Friday, January 9, 2009

zomba holiday!

On Monday I took off down south to go to Zomba (pronounced with a long o sound). It has offically made my list of most beautiful places on earth. It looked a lot like the coastal range in Oregon, but with many waterfalls and the occasional palm tree.
This is butterfly falls. I walked barefoot up it. It's really smooth rock that the water flows over.

This one is called William's Falls.

This is Vicki and I. She is going to be my new roomate. Please note that I am wearing my jacket only because it had just poured rain. Not really because I was cold. It did get cold at night- which was wonderful, but day time was pretty warm.

This is the view as we were driving down. So pretty. Look at the clouds!

This is Vicki buying mangos on the side of the road. Awesome.

The big daddy baboon. At this point we were all carrying rocks in our hands just in case. But he stopped just a few feet off the road and posed for a picture. I couldn't resist. They're pretty ugly creatures.
It was a great holiday. I feel refreshed and as ready for school as I ever will be, I suppose. We start on Monday after a whole month off. I'm excited to see my kiddos, but not really for the marathon days to start back up again. Thanks for the blog comments, emails and of course your prayers. Missing and loving you all!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

a licensed driver....

On Friday some friends and I decided that the time has come to obtain our Malawi driver's licenses. I know that I've been here for a year and a half, but after reading this post you will know why I've been procrastinating this chore.

Here is how our day went.

9:30- leave campus
9:50- arrive at the ministry of transportation and other motor vehicle issues (that's not the name, but it's something long and crazy that begins with ministry)
9:50-10:10- wait in line, get annoyed at the people who join the line in front instead of in the back. one trick is to stand inches from the person in front of you so that there is no room for a cutter.
10:15- we are escorted to the front of line (probably because we are mzungu [white people] and clearly do not know what we are doing). we are told to go to room 9. and we're off!
10:17- arrive at room 9 and are promptly told to go to room 6 (it's a scavenger hunt!)
10:17:30- we turn around and arrive at room 6. the man talks on his cell phone for a few minutes while we wait for him to help us. Andy says, we are here to get our driving license. Here are my documents. The man graciously takes Andy's documents and stares at them for a good three minutes before saying, "you must make copies and bring them here." "Can we make copies in the office here?" "No, the manager is on holiday. The office is locked." "Ok, we'll be back with copies, you will be here?" "Yes, until 12 I will be here"
10:20-10:50- drive back to campus, go to school, make copies, drive back and go straight to room 6
11:00- our papers are finally processed and we are told, once again, to head back to room 9
11:00-11:30 we are cut in front of about 5 times (there are only about 5 other people there besides us) and finally we begin the process to get a license. We sign the machine, they take each one of our fingerprints, they take a picture of us and send us down to the cashier.
11:30- the most heroic act of the day- Andy queing like a Malawian! I wish I had a picture of Andy standing at the front of the line agressively holding his place. The guys in the line were so gross and slimy and to say it politely, smelly. Andy waited for a while with all of our papers to pay (about $45). Then, the time came where it was someone's turn. Andy decided it was his and grabbed onto the bars and used them to pull himself to the front, knocking everyone else out of the way. It was amazing! We would have been there all day if we waited like we were in a normal line.
11:45- back up to our friend in room 6 who does some more computer work, gives a printed out copy of our license and tells us to come back in a month to pick up the licenses. Mission accomplished!

Oh, Malawi.