It has been a busy few weeks here in Malawi with Rain like we have not experienced before (ever). It is still very warm and pleasant but very humid and a lot of 100% humidity to the tune of 4-6 inches per hour for 10 and 12 hours at a time. It washes out the roads, the pavement gets to be full of big deep holes, the valleys flood, and the people are very happy because the maize grows taller all the while. They are happy without much in the way of temporal things - they depend on their spiritual knowledge to carry them through to the next harvest and enough maize to keep them alive to the next one after that. In some ways life is much simpler here than in North America.
There are huge numbers of children here - they come out of the bush everywhere when you are driving down the road in the country. They are on their way to school - some have uniforms, others are lucky to be dressed - the other day we were going to Majete Animal Reserve with the Pretes and we noticed that MOST were barefoot. They must have very tough feet. We have noticed at church though, that shoes are not a comfortable item, even for the ones who can afford them - they take them off as soon as they arrive and don't put them back on until they are leaving to go home. They prefer the bare feet. The women also prefer to sit on the floor instead of a chair - some do not have a chair at home so the floor is their comfort zone. Many do not have electricity in their homes, they cook using a form of charcoal outside and they go to the well to get water (some near and some go far), which they then carry on their head back to their home. They can balance and carry heavy loads on their heads, their baby on their back (tied in a Chitenge - piece of cloth), sometimes another older one on the side or front, and keep their arms open for anything else they find (like sticks to build a fire with).
We had the Pretes here for a few days. They brought Elder Naglis (from Olds, Alberta) and his companion Elder Monyo to Blantyre, they having come from Lusaka in Zambia. We took a full day with the Pretes and went back to Majete Game Preserve. We drove on "off road" type trails for nearly six hours, seeing quite few of the animals and the swollen river. While we were gone, a Mango dropped from a tree in our yard, onto the Pretes vehicle, breaking the front windshield. 3 inches further away would have missed. That will be an expensive replacement.
|The avocado tree above one of the parking spaces with hundreds of avocados|
|The avocado that BROKE the windshields on Pretes Truck|
|The Damage done by the Falling Avocado - Wow - cost of 125,000MK|
We have attached a few random pictures.
|Water Control Dam on the Shire River at the Edge of the Majete Game Reserve|
|A Hippo enjoying the Shire River at flood time|
|Water Buffalo inland|
|Water Buck, partially hidden in the brush|