As a kid I often dreamed of going on safari, seeing the ‘big five’, and experiencing a land so drastically different from my own. For a very long time, Africa has been high atop my long (and growing) list of places I’d like to visit; however, it always seemed like a longshot that I’d ever make it. That’s why, when a friend, Tom Pickering, told me he would be serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi for two years I jumped at the chance to visit. So Constance and I are here now, to see some of the landscapes, people, and wildlife of southern Africa. Since internet access is so spotty, the blog posts will be added several at a time, but I will try to limit individual posts to the events of a single day, to make it easier to follow. I hope that you will enjoy following us on our first African adventure! --- Quand j’étais petit, je rêvais de faire un safari, de voir les grands mammifères terrestres et de découvrir un monde drastiquement différent du mien. L’Afrique a longtemps occupée une des premières positions de ma longue (et toujours grandissante) liste de région du monde que je voudrais visiter, sans vraiment croire que j’aurais véritablement l’occasion d’y aller un jour. C’est pourquoi quand un de mes amis, Tom Pickering, m’a appris qu’il partait pour deux ans au Malawi pour faire du bénévolat pour le Peace Corps, j’ai sauté sur l’occasion. C’est ici, au Malawi, que Constance et moi nous trouvons présentement afin de découvrir les paysages, les gens et la faune du sud de l’Afrique. Étantdonné que j’ai accèsà internet de manière très sporadique, plusieurs entrées de blogs seront ajoutées en même temps. Je vais tout de même faire un effort pour raconter les anecdotes dans un ordre chronologique pour faciliter la lecture. J’espère que vous aimerez suivre les péripéties de notre première aventure africaine!

Back to Lilongwe

Monday, 11 July 2011 – Back to Lilongwe

This morning we arrived in Lilongwe, after an exhausting journey from South Luangwa National Park. We began, for some mysterious reason, at around 9:30 at night from our camp, in a minibus (basically a beat-up minivan), the standard mode of transport in this part of Africa. After driving around Mfuwe village to fill up the bus, we finally set off on our uncomfortable, cramped journey back to Chipata, the town in Zambia nearest the border with Malawi. The road is in a state of utter disrepair, as was our minibus, and any attempt at sleep was basically pointless. At one point, the bus stalled, and we had to push it to a rolling start in the middle of the bush. We arrived in Chipata in the middle of the night, and needed to go to the immigration a few kilometers nearer to the border, so we found a taxi driver to take us. Maybe it was the darkness, or my lack of sleep, but I didn’t notice until we were on our way that the driver was about 12 years old! He could barely see over the steering wheel, and I thought for sure this would end badly, as the kid was driving like a total maniac, speeding despite being roundly warned of the danger posed by goats, etc., when driving in Africa at night. We made it safely to the border post, although it was 2:30 in the morning. We heard loud snoring behind the counter, so we decided to follow suit and sleep on the bench inside until daylight (the border is extremely sketchy at that hour). Unfortunately, all the windows were either broken or missing altogether, it was absolutely impossible to sleep with the biting wind blowing right through the building…

We’re now back in Lilongwe, waiting for Tom to meet us after a trip to Zanzibar. In a couple of days we’re off to see the countryside in Malawi, we can’t wait!

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