Jon and I flew to Malawi for a short trip after I finished up school for the semester. We arrived without a hitch and went to Baylor’s office for the afternoon so Jon could get some work done. I usually just catch up on the Interwebs there but Jon’s boss, Saeed, needed to go to the grocery store so I went with him to the one right by the office. It was my first time in a grocery store in Malawi and it was relatively similar to ones in SA! (Though, Saeed told me that’s a newer development…)
We went to check in at Kumbali (where we usually stay) and then went to play games, have pizza and watch “Game of Thrones” with our friend, Ben, and his roommates. (That was the first thing I asked Jon when we booked the trip during season 7 of this show – “How will we watch that week’s episode??” Phew.)
On Tuesday, a friend of mine, Kate, came to pick me up and we had a nice lunch at Ama Coffee, this really cute restaurant set in a garden. It was great to catch up in such a lovely setting. That night, we met up with Ben and friends at Latitude 13’s restaurant, begrudgingly, and it was really nice! I tried not to complain more than once but I can’t remember if I was successful… 🙂
Wednesday, Jon’s immediate team at Baylor came to Kumbali to have a meeting at their conference center so I got to have breakfast with Jon, Saeed and his wife, Maria. When they were done for the day, Jon’s colleague (and our friend), Katie, came to my room to catch up and then we met up with the rest of the team, including our friend, David, and his wife, Carla. We played some games and had dinner. The power went out partway through so we played and ate by candlelight, which was actually really fun!
On Thursday, I talked to the owner for an hour at breakfast and got a great sense of how it is to run a business there. We discussed politics, animal predators that come on the property, food supplies, the need to stay current with hospitality trends, etc. It was really neat! Later that morning, Ben came to pick me up and we had a nice lunch at Lark, despite Ben being there… 🙂 That night, Jon and I ate at an Indian place we like, Blue Ginger, packed and prepped to wake up early the next day to head out.
Jon had to go to a 7:30 am meeting on our last day so I went with him and sat in the lobby until it ended. We got a ride to the airport and after a lengthy delay, we got back to Joburg. We hadn’t been in Lilongwe for long but we had Trevor Noah tickets in Joburg that night that we had booked in December so we had to get back! We’d originally planned to meet friends for dinner before the show but that got ruined by our travel delays so we went straight to the TicketPro Dome, had concession stand food for dinner and settled in. There were a few local comedians that went on before, a random rock-rap show by a guy named Supa Mega (that is not a joke) and then the main man came out. It was amazing! We are huge fans of “The Daily Show” and his stand-up did not disappoint. I’d say I understood 85% of the jokes (there was some local humor that went over my head) and we laughed the entire time. It was great… By the time we got back home it was after midnight and Jack and Scout were impatiently waiting by the door.
Throughout the week, I spent my free time looking up GRE testing information, sending out inquiries re: possible volunteering opportunities, looking up my grades from the summer semester that had finally posted, catching up on e-mail, and reading articles that had been open on my phone and laptop since June (very Nadav-like!), as I didn’t have time for recreational reading during school. It’s always so nice for me to be in Malawi to see friends and take care of some things. It was a super uneventful, easy trip! (Which was nice after the excitement during trips #1 and #2…) 🙂
Yay for the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’!
– By Naama