Wednesday, February 24, 2010
'I have fallen in love many times in Africa - with the countries, the communities, the people, the animals, and its landscapes. I walk softly on the red dirt, and let it cover my feet - the soft glow of the pre-dusk sun glows upon my skin, and I smile because of the beauty that surrounds me in this moment, and many just like it.
Beauty in Africa can not be defined by a pretty girl in a magazine. Beauty is in the simplicity of life, the people one meets, the smiles one receives, the dreams and hopes of communities, and the love that is widely spread across the Continent.
A passion in me has been ignited, this passion is Africa... and to describe it is impossible. I feel happiness in the simple things in which I have never known... I smile often, and laugh more. I will share a few moments/descriptions with you:
- A local old man with a beautifully carved walking stick, and beautiful blue eyes stops me in the street and talks to me with so much enthusiasm I feel honoured... he talks of the World, Malawi, and the pride for his father who went to war.
- The voices of youths in the church singing and dancing
- The face of a child lighting up when you share some of your food with them.
- Brutal honesty from people as they share their stories with you
- The laughter you share with someone, even when neither of you can understand each others words
I am so grateful for the oppurtunity I have been given to travel through parts of Africa, and the people I've had the imense pleasure of meeting. I can't help thinking I wish I had come to Africa a few years ago... perhaps my eyes would have been opened sooner to the more important things in life. '
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Note - I will add images to this later when internet connection allows.
I awoke to the sound of raucous laughter and glasses clinking together, I turned my head a little to the right and witnessed the sight of around 20 local men crowded around a small wooden bar a mere 2 metres from where I lay. You may wonder why I had been asleep in such a place in the first place – I can assure you it was not on account of me passing out, or anything slightly alcohol related. I was on board the 'Ilala Ferry', and where I lay on a vinyl mattress, a few metres from a rowdy bar was somehow considered first class! I can also inform you that this first class luxury also set me back around $110 (aussie).
This ferry was sailing on Lake Malawi, and was transporting us from Monkey Bay, to Nkhata Bay – the trip was to také 2 nights. The ferry consisted of 4 classes - 3rd class, 2nd class, first class – deck class, and cabin class. As the ferry was much more expensive than we anticipated we opted for one first class – deck ticket, and one second class ticket with the intention to také shifts and swap between.
I spent around 3 hours total in second class... and that was more than enough for me. Second class was situated on the bottom deck, along with third class. It consisted of a room at one end of the ferry around 3 metres wide, and 8 metres long. The room is basically a sauna, with the iron walls keeping the heat and humidity tightly sealed in. As I lay on the vinyl benches provided I was reminded of the chairs we used to have at school where your skin would stick to the vinyl in summer, and you would basically have to peel yourself off it.
We discover not long into the trip that security is slack, and we can both be on the deck class without causing too much hassle. I also contribute this to the fact that we act every meal in the first class resturaunt that only had 2 other legitimate customers.
The first night we sleep soundly on our vinyl mattress, rented for 3 aussie dollars. The second, not so well on account of being 2 metres from a bar. This is also because at the beginning of the trip there was probably around 40 people on the entire ferry, and by the 2nd night there were hundreds. I couldnt sleep the second night, so wandered around the ferry and witnessed some entertaining sights... the bargaining power of the ferry security (a security guard allowed her on first class for a certain payment, which didn't involve money or goods), and hundreds of locals crammed into second and third class... imagine a throng of bodies, in underwear sleeping, snoring, sweating (I said a silent thank-you that I had gotten out of sleeping down here).
Our ferry arrived at Nkhata Bay at 3:30am, we awoke and continued to sleep until 5:00am before packing up and disembarking. The ferry was to head north after here, but we found out this wouldn't be happening due to a fuel shortage... it runs on diesel, and there is a huge fuel shortage here... and it costs around $2.50 a litre.The ferry was also delayed 5 hours in Monkey Bay before we departed as we were waiting for a fuel tanker to provide us with diesel.
In all the ferry was a great experience (apart from being expensive, badly run, and pretty run-down)... the days were filled with card games, sleeping, eating, reading, and gazing upon Lake Malawi (Although I tried hard I didn't spot any hippos or crocs!) Nkhata Bay is our home for the moment... we have a few days of relaxing before doing some scuba diving here in the Lake (I'm hoping it's alot calmer than the ocean!). Also, an exciting suprise yesterday – we met up with Leonie who we had been travelling with previously, so it has been fun swapping stories and catchng up again. From here, we head north to Tanzania with Lucas and Bart (A couple of guys we are travelling with), and prepare for the mighty Killimanjaro.
Monday, February 8, 2010
4. Beaches: The beaches in Mozambique are "bloody beautiful" - they are the ideal place to kick back and relax... although watch out when walking on the sand... IT BURNS!! I have never walked on such hot sand in my life... every time was like walking on burning red coals... the locals thought it was quite hillarious watching us go along the sand screaming "ow ow ow ow ow ffffkkkkkkkkkk". Also the sea life is amazing... through snorkelling and diving we have seen wonderful coral, fish etc