Africa Day #28

** Pictures to be added on better wifi

Today we had a late start, breakfast at 8am, for our second day at Lake Malawi. This place is really beautiful, as we are staying along the beach. It doesn’t feel like I am in Africa, but rather a destination island. I went over to the dive shop this morning, and unfortunately I will not be able to do a dive. I still could possibly do it in Zanzibar.

We start the villiage tour at 9am, where we are greeting at the gate by a load of villiagers. Each person is accompied by one or two of the villiagers. My two guys called themselves Popcorn and Vegimite. All of these guys were local craftsman, who were hoping to sell their crafts at the end of the tour, but thankfully the guys I had, had other things to talk about during the tour. I actually really enjoyed talking to these guys about themselves and their culture and how they live. They were both in their mid twenties, and were funding themselves through school, one in highschool, the other in college to become a teacher. This is a big deal, as all schooling past primary school you have to pay for, and so it is not an oppertunity for everyone. I think one of my biggest takeaways of this experience with these two guys, is their happiness. They asked me if people are happy where I live, and my immediate answer was no. We have so much, yet we are always so stressed or unhappy, and I really am going to strive to be better with this, and I challenge anyone reading this to do the same. We really are so lucky and fortunate, we need to be happier and more appreciative of what we have rather than focusing on what we don’t. Life is too short, we need to enjoy it a bit more!

Once we made it to the villiage, we met with local woman who were showing us their native crop, Kasava. It is a root vegetable that can be eaten raw, cooked in a variety of ways, or soaked, dried and pounded into powder. It also grows at all times of year. I find it amazing how these people have done so much with so little. They also keep chickens, which they eat only on special occasions. Mangos are also in season, and they were just falling off the tree and delicious.

We regained our companions and walked over to the villiage school, where we were greeted by the local children on their way to and from school. They have three, three hour bocks of school for the different ages. A little girl Martha found me, and we walked the rest of the way to school together, and she was very sweet. These children were so excited to spend time with us and hold our hands and play with our sunglasses and check out our cameras. As much as I enjoyed the interaction with the children, I do worry if there is a negative to these interactions.

We met with the school principal and learned about the school and its stregths and weaknesses. Again, it is amazing what this villiage can do with so little, and it really makes you appreciate what we have in the states.

The final stop was at the hospital. I think this was the hardest place to visit. The conditions of the hospital were awful. They showed us the the labor and delivery, as well as where the woman stay after having the baby. I wouldn’t have wanted to eat in these rooms, nevermind bring life into this world. This clinic is also used for malaria treatment, which is sucessful when they have the medicine, which is not always the case.

Again, i met back up with Popcorn and Vegimite, and we walked back. I should mention today was a really hot day, and we were all hot and sweaty for the whole time, which is kind of just how some days are in Africa! We stopped at the shops before heading back into camp, which is always my least favorite part of these tours, and especially where I spent so much time with my guys I really felt like I needed to support their crafts, so I ended up buying something from both of them.

When we got back to camp, we had a brunch like lunch and then I went straight to the lake to cool off. The lake was like bath water, so not as refreshing as I was hoping for, but it was still really nice! The water was crystal clear and it is fresh water, but it is so big and has waves that you think you’re in the ocean.

In the afternoon, a couple of us went out to the small island to go snorkling and jump off the rocks. Our CEOs arranged a boat, that was quite smelly to get us out there, which was really nice, once you made it out. I jumped off the rock, which was exhilerating, and then attempted to snorkle, but the equiptment was just so bad, I opted to just swim around the island with a couple other girls. The water was so clear, that I could still see the fish swiming around us from above.

After the swim, my feet started cramping up, so I spent the rest of the time hanging on the rocks with the group in the water, before heading back to camp.

When we got back from the island, we had to quickly get ready to head back to the villiage for dinner. We were invited for a villiage dinner of sweet potato and kavasa soup, rice, beans, cabbage, and chicken. It lacked some spice, but it was actually a really good meal, and I really ejoyed the soup. The local villiage kids came to sing and dance for us, and we were invited to participate in some of the dancing and some of the songs. It was a really fun night, and I really enjoyed it. These kids had moves too! They put all of us to shame!

The rest of the evening was pretty laid back at camp. Tomorrow we head to the northern part of Lake Malawi for another two nights.  

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