February 12, 2014, Mulanje
In the morning, after breakfast, my dad went to work at a office with Internet and we did school. In maths I did views of blocks (mom’s title) and in french I finished my exercise book. Well not quite, I pulled out the last exercise. When my dad came back we had soup for lunch.
In the afternoon we went looking at groups who made stoves from clay. There was one organized group and one not so organized group. On our way there we got a great view of the mountain, which had up til now been covered in fog.
For supper we went eating in the best pizzeria in Malawi. We enjoyed being with other people again a lot. On the way back I started making a business plan, which I enjoy.
February 13, 2014, Mulanje
In the morning, we went to somebody who sells stoves and my dad spoke with him. My brother and I looked at piles of tea leaves which were green. Then I climbed on top of a pillar and stayed there for half an hour.
We drove a bit more and hiked on a wall that was part of a canal. About 150 kids walked with us after they had followed our car up the mountain. We walked to where the canal took the water out of the river. By the river we had a picnic. Then we went to the house where electricity is made and a man told us all about it. But it was broken which meant that I could climb into the turbine.
We went back home to do school and I learned that if you want to do things, they are more fun. For dinner we went to the golf club with my dad’s friend. There, we played on sports machines and played bee doctors, but I got stung by one. At home, my mom told a story when we went to bed.
February 14, 2014, Mulanje
The morning saw us back at the golf club, trying to meet the bartender’s uncle who is one of the most renowned wood carvers of Mulanje. Eventually, we met the woodcarver’s son in town, loaded his bicycle on the back of the car and drove with him into the rice fields of Malawi. During the one hour drive, we managed not to get stuck, and we did meet the man. He showed us how he carves wood – but our question if we could buy any of his work was sadly declined: one of the lodges had just bough a few of his carved boxed, and he will only get back to work once they are sold. So on our way back, we only got lost once and then stopped at Likhubula to meet the other craftsmen who were very happy to sell.
At Lihkubula, we also met Joe and Jody again, two Michiganites who are managing the set-up of a new lodge on the slopes of Mount Mulanje. They have been in Malawi since December, so we have many experiences to share. Together, we visited the pools of Likhubula River, which reminded us once ore of the Ticino, or Corsica, or New Zealand, or…any other beautiful mountain massif. Whenever the clouds parted, rainbows appeared and 100 silver streams ran down the island in the sky.
This interesting day ended perfectly at Carl’s house, Peterson supplying us with yummie Mexican food, Carl supplying the kids with “Pirates of the Carribean 4”…
February 15, 2014, Mulanje – Mocuba (Mozambique)
After a night of pounding rain, another day of pounding rain starts. It is therefore hard to leave our temporary tea-estate-mansion-home, and we get a late starte after a lazy breakfast. The Mozambican border awaits us after a short drive and formalities are taken care of smoothly and with a good dose of fun. Only, US dollars are not accepted for visa payments, because “the exchange rate fluctuates so wildly…” So, leaving Kathrin as a deposit, I head to town to fetch some Meticais.
At the advice of Carl, we’re not heading directly to Gurue. But even the main road connecting the border with the rest of Mozambique makes for a gruesome 6 hour drive through mud, streams and past lanes of trucks that have been stuck in ditches for days. Our average speed is around 20 km/h. After 120 km, we hit the brand new tarmac road that takes us to our overnight stop at Mocuba quickly, despite rain and darkness.
We check into a pensao and enjoy the familiar continental cuisine. The by now seemingly mandatory sound of rain never ceases during the night.
February 16, 2014, Mocuba – Gurue
Today in the morning we went to eat a lovley breakfast with all sorts of stuf. Then we drove from Mocuba to Gurue and we saw the highest mountain in Mozambique (acshaly we did not see it but we saw a cloud with waterfalls coming down out of it so we new there was a mountain there). In Gurue we waited for my dads friend. While we were waiting I and my brother traded soccer cards. When my dad’s friend came he told us the way to the mission station where we were going to sleep tonight. We searched and searched and asked a lot of people where it was. At last after a lot of searching and asking we found it. It was a silent place (until we came). That evening we went to eat at a place that I forgot what it was called (actually I don’t care what it was called) and ate supper there. Then we went to bed.
February 17, 2014, Gurue – Nampula
In the morning we went to eat breakfast where we had eaten supper the day befor, but there was no bread so we bought some bread afterwards. Before we left my dad had to take pictures of a mill then we drove the longest distance we had driven so far. At lunchtime we ate in a restaurant and looked at two places for a mill to be built. I rained very hard. We did school in the car, and after we arrived at a nice backpackers lodge, we went eating with my dad’s friend, Sinezia. I practically rained the whole day.