Blogs from Malawi, Africa - page 19


Africa » Malawi » Northern » Nkhata Bay June 22nd 2012

Getting to Nkhata Bay from Chitimba was realtively easy. We got a minibus on the main road to Mzuzu. This journey took us away from the lake and up into the mountains. We also had some baboons chase the minibus for a few hundred metres as the conductor threw out some nuts to them. It took 2 hours to get to Mzuzu, where we switched to another minibus and were in Nkhata Bay 45 minutes later. I stayed at Mayoka Village, which is probably the best place I stayed at so far in Africa. I camped metres away from the lake. Unlike Chitimba, most of the bay here is rocky, which makes it even more ideal for swimming in. Most days I was there the lake was completely still and the water was always a perfect ... read more
TV on Beach
Kids on Beach
Swooping Fish Eagle

Africa » Malawi » Lake Malawi » Chitimba Beach June 18th 2012

Getting from Mbeya to the Malawian border was comparatively painless, even if we did stop less than hour away to wait for the minibus to fill back up. I even saw and got to speak to the first white people I had seen in days. After getting over the border, I took a shared taxi to Karonga and from there, a bus to Chitimba. The journey was a measly 6 hours. Chitimba is one of the first towns going south on Lake Malawi. Nearby there are a couple of campsites, where I checked into the Chitimba Campsite and immediately went for a swim in the lake. Chitimba is an idyllic spot, with a big sandy beach. It is overlooked by a couple of mountains and I spent the rest of the afternoon there by the water. ... read more
View of Lake Malawi
Up the Dubs!
Church at Livingstonia

Africa » Malawi » Lake Malawi June 9th 2012

Lake Malawi is the 3rd largest lake in Africa, being approximately 356 miles long and 52 miles wide at its widest part. It's the 8th largest lake in the world and is also the 2nd deepest in Africa. It takes up a third of land-locked Malawi and is also located in Tanzania and Mozambique. It is a crystal clear freshwater lake and has fine sandy beaches which make you forget it's a lake and not an ocean. Lake Malawi fish, the 'cichlids' species, are one of the biological wonders of the Earth. There are estimated to be some 750 to 1,000 species of cichlids in Lake Malawi. They are the only freshwater species endemic to the Lake, meaning they are found nowhere else on the planet. The Lake water was so clear that you could always ... read more
Activity by the Lake
View of the Lake from the volunteer house
Morning, Lake Malawi

Africa » Malawi » Lake Malawi June 2nd 2012

Matayo is a very small village just off the main road to Mangochi. This Wound Clinic differed to the one at Nkhudzi Bay because it was held outside, under a huge huge tree to be exact. I can't explain in words just how large the tree was, but only to say it was the biggest I have ever seen. It provided good shade from the sun and was in a secluded position which would have provided some privacy for those attending had it not been for the audience of many that greeted us each time we showed up! Sometimes we went to the Tree in the minibus and sometimes on the back of bicycles. It depended on whether the minibus was needed elsewhere. It was a decent trek on a bike and it meant that the ... read more
Clinic ready and waiting

Africa » Malawi » Lake Malawi June 2nd 2012

Where to start? This will be difficult to put into meaningful words. Our stint at Mangochi Hospital really was an experience of a lifetime, on reflection a priviledge that I didn't fully appreciate at the time. For me the words to describe the experience include mind-blowing, interesting, sad (80%), happy (20%), frustrating, humbling, desperate, poor, unbelievable, smelly, chaotic, beuracratic, mechanical, unfair, ancient and welcoming. Hopefully my choice of words will be explanatory throughout this blog. Mangochi is the sixth largest town in Malawi, with a population currently estimated at 55,000. The hospital serves Mangochi town and the surrounding rural areas of thousands more people who a huge variety of health needs. The population is essentially very poor by Western standards, with people not thinking twice about walking miles to access healthcare which would be categoris... read more
Baby Friendly hospital
Decent visiting times
the hospital departments

Africa » Malawi » Lake Malawi June 2nd 2012

The charity had established several different projects around the Nkope area to benefit the local population. The main ones I was involved with were 2 wound clinics, and a home-based care group. The wound clinics were probably my favourite sessions. The first one took place at a school in a village by the Lake called Nkhudzi Bay. The village was slightly more affluent than Nkope where we were based, and the children at the school seemed better dressed than those we were used to seeing in our village. The idea of the wound clinic was that it would be manned by volunteers from 8am - 11am 3 mornings a week and would provide free wound care to anyone who needed it regardless of age. When I first heard I was going there (initially on my own) ... read more
Me at the desk!!
Limited supplies

Africa » Malawi » Lake Malawi June 1st 2012

Clare and I were joined in Malawi by 3 other volunteers who were there for the same time period as us. They were all newly-qualified doctors who had very recently completed medical school in Tooting. They were Dave (unfortunately for me a Man City season ticket holder), Marissa and Cassie, all lovely people and good housemates. For a couple of our weekends away we were joined by James, a friend of Dave's from university who was also volunteering in Malawi but in a different town. The charity had just employed a Volunteer Coordinator - Becca - whose job it was to support volunteers during their time in Malawi.... read more
Just practising
Dr Dave being mummified
Dr Dave

Africa » Malawi » Lake Malawi June 1st 2012

Rather than try to log everything I did on a daily basis I am going to describe certain aspects of the trip and hopefully provide a taste of what we experienced and saw. I am going to start with the volunteer house. Malambe Cottage, Nkope Hills, Mangochi, Malawi, Africa That was the address of where I lived for almost 3 weeks. The cottage was really a large bungalow with 7 bedrooms, some en-suite, a huge dining/sitting room, and a kitchen and pantry. The property was fenced and stood in well-maintained gardens. The cottage sat right on the shore of Lake Malawi and had fantastic views over the water. Our bedroom was comfortable and had an en-suite shower room. It was at the far end of the house and had 2 single beds and a couple of ... read more
inside the house
Dining area
our bedroom

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Mangochi May 25th 2012

May 25th already? Time has flown here in Africa. We are done teaching and we are now at a resort on lake Malawi. The lake is massive! It reminds me of the ocean. We have done too much stuff for me to type it all in one entry...I will have to let everyone know in person! Jenelle... read more

Africa » Malawi » Lake Malawi May 13th 2012

I thought I would share with you what I can see at this moment in time. I am sat on the balcony in the bar at the Grecko Lodge in Cape Maclear, Malawi just as the sun is about to set. In front of me is an area of Lake Malawi so vast it could be mistaken for the sea. It is calm and little waves lap the shore. Directly ahead, plonked majestically in the lake is a mound of island called 'Thumbe Island' where we had lunch earlier today. It is triangular in shape and is covered with dark green trees and shrubs. From here it looks like the top of a huge head with afro hair that has the face submerged in the water of the lake. Have a look at the photos and ... read more
Beach activity
View from where I was sat
Gecko Lounge, Cape Mclear

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