Monday, October 9, 2006

Monday, October 09, 2006
Mangochi, Malawi
Today I borrowed a bicycle from one of the staff at the hotel to go some exercise. It's not just a bike ride, it's an eyeful of local Malawi life. The area is predominantly Muslim. I pass mosque and mosque and madressa. The people are very peaceful and gentle Muslims and very friendly. The Catholic Church and the Muslims compete for the hearts of the people in this region.

I biked about 20 miles and enjoyed seeing the sights of fields being worked up to be planted in anticipation of the rainy season. Women carried incredible loads on their heads of water, wood and everything else. Trucks hauled a dozen or more men in the back to who knows where. It was just plain interesting to see all this activity. Children continually wave in friendly innocence.

When coming back to the Nkopola Lodge, I saw officers in military dress and a prominent-looking woman with a dress saying "Fight Corruption." We found out from brethren that she was Speaker of the Parliament who is often seen on television. Mililtary personnel in full colors were also present. We found out later that they were there for funeral of a Malawian official who was from this area of the country.

On to Church services.

Bill Jahns gave a good sermon about the education and how that knowledge is powerful and how it benefits our lives. After services we took group photos of extended families. The Salawilla family was the biggest with almost 20. The Chimbuzo family was probably second. They had about 15 of their family at the Feast. Then the Mapinda's.

One thing I really enjoy at the Feast is watching the families relate to one another and work together.

In the afternoon I had three people come by to talk about various matters.

In the evening we had another barbeque. Henry Khembo along with his wife Cindy have really been servants and have given themselves so much to these people. He had bbq'd guinea fowl and chicken along with rice or nsima, the maize staple. In the United States the closest thing to nsima is grits.

Afterwards we got together with Bill and Cheryl and had some good conversation. We are sad to have to leave this Festival site midway. We have really gotten to know the people well and would like more time with them, but Zambia calls. Tomorrow we go back to Blantyre and stay with Rotary friends and fly to Lusaka on Wednesday. Bill and Cheryl fly back to South Africa where they will continue the Festival in Uvongo on the Indian Ocean.
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