06 January 2012


Happy New Year! I have just returned from a long but adventurous 2 weeks of travel. I met up with the other  Response volunteers that arrived two weeks before me  in Dedza. It was great to meet and share about our sites and work plans. They are all returned Peace Corps volunteers from Thailand, Caribbean, South Africa and Cameroon. We celebrated with homemade cheese, Peach Coffee Cake, Gnocchi, and sugar cookies! It was a wonderful day full of eating.

mustache sugar cookies.

Then we headed further north to nkhotakota. We split into two groups and took our places on the road outside of Lilongwe hoping to get a hitch before our competing team did, but after only 5 minutes Jessica (another volunteer) sent us a text message saying there were coming to pick us up. A private ride for all 5 of us! It seemed too good to be true! Emmanuel, our driver lives in the north and was just on his way back home after dropping his Swedish/British Wife off at the airport. Did we ever luck out! It was an eventful ride teaching him how to play 20 questions and watching him search for black market fuel after coasting downhill in neutral. Phew! But we made it! We stayed at Sani Lodge, the “lodge” was located 6km south of the BOMA (the town) and 4 km off the main road. We arrived to find that the water pump wasn’t working and no other guests were staying at the lodge. With the increase popularity of other beach towns and the fuel crisis tourism has greatly been affected all over the country. We camped 100 feet away from the lake and spent out last days of 2011 swimming in the warm, clear blue waters of lake Malawi .

Then after a few days we headed even further north to Nkhata Bay (one of the most, if not the most touristy locations on the lake). The northern region of Malawi is drastically less populated and landscape transforms from the flat crops lands of the south to electric green rolling hills. It’s really beautiful especially during the rainy season! We swam everyday and indulged ourselves in cardamom pancakes every morning. There was a group of about 50 other volunteers and even a few PC volunteers from Zambia that rang in the new year dancing to Prince’s “Party like it’s 1999”. It was a fabulous new year’s!
kids on the beach running from the camera!! haha.
I’m now home in Liwonde enjoying my last few days of vacation before the real work begins. Peace Corps made a trip down to talk with my direct field supervisor and investigate a housing option. I’ve enjoyed the slow easy transition into Malawi, but I ready to dive into these next 8 months!
much love to you and yours,

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