Blogs from Lilongwe, Central, Malawi, Africa

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Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe January 26th 2019

Arriving in Dedza by private taxi was great. If you are ever in Malawi and need a long distance taxi, give Ashraf a call.You won't regret it. We felt relaxed and comfortable, but our poor driver was bemoaning the state of the track from the main road to the pottery gates. You really would have thought that someone would try to improve the infrastructure to such a great, and popular place. Our room at Dedza Pottery and Lodge was kind of ready when we arrived. We've become quite used to arguing to get a second towel and then having to dry them out because they were still damp. It seems to be the norm in Malawi. The rooms are lovely with terrific views over the countryside from private verandas. The pottery itself produces some lovely pieces ... read more
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Heading Home
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Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe January 24th 2019

Getting to Lilongwe took a little longer than we had anticipated. First, once the minibus was full, it headed down to Salima where it dropped off all but three passengers. Those three (ourselves included) were then herded onto another minibus which waited by the side of the road and drove around filling up for what seemed like hours. Eventually it was full to the point of suffocation with baskets hanging off the back and fish tied to the windscreen wipers at the front. Well, at least they were not inside. A painful journey of incredibly fast driving, brake being slammed on, and passengers both getting off and getting on then ensued. It was raining as we reached the edge of the capital and that was when we were made to change bus again. So much for ... read more
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Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe November 22nd 2017

Final weekend Most of Saturday I spent sunbathing by the pool trying to get my legs to look as if I'd spent four weeks in the sun, which is probably a mistake as i think they'll look sun-damaged rather than tanned. I changed my last £100 (93,000 kwachas). I'll keep 50,000 of this for my keep at the weekend (though Mabuya is fairly primitive, I don't think it's that cheap) and a cab back on Sunday to the village, and the rest I spent on things to fill my suitcases. I bought two bottles of Malawi gin (3,000 each bottle) in the supermarket - they only had two bottles left and I couldn't be bothered to go to the other supermarket, then to the market and bought six sarongs and two bags, then made a run ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe November 18th 2017

Week 13th November to 17th Baptism by encroaching insects when I got back to Sam's Village. The rains are nearly here, so everything is trying to get inside. I sprayed Doom by the front door step, and I think it made everything that was under the wooden step come inside. Large ants were streaming in, and a couple of biggish spiders and beetles too. The safest place was under the mosquito net. The next morning outside both front and back doors were millions of long thin translucent wings, and large queen ants trying to get hidden before the children came round to pick them up - they're apparently quite a delicacy, but I think I'll pass on it. I was just sweeping them out as fast as possible. This week I'm determined to cook for myself, ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe November 17th 2017

Week 13th November to 17th Baptism by encroaching insects when I got back to Sam's Village. The rains are nearly here, so everything is trying to get inside. I sprayed Doom by the front door step, and I think it made everything that was under the wooden step come inside. Large ants were streaming in, and a couple of biggish spiders and beetles too. The safest place was under the mosquito net. The next morning outside both front and back doors were millions of long thin translucent wings, and large queen ants trying to get hidden before the children came round to pick them up - they're apparently quite a delicacy, but I think I'll pass on it. I was just sweeping them out as fast as possible. This week I'm determined to cook for myself, ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe November 12th 2017

Yesterday I met Libitina, the girl I'm supporting through secondary school at Chikhutu School. She is 18 now, and hopes to go on to university to be a journalist. She is a lovely girl. Two years ago she was in the girls’ group that Shelby, the Peace Corps volunteer was working with. Shelby said she always had something to say, and encouraged the other girls to speak too. The head teacher said she works hard in class, and her results are very good. I also met Petro, who is a lad I worked with at M’teza school two years ago, and a friend of mine is now supporting him through secondary school. He wants to be a doctor. Gift, Landirani's monitoring and evaluation manager, gave me a lift there on his motor bike. It was brilliant ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe November 10th 2017

There are rabbits in a large pen above the hen enclosure, and when i walk by they run out to meet me. Sometimes I give them the outside cabbage leaves (every day the relish has tomato and cabbage in it, and I am so looking forward to having a salad at the weekend.) For the next two weeks, (from 5th November) Landirani is training all its CBCC caregivers in Early Childhood Development (ECD). Thirty eight personnel from the ten CBCC's in Landirani's area, are staying here and the training starts at about 7am and goes on till 6ish. While this is happening, Chikondi and I are manning the M'teza CBCC. The first day it went well, we both know the routine in there, and we tweaked it a little, to improve it; make it less chant-dominated ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe November 5th 2017

It's lovely being at Mabuya camp this weekend. A sunbathe and swim in the pool from 7am Saturday followed by bacon, egg and beans for breakfast. I have to leave my room, and transfer to another tonight, which has an ensuite bathroom - such luxury, I shall hardly know myself. Last night's burger at Ad Lib restaurant was wonderful and a Carlsberg green gave me a good night's sleep. I went to Bishop McKentie School fete and bought some overpriced dolls for the CBCC, and some enormous beaded earrings for me. Then, with two NGO (non- governmental organisations ie charity) workers i shared a ride to Dowa, about an hour's drive away from Lilongwe, to Dzalela refugee camp for the Tumaini festival. There was some fabulous drumming, and dancing on stage, as well as different sorts ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe November 3rd 2017

Monday 30th Busy day starting at the shops at 8am, provisions for me for the week and a flask so that I can light a fire in the morning and make a flask of hot water for tea throughout the day without having to light another fire till the evening meal. Bookshop for maps of Malawi to put in the library, printing for Heather and stuff for soap making - one of Sam's Village fundraising projects for water. The community put in half for mending broken boreholes and Landirani match it with the soap-making profits. Then we went to the office, which is nearly fully roofed, and Heather met with several staff, and I met with Wezie, the education manager about the projects I'm going to help with (nursery caregivers, and menstruation pads so that teenage ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe July 5th 2016

Travel back to Lilongwe Malawi was long and uneventful. The border crossing was very slow. It was time to wrap up our trip and prepare to go home. We had a great group dinner at a local restaurant where many of us chose burgers and steak. I think we were all hankering for familiar food. The morning of our departure the Habitat staff came to take many of us to a Habitat sponsored water and sanitation project. As one of the fastest urbanizing countries in the world, the housing and health situation in Malawi’s cities is desperate. People come to the cities to seek economic stability, only to find no work and limited shelter options. Growing numbers of overcrowded, low infrastructure slums border the city limits of Lilongwe. In partnership with the government and other NGOs, ... read more
Ecosan latrine
Bore Hole
The well




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