Blogs from Kasungu, Central, Malawi, Africa

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Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu October 22nd 2019

6:30 in the morning and we're on our way to Monkey Bay’s port. Here there are around a dozen ships docked, at least half are semi-derelict. They would probably sink if the water was a bit deeper. But our little ferry, MV Ilala, looks fine ,though she is showing her age. Three decks and a single yellow and blue funnel, the colours of The Malawi Shipping Company. She reminds us of the Clyde steamers built of heavy steel plate with rivets that have been painted over many times. All the decks are of well-worn hardwood planks. The Ilala was built in 1949 in Glasgow and, like all the ships on the lake, dismantled before being shipped as a giant kit to Africa. The parts came by sea then river before being carried or hauled over land! ... read more
Boarding and leaving by lifeboat
Gill's not steering!
Bua River Lodge

Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu December 8th 2012

So yesterday was my last day and I was woken with a call at around 6.30am to tell me that the taxi driver had managed to find fuel and did I want to go to the airport via taxi. In an instant I said yes! It was the right decision - when I stepped out of the hotel there was a huge queue of traffic. Word had got out there was petrol in the pumps! People were literally pushing their cars along in the queue! My last day at work - no electricity all morning again - surrrrrprise! I spent the first hour doing a week-end (rather than month end) with Blessings and thankfully we got a cash reconcilation to balance for the first time! WUP WUP WUP!!!! Attention to detail has paid 'Kwatchaaaaaaaaaaa' (their currency) ... read more
My gift
Lake Malawi

Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu December 6th 2012

Every time I finish a blog entry I think I’ll not have much to write about next time, and then life happens in Malawi! So what happens to a thief in Kasungu? I accompanied Charles on his way to obtain a second signature on a cash withdraw slip, as I needed to go to the bank too to withdraw yet more cash to pay for my accommodation. As we left the office I could hear lots of children singing very loudly. I asked Charles where it was coming from and why it was so loud. He said 'they are singing feef, feef' so I thought it must be some kind of celebration. As we turned the corner there were around a hundred or more school children on the side of the road and we were heading ... read more
The market
Another part of the market
The primary school

Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu December 2nd 2012

I’m a celebrity, please keep me in here…. www.tongle.com is a eco wilderness lodge deep inside Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve so a good 45 minutes (maybe even an hour) of the journey was literally through the middle of the bush in a 4 wheel drive. The ride was very exciting and I saw water buck and baboons on the way in which was a wonderful taster of bush life. This reserve is one of the country’s largest conservation areas so it’s not commercialised. It’s vast at 1800km2 and the terrain is rugged spanning altitudes of 500m to 1638m so seeing wildlife here is a privilege and not guaranteed! After being jiggled around all over the place and beginning to feel a little queasy I was relieved to be greeted by the management and team with a cold ... read more
My room
My bed
Shai and Emanuel

Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu November 29th 2012

I feel full of beans this week!!! It was clearly heat exhaustion that I suffered last week and thankfully I’ve made a full and rapid recovery! I’m settled into a nice little routine and I am extremely comfortable here in Kasungu, Malawi. FRIENDLY, POLITE AND EXTREMELY KIND is how I would describe Malawians. I know I’ve said it before but it’s such a pleasure to meet and exchange greetings with people who are genuinely interested in you. I can spend a whole day in the UK passing people, even in my own working environment and not even exchange eye contact! We even email each other when we’re in the same room! What’s all that about? A smile costs nothing and it makes you feel great. It's certainly not money that makes the people of Malawi happy. ... read more
The main road other direction!
Traffic
More traffic

Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu November 25th 2012

SMILE: I've had a much needed rest this weekend! I was clearly suffering heat exhaustion and now I've started to eat again thank fully. I reckon I've lost at least half a stone as my trousers are just hanging in there! CRY: the hotel contact me to tell me I can't stay after Thursday as the hotel is fully booked. They didn't tell me this when I checked in and told them which dates I wanted. So back to square one. Rather than focussing just on work tomorrow, yet again I have to go hotel hunting. Plus I have to withdraw my daily allowance from the bank machine to pay for this hotel before they chuck me out. I PRAY the machines are working! I'm going to remain positive though. This weekend I've spent typing up ... read more
My bathroom

Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu November 23rd 2012

Anybody who knows me well knows I wear my heart on my sleeve…. What a week! I haven’t written anything since Tuesday because I’ve not had Internet access of course but also because I’ve been really quite ill. I’ve been suffering heat exhaustion and also I’m sure I’m having a reaction to my Malaria medication. I’ve been extremely weak and unable to eat and sleep. The heat has been unbearable and there has been no relief from it. Generally they don’t use fans anywhere here let alone air conditioning. When I shower (water depending) I get out and within 5 minutes my skin is clammy again. Getting dressed is such an effort. If I manage to get to sleep I am woken with sweat dripping off me. When I’ve been working my clothes are wet which ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu November 19th 2012

It’s unfortunate that I’ve not been able to get a dongle so you’re going to get these blogs all in one go! Woke this morning to no electricity and water! Surprise! Also gasping for a drink as they ran out of bottled water last night. I hear the tap water is fine (if there is any) if not get get it from a bore hole, so I don’t want to take any chances. I was served breakfast, cornflakes and milk. Errrmmm I don’t think I’ll be taking the milk as I know there has been no electricity in town since Saturday and I haven’t seen any cows around here. I arrived at work at 8.30am with the anticipation of a bottle of water waiting for me as I’d asked Gentry to bring me one. Charles, who ... read more
Charles locking up

Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu November 18th 2012

I’m writing in the evening, we still have no electricity and haven’t had water all day. Thankfully they’ve put on a generator for a couple of hours which allows us some charging of devices and cooking! I’m not the only one wanting to charge devices, Erin has 3 mobile phones! I did ask why but didn’t really get a response! Still no water though L Today I was going to wash clothes so that stumped me. I don’t really know what I spent the morning doing – oh yes – plucking up the courage to go out. I did venture out. As soon as I stepped out of the guest house a group of men were calling me over. Oh great, deep breath Sonya. As I passed they said ‘come here’ I said ‘no thank you’ ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu November 17th 2012

Gentry and Blessings found me the best resthouse to stay in. When I said I really liked it I heard Blessings breath a sigh of relief. It’s an example of how hospitable and caring they really are. It’s very clean and well presented. Erin the guest house lady is so very welcoming and kind. Although, I’ve learnt not to trust anything that’s attached to a wall! Oh and having power is a privilege too! Tonight the power has been off for 3 hours already. Thankfully my laptop is charged! During my chat with Erin she asked me ‘How’s Kate Middleton and do I like Mr Cameron’. We chatted for a while about life in Malawi and made some comparisons to the UK. I asked Erin what wild animals she’d seen in Malawi and I was astonished ... read more
Walk to work
The first guest house
Blessings and Gentry




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