Our schedule today was one that continually evolved. It was our adventuring day. Our morning started out seeing a little baby in the hospital who was quite fearful of us as “azungus”.
Afterwards, we left the hospital for a day in the city of Lilongwe. Our trek began on the back of a bike. Bike taxis are regular bicycles with long cushioned seats on the back. They wait outside of the hospital gate eager to find customers. They quickly approached us as we walked over to them. We were a little nervous at first to jump on the back of a bike, putting our safety in the hands of a complete stranger, but we ended up loving the experience! The bike taxis took us down a long, paved road to the mini bus station where once again we packed ourselves into an overly full van which we rode the rest of the way.
The moment we stepped of the mini bus in Lilongwe, it began to downpour a typical Malawian rainstorm. We took cover under a building overhang, where we were soon swarmed by local artists eager to sell their crafts. We might even say a little too eager as we found ourselves pulled in numerous directions by artists wanting to take us to their booths to show us their work. After putting our bargaining skills to the test, we walked away with some wonderful souvenirs to take home!
We then wandered through the bustling market place. Our first stop was the produce section, which was packed with colorful, fresh produce. We picked out some vegetables for this week’s meal plan. Next, we crossed the most precarious looking bridge over a small river to another area of the market that sold fabric. We were happy to find fabric to take back to our village for the local tailor to turn into more souvenirs!
After stopping for a meal of comfort food, pizza and ice cream, we started our journey back home. This return trip turned out to be much more eventful than the first. The mini bus driver decided to take some back roads to avoid a traffic officer. These roads were made of dirt, rocks and giant potholes making the drive incredibly bumpy. We’re lucky none of us lost our lunch! When we finally got back on the main road, we were forced to pull over because the President of Malawi was driving through. What incredible timing!
After a long, fun, and exhausting day of travel, we are happy to finally be back home, and are looking forward to start this final week in Malawi!
With warm hearts,
Samantha, Alycia, and Melody (S.A.M)