Mountains make us feel at home

February 6, 2014, Nkhotakhota – Chembe

Today in the morning I played smurfs with my brother. Then we ate brekfast. After that we drove to Cape Maclear. On the way we bought two mats made out of reeds. We saw a woman fall from a bicycle. She had some woonds that were so bad that we had to bring her to the hospital. At Cape Maclear we went to a villag called Chembe. There we went to stay at a lodge called Chembe Eagles Nest. There we stayed for the night.

Moritz

fish for sale

dry fish

February 7, 2014, Cape Maclear

Getting up after one of the hottest, windstill nights was an achievement in itself, but we were all glad to wake up in the tent. We have come to prefer good camping facilities to cheap accommodation in chalets: less mosquitos, fewer grimy surfaces and more air to breath…

The next wet weather system has caught up with us; yet we welcome the cool winds and settle into a quiet day with only two sessions of school planned. For lunch, we walk through the village, encircled by kids who playfully hold our hands, tug our clothes, clearly accustomed to tourist.

About 10 lodges are strewn along the bay, with the village huts in between, all around and everywhere. Fish are laid out to dry on tables along the beach, tomatos and eggs are sold at little stalls. We enjoy crepes and tasty fish prepared by a French chef at one of the lodges, knowing that our diet will soon consist of rice, nsima or pasta again.

We realize that our travels through Malawi make us a bit weary. On the one hand, we have been traveling for some time and still have a lot ahead of us. But we also feel a great divide between us and the Malawians we meet. Greetings are friendly and frequent and sometimes almost comical at how stereotype they are conducted. But we hardly get past the formalities, not always out of lack of language skills; far more it seems that we cannot shake off the “boss & madam” image, even though we feel genuinely uncomfortable in that role. Not much of our life connects with Malawi – exchanging recipes has proven to be the most successful approach in connecting with locals so far. I’m still looking forward to chatting with a Malawian woman; the men are all around us, evidently with a different understanding of privacy; the women just smile and wave.

Kathrin

lazy fish

lazy fish

February 8, 2014, Cape Maclear

It’s rain at night, and grey in the morning, but undeterred we decide on a half-day cruise around the hilly island of Cape Maclear. Our vessel of choice is the catamaran Mama Afrika, and we’re rewarded with some actual sailing. How nice to explore the islands this way!

The snorkeling in a bay of one of the islands is exquisite – more and more colorful fish than in the previous places, the five of us circle them like clumsy spaceships and it takes a full hour until we’re out of the water again. Fish eagles and cormorants pick off a few of the fish, but that only adds to the aquarium-like feeling, with crystal clear waters.

After a few legs of sailing around the granite lumps of Otter Point and along the strip of lodges and fish markets at the beach of Chembe, we land in our lodge again, for a quiet afternoon of drawing, reading, shadow-fighting and some real and TV football. The biggest effort is to bake bread and cook some spaghetti while it rains…

We enjoy doing nothing, a lazy Saturday, topped off with a family movie from DVD; while outside the shelter of the lodge another rainstorm is pounding – Malawi is getting some of the worst (or best, depending on perspective) rains in years. Maybe we should open a rain-making business…

Michael

skinny fish

skinny fish

happy fish

happy fish

worried fish

worried fish

February 9, 2014m – Cape Maclear – Zomba plateau

In the morning we packed the tent, had PANCAKES for breakfast and showered. That progress was only interrupted by my dad, being very annoyed that it rained, again! The rest of the morning I read, while we drove to Mangochi. There we drove through the town once, and then stopped by the first restaurant we saw. When we first got there it didn’t look bad, although the waitress did not speak much English. But when we got our drinks after about 20 min, we started building houses with Moritz’ soccer cards. We got some of our food about one hour after ordering, and after ten minutes in which Mattis PANCAKES cooled down in the kitchen, and we still didn’t have them, we didn’t want it eny more. And my dad got loud again, after my mom had jeld at them. Then we drove on to Zomba. After having a nice time with the locals, in a store with wooden boxes, they sent us to a bookstore, then we went strait to the cabin we wanted to go to. It was very beautiful on the mountain and we all liked it. In the evening we made a cosi fire.

Nina

Mount Card

Mount Card

Mountain Cottage

Mountain Cottage

February 10, 2014, Zomba Plateau

First I and my brother made breakfast. We made toasted bread, corn flakes, fruit salad and we set the table. After Breakfast we brushed our teeth and then we moved to another cottage because somebody else wanted to sleep in the first one. I liked the first oe better but the others liked the second one better. After school we had a picnic at Williams Falls. We saw a gigantic black and blue butterfly there. Two men with huge wood bundles on their heads crossed the river while we watched.

When we went shopping we gave the caretaker a lift to town because otherwise he would have had to walk for 3.5 hours. At the market we bought bananas, pineapples and for me we found a donut, mushrooms, oranges and chili. When we got back to the car somebody was watching it so it didn’t get stolen. Before we went home we went to a little shop with things made of wood. At home we cooked, baked bread and Lebkuchen. Before bed my brother and I wrestled and we called it Nishinga-Karate.

Matti

Mount Mulanje

Mount Mulanje

Zomba09Zomba10

keeping things simple

keeping things simple

February 11, 2014, Zomba Plateau – Mulanje

Today in the morning my sister made breakfast. After that we brushed our teeth and did some school work. (I learnt to use the scale.) When we left the cottag it was almost noon. First we drove to Blantyre and went shopping. My dad bought me a Liverpool bag and for my brother he bought a minion book. Also my mom bought my sister a new dress. Then we drove to Mulanje. ( Saddly we didn’t see Mount Mulanje beacus he was in clouds.) We went to the house of a friend of my dad (but we had never met him) to stay there for the night. The house was in a tea plantation and had a beautiful garden. At dinner the food was very good. After dinner we went to bed.

Moritz

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