This is where we stayed in Lilongwe. It had slow and expensive internet, like most places in Africa. But I was very happy to have at least a little bit of internet. I did manage to find some warm water for a shower. The tent area was pretty crowded. There was more than one overland truck in the parking lot. The allure of the place was its’ closeness to the main shopping area of town. We could walk there in less than 30 minutes. Note that the largest dimension available for this picture is 1024 X 768 as it was uploaded at a very slow bandwidth from a remote location in Africa.
When I got back to the shopping center I treated myself to a creamy concoction from the Creamy inn. It was pretty good. Note that the largest dimension available for this picture is 1024 X 768 as it was uploaded at a very slow bandwidth from a remote location in Africa.
A few doors down from the Creamy inn was a store that had a sign outside that said the name of the store was "game" but the sign inside alluded that it was in collusion with my favorite American retailer, Wal-Mart. I liked the store. It was new with a modern design and carried lots of cool stuff.
Lilongwe had a very nice shopping center. A few blocks away was one of the local markets. It was something of a dump. Literally. It was on a river and it appeared that there could have been a few homeless people living on the bank of the river. All that material in the foreground of the picture that looks like it might be trash is, well… trash. And the smell was overwhelming. I didn’t last long in this part of the Old Town. I thought it would be in my best interest to turn around and go back to the middle-class shopping center. So I did.
We were in Lilongwe, Malawi to see the city. There really wasn’t a lot to see. It had a nice shopping center where we got a few days supply of groceries, some local money from the ATM and we took a shower at the campground. Showers become very important when you’re living in a truck. Malawi’s biggest attractions are located in the countryside, but Lilongwe is the capital and the country’s largest city. This sign was the biggest HD screen in the country. Any time that I get the opportunity to take a picture of a country’s biggest HD screen I’m going to take it. It was the size of a small billboard.
This is the sticker in the window of the office in the strip-mall that housed the Malawi tourism office. This strip-mall is in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. To my surprise the strip-mall was a very nice place and reminded me of a typical strip-mall that you would see in most of the cities in the mid-western section of the United States. The only difference was that there wasn’t a lot of white folks around.
It’s not really a good picture, but there is something of a problem taking really good pictures as we were traveling along the great Malawi motorway. The problem was that the good pictures could be gone in a moment of two. Yes, I could have been more prepared, but that would have required me to sit in readiness for the next great photo and I wasn’t willing to invest that kind of time into those few shots that were neat, but not earth-shaking. So, I tried to keep abreast of what was going on outside without letting it be all-consuming as far as my time was concerned. This shot was taken from inside the truck and, if you look at the largest size of the picture, you can get some detail as to what I would classify as a typical local market scene in a rural area. There were a lot of people, the environment was a needy candidate for adopt-a-street, and the market was full of things that could be bought for a very reasonable sum of money.
There’s a story here. This is another one of those occasions when I hired a local to take me around and show me some sites. I paid one guy $4 one day to show me around for an hour and the next day I paid another guy $6 for a two hour tour. The $6 tour was the best. We went and saw the fishing village that was located on the beach and spent some time with the fisherman as they brought their catch in that morning. There were hundreds of people at the beach waiting on the locals to return, one dugout canoe at a time. We bought some of the fish they caught and took it to the guide’s house and had lunch with his family. The lunch included some of the fish and cassava , a local plant that is a staple of the diet for those living around the lake. I thought it was all pretty interesting, even the sand in the cassava which caused me to curtail my consumption of the root. Oh, and did I mention the hundreds of little kids who followed me all over the island wanting to hold my hand? This is one time in my life when I was really glad I had my sanitizer with me.
Guess who had another wild night. NO, it wasn’t me. I went to bed early. I took this picture first thing in the morning before anyone cleaned up. It seems that someone got one of the ice chests and used it as a punch bowl. They might as well, we hardly ever saw anywhere to buy any ice. Anyway, I heard they gathered up a little liquor and some fruits and fruit juices and mixed it all together. Then they played some games where the losers had to drink. I’m still not sure why the losers got to drink. If I paid all that money for the alcohol and I was a winner, I would want to be the one to drink. I checked the cost of the AK47 vodka. They cost $10 a bottle. I thought that was an interesting name for a brand of vodka. The Malawi vodka was only $6 a bottle. I wonder if anyone really noticed whether one was any better than the other after the first drink of punch or two. By the way, all those bottles were empty when I arrived to fix a cup of coffee in the morning and I think they found a couple of more somewhere on thegrounds
I’ve been told it’s a tradition for the truck I’m on. Maybe it is. The locals brought a pig and put it on a spit and the crew took turns turning the spit. When it was all over we ate a lot of pig. Don’t get me wrong, I eat pig. But, I prefer the pork to be pulled pork and I like it with bar-b-que sauce on a bun. But, in a pinch I can be persuaded to indulge in a pig that I helped cook.