So if you’ve seen the news, then you will know what’s been happening in Malawi! It started last week for me – cancelling my travel/research plans for the week as there was uncertainty about what was going to happen and if the roads would be open to vehicles. This is kind of when the cabin fever kicked in.
I spent most of Monday-Friday reading and writing though being able to sit by the pool was rather nice, repetition was driving me slightly nuts. Unfortunately when the FCO advice is to stay indoors (and out of trouble) there isn’t much you can do. It was nice to know thought that most other people were in a similar situation.
So Saturday comes and Karen wakes me up with a text, wanting to know if I want to go to the farm with them. Of course I jumped at the chance to get out of Makys and out of Blantyre. Don’t get me wrong I like being at Makys and there are always interesting people around but sometimes it’s nice to get out for a while. So off to the “work in progress” farm we went, chickens (and cute chicks), lots of veggies and a couple of pigs! The other thing is that the view is amazing, especially over the river (which I now forget the name of). After a few hours of wandering round the farm and taking photos, we headed back to Blantyre. Karen made a lovely lunch/supper in the afternoon and I think I offered to cook for her one day – I don’t think I specified when this day would be, so maybe sometime in 2020?
On Sunday morning, I went to church with Chris and Estelle, though we left just after communion – for some reason the end of the service seems to take another 25 minutes, so Estelle and I followed Chris and left a little bit early! They were superfit freaks and went for a hike/run – whilst I thought I would locate my book and sit down, I was wrong! Some of the staff from GOAL were at Makys when I got back and I ended up power walking round town with Finbar – most things here on a Sunday close at 1pm, but we did manage to get doughnuts and ice cream on the way back to Makys.
So Monday morning was Visa Renewal Day – thinking this process would take a few hours at least, I was prepared to be there at 8am when the open – kind of in the hope to beat the queues. However Max came to the rescue and asked his driver who is Malawian to take me in. Well the process took all of 23 minutes and by 8.30 I was walking back through town to get to Makys. Everyone was surprised that it was done so quickly, but it proves it can be done!
I managed to get some of my research sorted out and I’ll hopefully be getting out too visit schools next week. I sent off all the emails that I wanted and made a few phone calls! I then decided that after lunch I’d head back into town to try and get some gifts and bits and pieces. It was a rather nice walk round town and I managed to get some nice things! - My experience at the craft market was interesting to say the least, the self-haggling stall owners did make me giggle.
I spent Tuesday and Wednesday reading, then headed back into town on Thursday – this time to locate a Chichewa bible and some Chitenges (Malawian wraps). I forgot to buy some ice cream though. I had a meeting this morning and planned for going to visit schools next week – so the work finally begins.
First of all – there is the weekend!!!!