Africa Travel Log
We are hanging out at our hotel in Lilongwe, Malawi until 1pm when our taxi driver Amosi will pick us up and take us the 20 minute drive back to the airport. We will be taking a small plane to Likoma Island where we will go through Moz customs and take the ferry to Nkwichi Lodge.
We had a lovely breakfast here at the hotel and plan to spend the rest of the morning sitting on the porch of the hotel to watch the activities below on the street. We are staying in Lilongwe Old Town, which is a bustling scene of reggae-boys hawking the standard hand crafts and harassing the passers by. I have noticed people are looking for major eye contact here. Once they get it, a big smile, thumbs up, or peace sign is not far behind. Folks seem be ready to start a conversation immediately upon connection. This morning, we walked out on the 2nd story porch of the hotel, immediately several people looked up and waved. One taxi driver parked in the lot was waving, smiling, and pointing at his chest as if to say- I am here to take you anywhere you want to go! But Amosi, who brought us from the airport yesterday is on the A-list for now (unless he fails to show up at the appointed time!) He assured us he would be here on time, no need to call. Somehow I believe him!
We will forgo any walking tour here in Malawi this time through. When we return, we might be more acclimated and ready to run the gauntlet of peddlers, vendors, and performers. Malawi music is wonderful, exotic, and many people play on the street on homemade instruments. Yesterday, in our initial tentative foray (no more than 100 feet from our hotel) a 3 piece band was jamming. Two of the more persistent locals, Maurice and Innocent (great reggae names!) were asking about the choir festival in Moz. Maurice asked if we had music like this where we are from. I was pleased to say in Santa Cruz we have some amazing street musicians. I am thinking of awesome folks like Laurel Thomsen (violin), Thomas Sage (djembe, drumbox, didgeridoo) and even our own Santa Cruz World Choir & Orchestra who do street performances. But this Malawi trio was very good! Guitar, some sort of drum, and a long sticklike instrument that lay in his lap with one long string, played like a dobro with a tin cup sliding up and down the string. The guitarist was a very good singer, and if it hadn’t been for the fellow sidling closer and closer to my pocket we might have stayed longer. My jet lag definitely played into my lack of tolerance yesterday and I hope to walk around a bit more when we pass through on the way home.