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Tour du monde en autostop - Jeremy Marie

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 Travel Diary : A story about scintillating, Malawi

The first reason which makes me choose to go through Malawi was, as a French citizen, the visa is free. After having spent hundreds of dollars with the visa from Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania; I can say that I appreciated the fact.
Malawi was a pretty nice country to go through, with a kind and open population, as the other countries of East Africa.
The landscape was also very beautiful because the road is going along the lake, and the lake is going along the country.
The country is not very big and to cross it, it took me only 2 weeks. Here are the impressions that I had after having spent 15 days in this country situated in the Rift Valley.


An activity around the lake and the forest

The Malawi (or Nyassa) lake is covering around 20% of the country and is situated on the east side of the state. It was difficult for me to miss it, especially because of the number of people who told me to go to have a look at it.
The lake was indeed amazing and is the origin of an important activity in Malawi: the fishing.

The Malawi Lake in the village of Chilumba, in the North of the country

A lot of people are fishing in this country and well, too many people at the end. The lake is just emptying and in some years, it will be difficult for the Malawian population to be autonomous about it.

A fishing boat of Malawian fishermen

By the way, one of the meal I took in Malawi was a dish of the notorious Sima (or Ugali or Poche) coming with some tiny fishes which I definitely forgot the name.

The tiny Malawians fishes, you feel it under the tooth!

Even the Malawian flag is making the glory of the lake with a picture meaning the sunrise scintillating on the lake

The Malawian flag, which is glorying his lake

In the other hand, the country is rich in vegetation and forests. There is a lot of different species of trees and it was nice for me to be able to smell the good odor of eucalyptus of the pines.
The tea is also an important agriculture in Malawi and it is always wonderful to watch this green color exploding in the landscape.
The tea fields, impossible to miss them in Malawi

Anyway, as the fact that the world is largely consuming his resources, the forest is diminishing in Malawi. The main reason is the production of coal which lead a massive proportion of the population to cut everything which is growing... without replanting of course. One of the big problems in Africa is this way to not care about the future. Dealing with the problems day after day without thinking about tomorrow is the quotidian which I get familiar with in this continent.

Some bags of coal to sell along the road

The African way of life: how to deal with problems

If there is something which I had to congratulate in Malawi and in all Africa, this is the way the people are dealing with problem with so few things. Recycling is a word coming from this continent without any doubt. Any object has a life expectancy very superior as what can be in Europe and can be used 2, 3, 4 or even 5 times for different things!

Here is a minibus. This one didn't work anymore, this is not finish for him for this reason. The different pieces can be useful. The proof, there is only the carcass remaining!

 

In Malawi, we use a lot the environment and everything which is around us. I already talked about the lake and the forest. The river can be a useful way to get water or to clean the clothes for example. Most of the time in the villages, the only spring of water doesn't come from the tape but from the closest river.

The river, a strategic place to clean your clothes 

While a hitch-hiking lift, I could discover the easy ways used by my truck driver to earn a little bit better his life. Indeed, the daily life is difficult in Malawi for an ordinary worker. Here is the story of my driver: "In Malawi, if I want to save money, I must prepare my food myself. It makes me having a break of 3 hours for every meal and then working more to not lose more".
Indeed, I had the chance to live myself the experience of the lunch with him. We stayed in a place for 3 hours, time to prepare and cook the pork and the rice.

A lunch taken under a truck to protect ourselves from the sun in Malawi 

Hitch-hiking in Malawi

I wouldn't say that Malawi was the easiest country to hitch-hike in Africa but that remains doable. Indeed, the vehicles are still stopping easily but the difficulty came from the price of the local transports.
I explain myself better: the cost of the petrol is incredibly high for a normal income in Malawi (the price of the petrol is almost the same than in France, not the salary of course), the price of the local transport was in this way higher.
It has been developed something to fight this fact and to keep on moving in Malawi: every vehicle, which can be a pick up, a truck or whatever, seems to offer his services for a cheaper price than the local transports.
The challenge was to find vehicles accepting to take me for free. Knowing that the Malawian population is ready to help, sociable and kind, I didn't have big problem to go through this difficulty.

A Malawian sharing a lift on the back of a truck 

Pictures of Malawi, mix-up

This is always difficult to explain a feeling, an atmosphere. Malawi got this soft African way of life and everything coming with. In this fact, I am going to share with you some pictures of the country which represents a part of my crossing of this narrow little state.

While my long time of walking along the road, it has been nice to look at the Malawian style of houses, with their roof made of stubble... ah that remains me Normandy that! 

In Africa, there is constantly people on the road, everywhere and all the time. The women in Malawi have a veil with, by choice, a baby rolled up inside. 

The "Shake Shake"! This drink is a kind of maize beer which we need to shake before to drink. We can see the paperboard box everywhere in the country. I have tasted better but... how would I have missed an appointment with the local population around a Shake Shake? 

Before to leave you, let me share with you a little picture: the one of the sunrise...scintillating on the Malawi Lake... ahah 

See you soon

Jeremy



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