I haven’t had a chance to post in a few weeks so it’s probably about time for an update. As some of you may have known, my birthday was this past week and I have managed to work out quite an extended series of celebrations.
Last weekend I took my first trip to the lake since getting to Malawi. A friend and I took a bus, then walked, then hitched a ride, then hopped on some bike taxis, then jumped in a truck, then flagged two more bike taxis before we finally made it to our lodge on the lake. Senga Bay is Lilongwe’s closest lakeside town and has sprouted a number of lodges and hotels, but not much in the way of a town center. It has suffered economically with the fuel shortage and there were very few people at the hotels even though it was a three-day weekend. So we spent a quiet 3 days just laying on the beach, swimming in the lake, and reading.
While it was a relaxing and enjoyable weekend, I was happy to get back to the Centre, which I now feel thoroughly comfortable calling home.
Wednesday was filled with birthday wishes from friends and family. I spent the day working in the garden – seeding, transplanting, weeding, pruning, and saving seed. We also finally decided to get our chicken tractors up and running; they will now be rotating throughout the different fallow garden plots in order to add their nutrients, eat our pests, and aerate the soil. We’re really starting to develop a more holistic system that is very exciting to see.
In the evening we had a big feast to celebrate. Our Malawian neighbors, the Mgala’s, came over and everyone cooked something to contribute, including my favorite eggplant dish and a chocolate cake. It was quite decadent! The festivities are scheduled to continue this weekend, with a Saturday night on the town.
It was the perfect birthday week and has made me realize just how lucky I am to have found a place and a calling that I so thoroughly enjoy. When people asked how I wanted to spend my birthday, the only thing I could think was that just a normal day here seemed to perfect way to turn 28.