Cesca's big adventure
Left the beautiful island of Zanzibar a few days ago with its narrow maze of streets, fish markets, old slave market site, and wonderful paintings and wooden carvings (of which I bought my share). We travelled back to Dar es Salaam and stayed at Makadi beach (a penninsular in Dar) on the eve of St Patricks day. Much drinking (of green drinks) was to be had at the bar. Heading south on the long drive to Malawi, we stopped for a night at Kisolanza Organic Farm where we had the most spectacular food and stocked our truck with lots of organic meat and veg, including a whole lamb for our planned spit roast in Malawi. The folowing day we travelled to Chitimba in Malawi for a night and then onto Kande Beach on Lake Malawi. Enroute we stopped at the town of Mzuzu to shop in the local market. We had all received a brief to buy an outrageous outfit for one of our fellow travellers for a dress up party. The local market folk, well used to western overland truckers entering into such madness bombarded us with strange and unique items of clothing. That evening we ate a traditional south african poiky (? spelling) and home made beer bread, exchanged outfits and had much fun (photos in the fun and frolicks album - note the defrosting lamb hanging from the truck in the group photo!) Yesterday was a good travelling day! I did a lots and learnt a lot. Early morning I walked to the local village to the Chief's house (he is chief of some 200, 000 people) and then visited the hospital (seeing a 5 hour old baby) and the school. I donated a few of the many antibiotics I have brought with me to the hospital. The chiefs son also told us about a lot of sad and destructive customs still being practiced which he would like to change when he becomes chief - like the 3 week rule. If you have a girlfiend/boyfriend you are obliged to marry them within 3 weeks of meeting them. This encourages lots of secret relationships and because of the secrecy men sometimes have many girlfriends which encourages the spread of HIV and AIDS. He also wanted to change the baby rule. Babies born here are not named until 3months old. When he approached a local elder to enquire the reason, he was told that before 3months a baby is not considered fully human and hence if they die before reaching three months they are not given a coffin or proper burial and the fathers are not allowed to cry. It rained heavily for some of the morning so my walk to and from the village was done through muddy fields in barefoot, true african style. I did scrub my feet afterwards as there are creatures in the mud that can burrow into your feet and under your toenails - and so far no creatures spotted in my feet. One of the guys in the village, with a very pronounced stammer, took me to see his sister who is married to one of the chiefs sons and they had just had twin girls five days ago. They were truly scrumptions. In the afternoon I went horse riding for a couple of hours through the woods, fields, long grasses and villages. One of my fellow riders from Holland had raised some money a few years ago and built a school locally which she mananged. She was well know and attracted lots of hellos as we rode through the villages. After my ride, I went swimming in Lake Malawi on my horse 'Annie Fergus' which was amazing. Later last night (as I had done the previous night) I went down to the beach to play drums with the locals by the fireside. A rather full day. This morning, I am feeling my bottom muscles intensely - but nevermind, the horse riding was definately worth it !! Next stop Zambia................