Head South 10/52b

Sunday, February 26, 2017
Blantyre, Southern Region, Malawi
We woke up early on Friday to pack and hit the road. Our first stop was in Dedza. We were able to show the Hilgens the Pottery and also the Dedza Handmade Paper Company. We love the shop, the product is fabulous and really reasonably priced. He once again gave us a tour and demonstrated how they make the paper. He collects old paper from businesses in Dedza and Lilongwe and shreds them to form the base of his paper; it's really lovely.

From Dedza we drove to Ntcheu where we had the opportunity to visit longtime members, Esther and Samuel Chilopora . They are a lovely couple that welcomed us in like old friends. Getting to their home was an adventure (like many places here in Malawi) as there was a sudden and very heavy downpour, causing their road to turn into a fairly raging creek. We parked the Bongo at the top of the road and gingerly made our way down the hill. True to form I took a step where those before me had already stepped (cleanly and without incident) only to find the once stable ground had shifted and my foot went straight into the mud. It wouldn't be an L&L adventure without at least one mishap.

The Chiloporas fed us a delicious lunch, told us the story of how they met; how they came to be a doctor and nurse, and how they were called into God's church. I look forward to visiting them again.

A little ways out of town we happened upon what appeared to be the watermelon capital of Malawi. Every fifty feet or so a specially built rack would appear laden with watermelons and what appeared to be a smallish yellow melon . After passing some of these sites we decided to stopped buy one. It should be noted that this was on the side of the highway; meaning every thirty seconds a car would whip past us at a high rate of speed. We were not eager to spend a long period of time there, so we accepted his price, paid for the melon and moved on. A short while later we decided to stop to try out the yellow melon; upon asking the price and name of it we discovered that we had in fact over-paid by 3x than we should have for our watermelon, and we were told the yellow melon was also a watermelon; that was a lie. It was, in fact, a giant cucumber.

We finally arrived in Blantyre, only to be met by standstill traffic; making us much later to meet Gracious Mpilangwe than we had hoped; he was very kind about the delay and escorted us to our guest house.

On the Sabbath the congregation in Blantyre met us with a bouquet of flowers (with a boutonnière for Lewis) and a welcome song. We enjoyed getting to know some of the members; and look forward to being able to see them again in the future.

Unfortunately for us, something we ate did not agree with our guts; three out of four of us were not overly well. Brennan blames the giant cucumber as he was the only one unaffected and he was the only one who didn't get sick. Michala vehemently denies it. I think it definitely probably was the cucumber.

Next week will be a double entry as we have lots of travel lined up then as well.
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