. they use it to eat like dipping a piece of bread. Everything is eaten by hand.
Now back to Kande Beach. Yesterday we went into the village and played ball and made art with all the children. I took a digital camera and they all wanted me to take “snaps” of them to look at with their art. It was a great success and lots of fun. The village elders made us a huge dinner and we will go back tomorrow to do more.
On a different note let me just tell you a bit about public transport here. As you know it is basically jumping on a truck and away you go. However I have had some different experiences I really must vent about. When going to the wildlife reserve we had a thirty mile journey. First the truck that came by was able to fit ten people, but as usual it had about twenty. The three of us (Lori, Jamie, and I) had to stand holding on to the bike rack on top of the trucks cab. Around fifteen miles into the journey the truck got a flat tire. Wonderful.
Everyone piled out and began to walk. Lori reminded us of the remaining fifteen miles and we needed a plan. We walked into the nearby village and she made a deal with three men to give us rides on bikes. This meant sitting on the back of the bike like luggage and holding on. Lets be clear; bikes in Malawi usually have no peddles are in considerably bad shape and most of the riders have bare feet. About ten miles in the chain on my riders bike broke and we wandered into another village to find another one.
Basically public transport is very different than in the US to say the least. Thankfully we made it there and had many laughs with the riders about the whole situation. Lori has decided that eventually she must but a car.Thanks for letting me vent.
Well that’s all for now, love to you all and talk to you soon, Lizzie
ps-we gave the goat to a friend for her village.We named him Bobo wich actually means “whats up” poor little guy