|The morning began with a 6:00 a.m. walking safari, only Greg & Heidi could muster the strength to get up and participate. Unfortunately, the scout was a no-show, so it turned into a short driving safari, highlighted by a lot of bird-watching and interesting facts about wild basil-did you know it is used as an insect repellant by gently rubbing it on your skin and also as a shampoo to kill head lice when it is ground up? Using it for cooking is not a priority in Malawi.
After a breakfast which included yet another monkey swiping a bran muffin from Rob’s plate, we were able to go on a boat safari that was amazing in that our guide Henry was able to maneuver the boat within probably 25 feet of a herd of elephants grazing and playing in the waters of the Shire River-once you see the photos you will want this on your bucket list. Before leaving, Heidi and Jan were able to talk to Antonio Aguilera- a “hot” bush pilot from Spain. Besides that, he is a good contact to have as he runs an air taxi service as well.
Then we drove most of the afternoon to our final destination of Mongochi township and the Nkopola Lodge. We were excited to see that there were now 5 TV channels in this area, but only BBC Headline news captured our attention & then it was repeated every ½ hour. Jan & Heidi met with Isiah, a local artisan and former Rastafarian we had employed 2 years ago to make some carvings. Now he has shaved his dreadlocks and found Christ after he had adrenal cancer surgery and was in the hospital for 4 months. He seemed quite firm in his beliefs now and assured us in so many words that his bladder still worked well, which was more info than we really needed. God still works in the heart of Africa. We also met a newlywed couple, Thandie and Chippo, who were also devout Christians and knew Steve and Cathy Bowler, our missionary connections in Lilongwe, very well, setting up yet another networking opportunity.
The dinner buffet included goat stew, some type of beef from parts of the cow we don’t use in the States, and grilled fish that seemed to have 1000 bones-you can lose weight fast here if you don’t adapt to the culture. The rooms we stayed in were also on “Baboon Highway”, meaning you see baboons of all sizes running the handrails and jumping on the tin roof above our heads….all the time……all night long. Tomorrow will be a long day I think.