Now in Zomba. A town of generosity and beauty.

The University of Malawi Chancellor’s College provided a guest house for me until my “permanent” home will be ready next week. It has two bedrooms to accommodate visitors and is on a spacious landscape. Here are some images of the college guest house where I am staying:

2016.01.08.09b Guest House2 In Zomba

This is the beautiful driveway to the guest house. I truly like the red clay-like “pavement” over the asphalt I’ve been accustomed to as a city dweller. Most of the roads and “sidewalks” are of this substance, and it is like walking on a soft carpet. Many go barefoot as a result!

2016.01.08.09 Guest House3 In ZombaThis is the lovely view outside of my bedroom window in the morning.

View from BR window

The only down side to having windows open all of the time without screens on them are the ravenous insects that come after my flesh in the middle of the night. Thus, the mosquito net. Before leaving for Malawi I had a series of vaccinations for Hepatitis A and typhoid fever, and I need to take a daily prophylactic of doxycycline to prevent malaria. Malaria is one of the worst diseases in Malawi in addition to HIV and cholera from poor water sources.

Mosquito Net on my bed

When I move to my permanent (8 month) location on Sunday, this is the view from the driveway. The juxtaposition of natural beauty and mainstream poverty is hard to embrace. But this is Malawi. Road to campus from my houseThis is a primary school in the neighborhood of my guest house, adjacent to the college.2016.01.11 Primary school in Zomba

The center of downtown Zomba. Zomba Street 2Zomba Street 1Out of necessity, and recommended by the Fulbright administration, I bought a second-hand car to get me around since there is no public transportation. There are a few private taxis and minivans that transport people into town from the more remote villages, but they are not recommended by the State Department for U.S. citizens due to safety concerns. Thus, this is the little car I got today:

Car parked at guest houseOh- and it is a REALLY BIG CHALLENGE to have the steering wheel on the right and to drive on the left hand side of the road. I think I said “oops” about 35,000 times today while driving around town. Plus, the many pedestrians and bicycles are perpetual obstacles. No texting and driving here, for sure. If my eyes leave the road, some one surely will get hurt.

Me in car

After a few driving lessons with my new friends who helped me to buy the car, I drove around the lovely Chancellor’s College Campus. Meet Only and Roderick:

Only and Roderick with Car

And the campus:Campus viewCampus Parking LotChanco SculptureChanco CorridorCampus MapAnd here is my new Department Chair! Don’t worry, Derrick, he is only a temporary surrogate 🙂 His name is Chimwemwe Chavinda and he has been amazingly gracious in helping me to feel at home here in Malawi. Look at the shirt!!!!

Chimwemwe in FSUAfter I drove through the campus, I took on the challenge of driving through the town. Many cars were passing me since I was going so slow, trying to differentiate between the turn signal and the windshield wiper. All of the counter-intuitive turns into the left lane instead of the right, has given me quite the headache, but I truly enjoyed meeting new friends at the main market.

Vendor Black Ebony Giraffe Key ChainThis man carved me a wonderful giraffe key chain out of African Ebony.

Ebony GiraffeAnd, of course, while at the market I had to get the traditional Malawian Women’s Skirt – the Chitenje!  This woman in the market hemmed it for me on the spot to accommodate my genetic shortness 🙂

Hemming my ChitenjaAfter which I deserved Malawian ice cream from this very friendly street vendor:

Ice cream vendorAnd when back at the Guest House I had to try on my new Malawian Chitenje. These skirts (worn as a wrap out of only 2 meters of colorful fabric), are the most comfortable in the world. Why I have put up with zippers and belts and buttons, I’ll never know. But if you are a woman and want comfort, get a Chitenje!

Me in Chitenje

3 thoughts on “Now in Zomba. A town of generosity and beauty.

  1. So happy you have a blog site now! That reverse driving must be a resl challenge……lol……We all love you and miss you already! Thaanks for all the pictures. We love your skirts!


  2. Audrey, although I am sure the change in driving is a real challenge (is it standard, as well?)-I know that you will find a way to adjust and excel-you ALWAYS DO! I am so glad I followed to see your blog. The picture story is just wonderful!! And you so fit in that environment….it seems you are “home” rather than away. The Chitenje material you chose is so you as is the style, in general. The town and art objects are so colorful. I do not see poverty I see richness. Especially in the landscape! I am not surprised you have made friends already but am so happy for you! And that car….I LOVE IT! Again, so you. Thank you for the awesome pics! I look forward to seeing your house, when you move in. Thank you for starting my day with a warm heart and smile regardless of the rain and wind here…you bring SUNSHINE and LIGHT. With Love, Nedra


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