Posts Tagged With: Zomba

A to Z: M is for…

  • Mandasi – Malawian doughnut! But no filling or sugar (too expensive). Favourite street food, especially in the morning when they’re fresh; Not so good when they’re cold and stale. Cost a modest 50-80 kwacha (10-20p). Good choice if you’re desperate for sustenance and don’t want to play “samosa roulette” (the other favourite street food, which may or may not give you diarrhea).
  • Mountains – Malawi is blessed with a beautiful landscape with nice mountains to hike or just look at from afar. Among them is the Zomba Plateau, which is simply stunning to look at and beautiful to look from at the top. Although I’m normally not a fan of walking, the hike up the “Potato Path” is probably one of my favourite outdoor activities. Coming down the steep path while it’s wet and slippy, and being passed by locals without footwear and carrying a whole tree on their head, is a humbling / embarrassing / amusing experience – I’m not kidding, see photo below!
  • Mulanje – The tallest mountain in Malawi, which unfortunately I haven’t hiked, yet. Plenty of (“juju” / witchcraft) stories of lost souls if you dare to try hike it without a guide. Probably best to join or at least consult the Mountain Club of Malawi if you want to try it – seriously.
  • Mvula – Chichewa for rain. Also a popular surname.
  • Mzuzu – Biggest city in the Northern Region. I didn’t spend much time there but passed through a few times. Less industrial than Blantyre and less of a concrete jungle than Lilongwe, bigger than the old colonial capital, Zomba. More rain than any of the other 3 cities due to its altitude, so very green almost all year round.
Fresh mandasis

Fresh mandasis

Mandasi sellers

Mandasi sellers

Road to Zomba

Road to Zomba

Birthday hike up the Potato Path for the first time in 2012

Birthday hike up the Potato Path for the first time in 2012

One of the many beautiful views from the plateau

One of the many beautiful views from the plateau

Model of the plateau at the guide hut

Model of the plateau at the guide hut

A very steep, wet and slippy Potato Path

A very steep, wet and slippy Potato Path

On the way out of Zomba

On the way out of Zomba

Blooming jacarandas in Mzuzu

Blooming jacarandas in Mzuzu

Categories: Malawi, Travel, Volunteering, VSO | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Benefits of Volunteering

Check out this fantastic blog from Rita, a US Peace Corps volunteer based in Zomba:-

12 Personal Benefits to Living a Peace Corps Life

It’s absolutely spot on and perfectly expresses some of my own thoughts on the benefits of volunteering here in Malawi. Ok… except the bit about fetching water from a borehole! Since I’m living in the big city and all; Some of my fellow VSO volunteers actually do call me “City Boy“. Thankfully, we have running water in Lilongwe. However, funnily enough, the mains water supply has been a bit erratic recently. There have been hours of unusually low pressure and even total outages. So in fact, I did once have to “fetch” water. Luckily, it was transferring the water we store in the upstairs bathroom (for yet-to-happen emergency bucket shower) to the downstairs kitchen and outside, where my night-guard and part-time housekeeper Yohane needed water to finish the laundry.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

I actually got in touch with Rita before coming out to Malawi. Her blog and email advice was really useful in helping me prepare. Also, we have a mutual friend in her fellow Peace Corps volunteer, John Mark (aka my twin / doppelgänger). Unfortunately, we’ve still not managed to meet in person yet. But I’m planning on it. I can’t promise any Parmesan cheese though! Here are some of my favourite photos from her awesome World Map Project.

I <3 maps and you will too!

I ❤ maps and you will too! (picture from Google!)

The final product

The final product

History class

History class

Categories: Malawi, Volunteering, VSO | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Zomba

“Just a small town girl…”

fionagalbraith52

25/11/12

Okay, I will try and cast my mind back to Wednesday and describe the trip from Blantyre to Zomba… We left Blantyre around 0830 hours and took (our first) minibus up to the town. Pat with her wee case and me with my rucksack, then hopped on the second bus to Limbe (suburb of Blantyre). Another hot day and we are sweating already. The driver was very helpful and ‘escorted’ us (harassed us onto the next minibus – grabbing Pat’s case whether we wanted or not!) to the next mini bus which would take us to Zomba. We’re both thinking “Great, no waiting around, we’ll be there before we know it!”

…50 minutes later and we are still waiting for the bus to leave Limbe (“Limbo in Limbe” says Pat). People appear in dribs and drabs (a ?mother and son with what looks and smells like a basket of…

View original post 1,347 more words

Categories: Malawi, Volunteering, VSO | Tags: | Leave a comment

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