Blogs from Mzuzu, Northern, Malawi, Africa


Africa » Malawi » Northern » Mzuzu January 15th 2014

This is a rather late post so I do apologise. This particular trip was my first venture away from Butterfly and Nkhata Bay back in November. Having resided by the Lake for some 4 weeks, I decided at the time to head north and inland to Livingstonia via Mzuzu and Chitimba. This turned out to be a great decision and I had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend. After volunteering on the Friday morning, I caught a shared taxi with Zoe to Mzuzu for 1200 kwacha. Mzuzu is the main city in Northern Malawi and is the administrative Capital of the whole Northern region. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes as it is only 40km away from the Lake. Minibuses which are slightly cheaper and the shared taxi's ply this route on a daily basis and there is ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Northern » Mzuzu April 1st 2013

phew! its good to be back online again! i feel like i havn't written in so long and i don't like it!!! We were very busy bee's whilst in Iringa - we shall miss it very much. after a ropey start getting robbed, and the stark realisation that the company that we were volunteering with lied extensively on their website (seriously, we were living in SUCH a sh*t hole!!), we genuinely grew to love that place. Neither of us had been overly impressed with Tanzania as a whole, (don't get me wrong - there are some incredible places and we have seen and done some once in a lifetime things, but as a country i guess it was slightly lacking in the homey, modest beauty that perhaps Uganda had) however, Iringa really did feel like a ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Northern » Mzuzu February 12th 2013

This is going to be a long entry as I’ve been here 3 weeks now and haven’t written a single blog, but here goes…. I met up with Jo (the founder of Temwa) and Alex and Leona who are friends of hers at Heathrow on the 17th, and after a very long flight via Nairobi finally arrived in Malawi! The first day was spent in Lilongwe which is the capital. Jo and Alex had a meeting straight away with the minister of foreign affairs which meant Leona and I waited outside watching the truck with our luggage on the back, which amazingly all made the journey from London without getting lost. By the time the others had finished their meeting we were surrounded by men who had come to talk to us having seen us out ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Northern » Mzuzu July 21st 2010

Our first experience on an African bus: 4am wake up, breakfast and a short walk to the bus depot in Lilongwe before enduring a 9 hour bus ride to our project site, Engcongolweni School. Many of us found the journey to be tiresome and somewhat tedious; those who could (the minority) attempted a comfortable sleep whilst the others enjoyed absorbing the wonderful Malawian scenery ...certainly an experience none of us will forget (yet also one many of us would not like repeated). Upon arrival at Engcongolweni School we were warmly welcomed by the headteacher, Baxtor, who showed us our toilet and shower facilities. The girls had a good few nights of luxury camping in the classroom whilst Miss Bennett, Mr Linsted, David (our leader) James and I had no choice but to camp it outside (which ... read more
Photo 3
waiting for a free 'bathroom'!!!
Pumping water

Africa » Malawi » Northern » Mzuzu July 9th 2010

Three days ago it was the Malawian Independence Day and to celebrate, a little ceremony was organized on campus by the students. There I had tried local traditional drink called Thobwa; a fermented mix of millets, maize porridge, sugar and water. It had the smell of really old cheese, had a really chunky texture to it and it tasted like milk that had been in cereal for way too long. The week followed with tedious exam preparations for both the lecturers and the students. Thursday my local friend Wilson brought me on another tour of the Mzuzu surroundings. First we wandered around major tobacco trading area (most of Malawi’s economy is based on tobacco and Mzuzu is one of the major trading hubs). We entered a building where they received and graded the tobacco. A really ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Northern » Mzuzu July 1st 2010

This week I ended up meeting a French professor while drinking a beer in the teacher’s lounge during a world cup game. It was a while since I spoke French to anyone, and a little surprising to do it in Malawi were French is not spoken in any communities around the country. He was so impressed by my French that he kept buying me drinks in the Malawian custom. He then invited me to attend one of his lectures the following day. The next day during class his students where presenting papers in a very entertaining way: ‘student A’ would read his paper in English one line at a time, and ‘student B’ would translate the lines in French until the presentation was completed. Next some questions where asked from the audience in French and ‘student ... read more
canada day

Africa » Malawi » Northern » Mzuzu June 16th 2010

It was the third day of the students sit, and another day without classes. Before starting the work day, an intern, ‘Merrell’ and I decided to go to the teacher’s lounge to share a pot of coffee. On our way there we could hear the rally protest of the student’s sit in. After delicious Mzuzu coffee, I made my way to the bathroom and I heard a loud ‘bang’ coming from outside. Thinking to myself it was just part of the ruckus created by the rally I went on and continued to my office in the land management building. All of a sudden more loud ‘bangs’, I looked out the window and noticed troops of military police dressed in their camouflage and carrying large rifles. I soon realized the large ‘bang’ were gun shots. Just ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Northern » Mzuzu June 10th 2010

Our first two weeks in Mzuzu allowed us time to get settled in, familiarize ourselves with the surrounding areas and start our work at the university. On the third night, our supervisor and head of the Land Management department, ‘Lucky’ had invited us all to his house for a big feast. The table held a buffet of delicious traditional Malawian food. The following days, we got our work figured out for the remainder of the school semester, I am teaching an introductory course in hydrography (aka ocean mapping) and geodesy. The first weekend we spent in here in Mzuzu to organize our lectures and lesson plans. I also went for my first trail run, were I escaped outside the campus gates to explore the surrounding areas. I made my way down a secondary school campus and ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Northern » Mzuzu June 2nd 2010

On our first day here, we visited the Mzuzu downtown and market. The downtown is a little less developed then the one in Lilongwe, however the market seemed a lot better. In Mzuzu I had to get used to having little water available and sometimes shut off completely, so far it’s been bucket showers and filling up buckets whenever the water was running again. Apparently it’s not usually like this here, the university staff says the main pump generator is broken, hopefully it gets fixed soon!!! As I was getting my new bug net set up in my room, I was called to the kitchen as ants where making their way under the kitchen door. I started spraying RAID under the door until the ants stopped coming in that way. As I was thinking it was ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Northern » Mzuzu June 1st 2010

This morning I woke up to the heavy rainfall, I was a little disappointed because I had hoped to take my first swim in the lake. After breakfast we headed towards the pottery shop down the road. Here we got to witness the local artist and potters at work. We latter embarked in our passenger van to continue our drive to Mzuzu.On our way to Mzuzu the scenery just got better and better as our van made its way up the mountain passes. Near the top we drove beside a “rubber tree” forest, where the rubber is made. The people on the side of the road where selling soccer- sized rubber balls. Before arriving to Mzuzu we took a detour and lunch into Nakhata bay, a beautiful beach town along Lake Malawi. Our final drive to ... read more

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