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Monday, August 21, 2017

40 Days from SA to Malawi and Back

Things I want to remember from our first trip to Malawi:

Crossing the border was peaceful.  We could have saved a few minutes if we had done insurance at the same time as waiting for our visas.

Our first hotel room.  Neon red walls, with a mosaic of broken mirrors and tiles.  Very dim light-bulb. Cassava for breakfast, and chicken gizzards. Paul was pleased to eat mine and Josh's too.

Our visit to the Malawi Museum. Kinda wanted to donate some time there.  It looks neglected.

Lots of long walks passing out tracts, and most people being so excited to get them. I wrote about it in our prayer letter, and said I wished we had a GoPro (just talking, not hinting) and a lady in Indiana wrote to say she had one she never used, and wanted to give it to us.  (Stop, do cartwheel.  Mentally only, you understand.)  

Kids and a lady who stopped on their way into church to admire themselves in the side of our clean (! for once!) Jeep.  The kids had a good time dancing, the lady admired her sparkly shoes.

Josh got a new camera for his birthday in May.  All of these photos are from his camera, and he took most of them.  You can tell which ones he didn't take as he didn't take the ones he is in, with one exception.  I'm thankful he's getting another talent/skill down.
Huh?  You say I have a fidget spinner in my ear?  

Wish I could do that.  

 One of the perks of this trip was seeing so many friends along the way, like the Frews who have been friends since 2006.  Back then, we had more kids than they did, but they have gotten ahead of us.
 We participated in FIVE weddings on this 40 day trip!  Joe and Blessing's was the one we got the most involved in.  They are planning to come visit us in Cape Town in December.
 We stayed with the Beamen's in Chipata, Zambia, but we didn't get a picture of them, just their hedgehog, Lucy.
 Crossing the Zambezi River between Botswana and Zambia on a ferry is a limited time offer.  They're building a big ol' bridge that will take some of the fun out of this crossing.  Paul said this is my 25th Anniversary Cruise.

Crossing the Zambezi will lose some of its romance when the bridge is finished, but for the sake of these poor guys in the big trucks, I'll be glad for the bridge.  They are backed up for THREE KILOMETERS!  We measured.  Waiting for their turn to cross.  It can take them a week.  I'm guessing fresh milk doesn't cross this border often.
 I love, love, love when our kids get involved in ministry too!  Of course, they've been involved since day one. They've been hauled around the world, winning people even as babies, and helping their parents be more winsome, but now they're getting right up there, teaching the liquor bottle lesson full of verses of what God says about alcohol in the Bible.
I suppose I should mention how glad I am that Paul's in the ministry too.  I sort of take that for granted. Of course he is!   I can't imagine him any other way.
 Visiting a tea plantation was maybe not supposed to be the most exciting trip in the world, maybe educational was more what we had in mind, but I think none of us will forget skidding and sliding down through the tea fields, getting lost, and finally coming out miles and miles from where we went in.  It was cool, for sure.  Josh liked the skidding parts even, Paul and I, not so much.  We haven't actually tried the tea yet.
 The unsung member of our team is Gypsy, our GPS.  Though she botched it that time, never giving us a hint of cows blocking the road ahead.

 Paul got drafted into a singing group's photo session.  We're curious if he'll get into the printed version on their CD they're making.  It was a Christian group of singers, very nice, that we met beside the road one Sunday.
 We made a brief stop at Malawi's beloved pottery place, Dedza for the Dedza mountains around it.  It would have been a nice place to have lunch, but we pressed on.    
 It was mouse season in Malawi, so mouse "bouquets" were for sale beside the road.  About $.05 per mouse.  Yum, yum.  OK, we didn't try any, just felt brave to have taken the photo.  And we tipped the boys selling them because we got their hopes up when we stopped for the picture.

 Road hazards!  I'm so thankful we never hit any animals this time except little birds.
 And then there were other road hazards.  Speed traps.  This one was intricate, in Botswana, and I got trapped.  Sniff.
 But Botswana is still the best country I know for seeing wildlife from the road.  We saw elephants too, but they got upstaged as you'll see in a bit.
 Mac Mac Falls delighted us, particularly in that we didn't know it was coming, and therefore had the thrill of discovery.

 There we are!  This was one of the coolest touristy things we've ever done, and we almost didn't get to do it.  We went to an elephant encounter, which does not include (the more expensive) elephant ride, but they let us ride the elephants "just back to the stables" and took our pictures, and it was wonderful!  and the price was right.
 I think the guides saw Paul and immediately matched us with Temba, the biggest of the 6 Elephants at Elephant Whispers.
 These are amazing animals!  and therefore their Creator must be AMAZING too.  Just logic.

We saw a lot of fires.  Smoky by day...

wild by night.  

 On the way back we stayed a few days at Back to the Bible Mission.  We loved it!
 Their campus is off in the hills near Barberton, South Africa, and they call it a "preacher factory."

The road continues, we move on, always on a mission, trying to draw others to Christ.

1 comment:

  1. Halleluja, wonderfu!! Glad that Paul has recovered from the stroke?