Monday, February 27, 2017

Settling in

I don’t know if I will ever get used to how beautiful Malawi is! Every morning I wake up under my mosquito net and listen to the birds outside. This past week we traveled to Nkhotakota and Blantyre. The trips took us near Lake Malawi, through a game reserve, to the border of Mozambique, and through a neat town named Dedza. The trips were great, but I am really happy to be back home, even if it’s only for a day.
            We live in an apartment (don’t think apartments though, they’re like little town homes) complex in Area3, just outside of the city. Our home is a two-bedroom two-bathroom townhouse with a small kitchen and living area that is surrounded by tall brick walls, barbed wire, and an electric fence. My husband Brennan is an electrician and used to work on new construction houses (you know, with the wood framing and everything). It’s neat seeing how differently the buildings are built here—all brick and concrete! Our house is much cooler because of it, but it’s still strange to see concrete and not wood underneath chipped paint.
            Right now we’re in the rainy season and the land is soaking it up! Cornfields are growing to twice my height and the country is just blowing up in bright greens. My favorite part of the long drives (over 4 hours to Nkhotakota and around 6 hours to Blantyre) is the stunning views. I can’t do the views justice in trying to explain them so I’ve attached some pictures below. Imagine the pictures, but bout 100 times more vivid.
            I’m going to let Brennan talk about Dedza but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my new favorite store! If you’ve ever been to mt Tambourine in Queensland, Australia, you can picture Dedza. Dedza is a quiet small town with some neat places like the famous Dedza pottery, and my favorite store, The Dedza Handmade Art Gallery. The art gallery is run by an incredibly nice man, Henry Ng’ambe and his family. He takes paper trash and recycles it to make amazing cards and notebooks. When we went to his shop he took us around and showed us all the steps that go into making paper. I can’t wait to go back again!
            I’m looking forward to today—relaxing! We just got back from Blantyre last night and tomorrow we drive to Chipata, Zambia, so I’m going to take advantage of our break day and get some house stuff done. Adios!

** update** I did it!! I haggled!! 

 Seeing one of the last steps of making notebooks and cards.

 The soon-to-be church hall in Blantyre
 Michala for scale!
 Tea upon tea upon tea

            This handsome guy :)

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