This is a quote from "Hillel the Elder" from the first century. (I thought I was so original!)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lilongwe, Malawi (and drive back to Lusaka)

Malawi seems a little greener than Zambia.  Most of Zambia's weather comes from the Indian Ocean and skirts across Malawi, leaving some of its moisture before it gets to us in Zambia.

 There are more bricks of the red variety in Malawi than grey concrete cinder blocks.

Everything else seemed real familiar.

Not much different in day to day life.

Cabbages are in season.

And they are easy to carry home.

Having a pre-made latrine floor was a new item for me.  It even has slightly raised foot prints.

Malawi is below Zambia on all the per person income charts.
Here are people waiting outside a new football stadium hoping that they can pick up some piece work.

But once outside the big cities, life is pretty basic.

I wonder what will change in the next twenty years for this little girl far from the city.

Will every home have running water that is clean?

Will you be able to buy more than one cabbage on a shopping trip?

Will begging still be the best way to earn a living?
It appears this lady's hands were burned many years ago and she receives cash from a combie patron.

The sidewalk scones are good but I would like a little sugar sprinkled on them.

Lilongwe seems to have better city planning for the government buildings, but they are probably newer than Zambia.  This is Malawi's Parliament Building.

Suits are readily available.

It seemed I saw more Muslims and a couple of nice mosques.

I mentioned more bricks before.  Below are bricks of the homemade variety.

Gourds are plentiful at this time of year.

Malawi has these little 3-wheeled taxis to keep the economy moving.

If you don't keep moving you might get a custom made coffin.
One size does not fit all.

Kristi was leaning towards purple and it looked a little roomier.

This is always an interesting sight.

The chickens never look too disturbed.  I think they told them it was a field trip.

These types of signs are always disturbing.

Well, it is time to head west to Lusaka and a chance to throw in more of my random travel photos.

The road is pleasant.  Much better than all the stories we had heard for over a year.

Baobab trees will always intrigue me.

Back across the Luangwa River...

where the men have told their wives they have gone to get dinner.

We stopped again at the basket market and stretched our legs.

I chatted with some goats that are also on a field trip.

The piles of maize continued to grow.  They are waiting for the "middle man" to take them to the big market (or perhaps a field trip?)

There is always plenty to see along the road.

Many thing also cross the road at random times.  Cows, goats, pigs, chickens, dogs and people cross whenever they feel like it.  We tend to see more dead dogs, so they must be at the bottom of the stupid chain.  Goats tend to notice the traffic and stay out of the way.

We pass a lot of villages.

Everyone has at least one of everything - goats, pigs, chickens and kids.

Every once in a while the baboons scamper out of the way and up a tree.

Tom Humpherys just motored along and the rhythm of the road took over and all the critters stayed out of our path  -  that is until a big pig like the one below thought the rhythm of the road was 2/2 time and it was really  6/8.  The pig's drummer missed a beat and he hesitated then went forward and then made a fatal musical error by trying to correct his path rather than just move on.  He went right under my seat and it was sort of like rolling over a very large log with one tire.

We left the pig, but the squeal stayed with us for quite a while.

We pulled over up the road a ways to check the damage.  Part of the bumper was missing and the cowling between the engine compartment and wheel well was hanging.  I asked a man by a grass- topped home to borrow a knife and he came with one and cut the rest of the rubber off so it wouldn't scrape all the way home.  Everyone told us we did the right thing by driving on.  They assured us that there would be pork for dinner that night even though they weren't expecting it.

Whenever, or wherever you stop in the country, you can count on kids running to check out the Muzungus.

Sometimes we have cookies or candies to share with them.

Ten hours from Lilongwe and we are back in Lusaka, happy to have a clearer picture of what the missionaries are talking about.