Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Homeward Bound

July 9, 2009

Today, Crisha and I begin our trip home.  We fly out of Lilongwe, Malawi around 2:55PM (5:55AM Pacific) and arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa 2.5 hrs later.  We will have a 26 hour lay over, which we plan to spend at a Bed & Breakfast.  We’re hoping to blog a bit more in Jo’burg about our internetless days.  From there, we’ll fly to Zurich, Switzerland, where we’ll have an 8 hr layover.  Then, we fly to LAX, finally landing State-side around 4:25PM on Sunday.

Visiting Angel

June 21, 2009

Friday, Vicki, Crisha and I took a couple mini buses and bicycle taxis out to Chipoka Secondary School to stay with Lisa’s friend, Angel. Angel lives in a small 10’x12′ single room, brick house.  Her kitchen, shower and toilet are outside, in an enclosed courtyard.

After we’d dropped off our backpacks, we went down to the harbor, where we found the Ilala docked.  I’m told this is quite the event for Chipoka.  Then, we along the lake, past some cows and sat on a couple benches on the beach in front of the Chipoka Lodge.  A waiter came out to us and chatted for a bit.  We ordered some Cokes and Fantas and the bar tender brought them out.  It was very peaceful and relaxing.

Bertha and her sister made nsima, steamed vegetables, fish and goat entrails for dinner at Clement’s place.  After dinner, there was a party.  Clement put on some music videos, cranked up the volume and began to dance.  Crisha, Angel, Bertha and Evan danced as well, much to the entertainment of Vicki and myself.

Crisha and Vicki left the party around 11:30pm with Angel.  Around 12:30am, I crashed in a back bedroom at Clement’s place.  I found out in the morning that the party went ’till 2 in the morning!

We had some breakfast at Angel’s place.  Then, we went to go visit Clement’s math class.  The day’s lesson was on paying electric, water and telephone bills.  The students weren’t very responsive to Clement’s questions, but that was probably because there were 4 white people sitting in the back of the classroom.

Around 11am, we headed back down to catch a mini bus.  Angel rode to Salima with us and walked us around the town a bit.  We stopped at some shops and bought some Chitenges.  Around 1pm, we jumped on a mini bus headed for the Lilongwe, and Angel caught a mini bus back to Chipoka.

Angel will be going on safari with us.  So, we’ll see her again in a few days.

New Photo Sets:

I need more power

June 18, 2009

On Wednesday, we went to Chitipi, an orphanage associated with Children of the Nations (COTN), for about an hour and a half.  The first half of our visit was spent reading with the 32 kids/teens.

Crisha read with a girl that would have been placed in a moderate/severe class in the States.  Then, she got to hold a 9-month old baby.

I played America vs Malawi football (soccer) barefoot with some of the Westmont College guys.  I tore about 2 square inches of skin off the bottom of my right foot.

We’ll probably be back a few times during our stay in Malawi.

The power just went out for the three times on Thursday.  It was off from around 10:00 to 10:30am.  It dropped out the second time while I was writing this blog post, around 11am.  And, it went out briefly for a third time while we ate lunch.

More photos from around the ABC campus are uploading, now.  Check them out here.

Dinner Out, Lights Out

June 16, 2009

We went out to dinner, yesterday, to a place called The Copper Pot.  The food was amazing.  I had Thai Chicken Chow Mein and Crisha had the Chicken Curry.  Both were great dishes. The food took forever to come out of the kitchen and we were sitting a good while after we were done, waiting for the check.  And, I’m told that’s the best service we’ll see in Malawi.

After dinner we went back home to find the power out.  :-/  It came back on about 15 minutes later.  I don’t know how long it’d been out before we arrived.  So, I’ve experienced a couple of the local common problems just in my first couple days.

Good Morning, Malawi

June 15, 2009

Crisha and I survived our trip and have arrived safely.  We landed in the mid-afternoon (3 or 4pm, I can’t remember, now).  Lisa drove us to African Bible College (ABC) to drop out luggage off and then took us to a dinner party.  Some of the short term missionaries at one of the local missions were going home.  So, the crew hosted a party.  The best part was the chicken slaying.  Remind me to post the pictures and videos, later.

Crisha is staying with Lisa.  I’m bunking with Andy though Wednesday; then, I’ll be house sitting for the Dehnerts.  The houses are made of brick – kinda like back East – but there are bars on the inside of every window and there are huge bolts on every door.  Security is a concern, but once you lock yourself in, you’re safe.  It’s common for the electricity to go out in the early morning.  The campus is encircled by a tall brick wall with an electric fence on top.  And, the campus has guards patrolling through the night.  But, when the power goes out, people jump it to steal from the campus.

I slept through most of the night.  I woke to the sound of some women yelling and then a panic alarm, (every house on campus has a panic button) which sounds like a car alarm.  The residents say this is not unusual. It was, however, unusual that the thieves went into a house to steal items, normally they take items from the porches – tables, chairs, laundry that was left out, etc. They have NEVER entered someones house, it is a new challenge.  The men of the campus are going to meet tonight and make a plan to have to help prevent/know what to do if something like this happens again.

Water is also unreliable.  I’ve only heard a little from the residents.  It doesn’t sound like it’s out as often as the power, but it’s harder to go without.  Residents need to treat water before it’s drinkable, which means that they need to be prepared for the odd weekend when the water is out.

I think we’re off to school soon.  More stories when we have time… and power… and internet…

Ready, but still not packed

June 10, 2009

We leave for Malawi in less than 72 hours!

Are we pack?  Of course not.  But, we have begun to gather the items that will need to be packed.  So, that’s some progress.

I’ve also been trying to organize some iTunes music and rip some of my DVDs into iTunes.  We loose at 3-4 days to travel.  So, I’m trying to prepare for boredom.

If you’re curious as to what it takes to commute to Malawi and back:

Departure
From
To
Arrival
Flight
06/13/2009 19:20 LAX ZRH 06/14/2009 15:45 Swiss Flight LX 41
06/14/2009 22:45 ZRH JNB 06/15/2009 9:10 Swiss Flight LX 288
06/15/2009 11:40 JNB LLW 06/15/2009 14:05 South African Airways 170
Four weeks in Malawi!
07/10/2009 14:55 LLW JNB 07/10/2009 17:25 South African Airways 171
07/11/2009 19:25 JNB ZRH 07/12/2009 06:10 Swiss Flight LX 289
07/12/2009 13:10 ZRH LAX 07/12/2009 16:40 Swiss Flight LX 40

Party with the Ambassador?

June 9, 2009

Yesterday, I got an email from the U.S. Embassy in Lilongwi, Malawi.  (I registered our trip on travel.stat.gov.)  We’ve been invited to a July 4th celebration at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence.  Tickets are 1,000 MK (about 7 USD), but there will be a jump house (and food and music and games).

So, now we’re in a dilema.  This is right in the middle of a road trip that Lisa was planning for us.  So, do we interrupt/abort the Trans-Malawian Road Trip?  Or, do we pass on an opportunity to Party with the Ambassador?

A Dozen Days

June 1, 2009

Twelve days left until we leave for Malawi. And, I can’t help but feel that Crisha and I have too much to do.

We went shopping this evening. We got more DEET but repelent, as well as some iodine tablets to sterilize water for drinking and a few other important travel items. REI is awesome.

Pine and Honey

May 28, 2009

I think the conditioner here smells like pine needles and honey. Not necessarily bad, but I think it’s strange.

Arriving at JAM 2009

May 27, 2009

This year’s JAM (Jenzabar Annual Meeting) is in Washington D.C. at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.  (JAM 2009 web page)

I flew in on Tuesday, but had a throbbing headache.  So, after arriving at the resort, I grabbed some food with Bryan and then crashed in my room.  I’m feeling much better, now.  I have about 3 hours before sessions start, and I’ve brought my DSLR, this time.  So, I’m going to explore the resort a bit and take some photos.