My last week in Malawi was amazing! It started with picking my little (big) brother up at the airport on Good Friday. In typical Katie and Malawian fashion, I did not realize that Good Friday means a ton of traffic in the city, and ended up being an hour late to pick him up! Oh well, at least his experience is truly authentic! We drove back into Lilongwe and I ran a few last-minute errands and we dropped the suitcases full of toys off at my house. Then we repacked the car and headed out of the city to go to Cape Maclear.
We spent two lovely days hanging out at Cape Mac, eating yummy food, swimming, boating, kayaking, and snorkeling in and on the lake, and had a fun time reconnecting. Kris learned how to play Bawo, a traditional Malawian game, and promptly beat the Malawian guide he was playing against three times!
On Sunday afternoon we packed up and headed off to begin the journey to Liwonde for a safari. However, after a quick pit stop, the car wouldn't start! Augh! It turns out that one of the problems that I thought had been fixed was only fixed temporarily, so Kris and I sat at the side of the road for five hours while a mechanic took a tire off, lowered the engine, removed a bearing, greased it up, and put it all back together again. Thankfully, the car worked again, and we got to finish our drive to Liwonde, though as it was now dark, it took double the amount of time, because of pot holes, not being sure of the directions we had, and high beams that decided not to work! It was an adventure, to say the least! We pulled into the Liwonde Safari Camp rather late and headed straight to bed.
On Easter Monday, we got to spend the morning on a boat safari, seeing a bunch of hippos, cool birds, and a few elephants. We returned to the Camp for lunch, and then headed out again on a driving safari, where we came across many more elephants, impala, water buck, and greater kudu. We were't feeling very secure in the vehicle, so rather than taking our time leaving on Tuesday, we left right after breakfast, and drove into Lilongwe just after noon, amazingly, without any car trouble (except that I got a speeding ticket... whoops!). I gave Kris a tour of a few more areas of Lilongwe in the afternoon, and then we just spent the evening relaxing with my housemates (well, and I began the mountainous task of packing).
Bright and early Wednesday morning, we walked to work and Kris came into camp with JRS. I spent the morning in a meeting with the Umoja Craft group, where, at the end of it, they presented me with goodbye gifts and speeches (so sweet!). Kris also was given a tour by Sam, the JRS driver, and walked around the camp a bit, finding a children's football game and joining in. We ate lunch at Shabani's, a local restaurant, and Kris got to try nsima, the staple food here in Malawi. After lunch, we went to a tailor in camp to pick up some clothing he had made for me, and visited with the Umoja paper bead-making group in the leader's house. Kris got to try making beads, which he found very difficult! After work, we walked home and ate a quick dinner before heading out to bible study, where Kris got to meet all of my close friends here in Malawi. It was a lot of fun and a great discussion about the kind of legacy we want to leave, and how that may have changed once faith became a part of our lives.
Thursday was another day in camp, and Kris and I delivered all the toys that were donated by friends and family to the teachers in the Special Needs classroom. They were astounded at the supplies they have been given, and could not say thank you enough times! They have deemed the Special Needs classroom the richest in Malawi! Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who helped with outfitting this classroom! The toys and activities will be well-used in educating these children. Kris played some more football, this time becoming as good as the 4-year-olds (apparently barefoot football with a bundle of plastic bags as a ball is more difficult than you might think!). We ate lunch at a restaurant that is an income-generating project for some vulnerable women in camp, and then I spent the afternoon in various meetings, which Kris came along to. He also got to visit Patron, a guitar-maker in Dzaleka, and see some of the guitars that are in progress. After work on Thursday, we came home and I finished packing while Kris fried up some meat for a big pot of goulasch, which we then took over to a friend's house for a big goodbye dinner and hangout. It was a lovely last night in Lilongwe and I am so blessed to have the supportive friends that I do!
Tomorrow I leave Malawi just after noon, and Kris will remain until Monday. See you soon, Canada!
Welcome! My name is Katiana and I am a development professional pursuing my dream to live out Isaiah 1:17 to the best of my abilities. I am passionate about teaching and working with vulnerable families and children to improve their lives sustainably.
This blog is composed of my personal opinions, which do not necessarily reflect the opinion or views of institutions or organizations that I may be or have been affiliated with.