Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Blantyre, Malawi

Aug 2, 2012 - Day 42 Chimoio crossing into Blantyre - Malawi

Up early for one of our longest and most complicated drives tomorrow morning - headed via Tete to Blantyre in Malawi - + 600 KM - going through Tete - seems we are lucky that there is fuel in Malawi. We crossed the Zambezi river again. We have reached Blantyre after 9 hours drive and having early . By Thomas

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Jun 19, 2011 - Farewell, Malawi

Happy Father’s Day to all! We all tried to sleep in a little but got our daily wake-up call from the giant crows outside. You would expect chickens to have that duty, but they’re all hiding from the crows. After breakfast Heidi & I watched and occasionally assisted Jan as she strategically packed our 6 suitcases with no more than 30 kg each, according to the pink cat mew-mew scale.(remember we only get to legally take 3 and are “acting stupid” about the other 3 at the airport tomorrow morning) The packing odyssey began at 10:00am and ended...

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Jun 18, 2011 - Ok, what can we get with flipflops, notepaper and T shirts?

The majority of the morning was spent with Chief Evice as we drove around Blantyre looking at 3 pieces of land he was willing to sell to the Mwana Mission project. The first parcel we never saw because the road was in such bad shape the van couldn’t make it without breaking an axle and as a group, we didn’t feel like walking 2km uphill, but it sounded nice. The second was a beautiful piece of property with a view of the mountains. Unfortunately, while walking the boundary line we became filled with thorny stickers as we plowed through the...

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Jun 17, 2011 - Unfinished Business

Breakfast at the hotel started the day- I knew a lot of energy would be needed, so I downed 3 bowls of corn flakes instead of two. The team split up once we got to downtown Blantyre. Jan & Heidi took a stroll down artisan’s row at the market and came away with some unique jewelry and giraffes made from recycled tin. The things Africans can do with scrap metal and items we would consider trash is truly amazing. Unable to find a hanging scale to properly weigh our luggage to meet airline restrictions, the girls settled on a bathroom scale in...

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Jun 16, 2011 - Rocket Balloon Show Roadside Entertainment

Breakfast at Dedza Lodge included raw oatmeal for Jan-be careful what you wish for and think you’re explaining correctly to the waiter. We also purchased some world-famous Dedza pottery for resale in the States before beginning the long trek back to Blantyre. Along the 6 hour trip we stopped at a convenience store/rest area and had a rocket balloon show and toy giveaway to the delight of a group of passing students on their way home from school. Further down the road we stopped at a roadside market and bought a van full of produce that...

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Jun 8, 2011 - Mvuu Lodge-Hippos, Warthogs and Monkeys, Oh My!

The morning of the beginning of our road trip was spent strategically packing the Flame Adventure Tours minibus until it looked liked the Beverly Hillbillies truck on its maiden voyage-we had boxes, suitcases, school supplies, diapers & anything else you could possibly imagine stuffed everywhere throughout the van until we were barely visible. Before leaving, Heidi & Rob decided to support Faktor Mbewe’s grandchildren through school-he and his wife are in their 80’s and raising their grandchildren because their children had died of HIV in...

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Jun 7, 2011 - Pay day!!

The morning began with our daily trip to the National Bank of Malawi to try to find our missing money, which was now truly at a crisis stage. We had called back to the States several times to put tracers on the money, which all indicated that it had arrived in Malawi the previous Friday, only to be told repeatedly that the money was “not here”-apparently there is some type of black hole above Blantyre that prevents wired money from arriving in any type of timely fashion. We went in the bank ready to go postal/play hardball, etc. only to be...

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Jun 6, 2011 - Blantyre Secondary School

The morning began with our daily trip to the National Bank of Malawi to pick up the wire transfer to our account which according to a tracer from our U.S. Bank, had been credited here last Friday…SURPRISE!!! There was nothing in our account. Now this is getting quite upsetting, as we have literally ZERO money left to even buy food, let alone pay our guide, Francis, and any other outstanding bills. We demanded to talk to the head of the Treasury at the bank, which was another dead end. We placed several calls back to the States and are...

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Jun 5, 2011 - Our Own Home Shopping Network

Today was devoted primarily to bartering and organizing. The bartering portion of the day began around 10:00 am, when the announcement was made throughout the house that “The Artisans are here!” This elicited a similar response to “The British are Coming” from Heidi and Jan, who immediately mobilized like the Revolutionary Army of 1776 and prepared for “pricing war” with lists, calculators, etc. There were 3 local artisans selling a variety of carvings, and the negotiations back and forth took 4 hours before a final price was agreed upon...

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Jun 4, 2011 - Another Frustrating Day:(

Today was a perfect example of “Africa Time” We went to the bank hoping the money we wired from the States over a week ago had finally arrived in our account, but after a lovely 45 minute wait, we were told by bank personnel that the people responsible for getting the money into the proper accounts were off till Monday- so we are now officially broke. Went to the airport to get our shipment out after cashing all of our remaining traveler’s checks and spent almost 4 hours waiting on the dock for our paperwork to be processed- there are no...

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Jun 3, 2011 - Frustrating Day

This turned out to be a day of total frustration, sandwiched between aggravation . First we went downtown to the National Bank of Malawi to pick up the money we had wired over from the States 1 week earlier-SURPRISE!!!!!! “I’m sorry, but there is no money in your account at this time” the teller said smiling. This resulted in panic, hyperventilation and a wake-up call to Cathy Colbert, who immediately put a tracer on the money. After that, we went to T.I.S. customs office, but our agents were out to lunch, so we had soft drinks at an...

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Jun 2, 2011 - Arrival in Malawi

Our flight from Entebbe @ 7:25 am was memorable in SO many ways. The ride to the airport starting at 4:30am was highlighted by numerous police checkpoints for no apparent reason, except for the one where we almost ran over a randomly placed spike strip, which turned out to be a sign of things to come.Upon arriving at the airport, we were told that it would cost $1200 to get our 8 suitcases on the plane-apparently our travel agent neglected to tell us that South African Airlines baggage policy isn’t remotely close to what British Airways and...

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