Sunday, 2 October 2011
Flies in Malawi!
OFSTED over, we departed South Luangwe and headed off into Malawi. After a night in Lilongue we stocked up on necessities and headed off to the lake. As ever we did not make the distance we needed to and so had to camp at the only place we could find - a totally derelict camp site in a howling gale. The gale force winds from the lake were so strong that they lifted the duvet off Mandy and Pete's bed in the truck. The next day we continued up the coast until we stumbled on Makhuzi Lodge. Could have been a Caribbean beach but for the LAKE FLIES! We had heard about these from a television programme but had hoped not to encounter. However the entire four days at this idyllic lodge did mean we had flurries of flies throughout our time. So much so we could literally see clouds of them on the lake coming towards the shore. The locals thought this was great as they spent their time collecting the flies to eat! Whilst here we visited the local village and school. Although we expected conditions in the school to be basic it was really sad to see that they were worse than anyone's expectation. The headmaster proudly showed us around his school including the computer room and library. The computer room had six donated computers but no electricity. The library was in a new building paid for by a Swedish charity, had tables and stools and lots of books, many of which were totally irrelevant, whilst in the classrooms, the numbers exceeded 100 in some classes and only those children whose parents could afford it had an exercise book and a pencil. The majority had nothing. The head master was cutting pencils in half and sharpening them to enable at least one class to have pencils. We have encountered much poverty in Zambia and Malawi but we have been welcomed wherever we have been. They are beautiful countries but quite heartbreaking to travel through and created anguish amongst all of us. We gave all the books and pencils we were carrying but wished we could have bought more had there been a shop with supplies within a few hours drive. In case you are wondering why we are not publishing photographs, Internet access has been very limited but we will try to get some onto the blog shortly.