The Plague Hits Likhubula

The past couple days have been marked by rampant illness inflicting our group.  The following are people who got ill:

-Justin  -Dillon  -Chelsea  -Sarah  -Caroline  -Evan  -Kayla   -Erin  -Jess

there have really only been roughly 5 or 6 people who haven’t gotten ill including myself.  I don’t know if it’s because I’ve travelled fairly extensively or because I have an iron-clad immune system, but for some reason I haven’t gotten sick so far.

The past couple days those of us who haven’t been ill have gone to Chitakale and swam at Likhubula Pools.  Tomorrow I’m going back to Chitakale to buy supplies for our trek up the mountain.  I really think most of our group is underestimating how hard it will be to summit Mt. Mulanje (elevation ~10,000 ft).  I’m a little bit anxious about the climb, not because of how high it is, but just the actual act of hiking up a mountain for literally a day.

Likhubula House has died down quite a bit.  We’re the only big group since the Presbyterian Missionaries left, and only a few random travelers are occupying the house right now.

Karl from the Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust is due to speak to us tomorrow about what our responsibilites will be when we intern there.  I’ll also probably be volunteering at the hospital in Chileka or at the local school in Mbewa.  I’m really looking forward to getting a little dirty in development work.

We’ve gotten along very well with the locals thus far.  The first couple of days we were here we were seen as somewhat of a circus act, but the curiousity has worn off and now the children freely come up to hang out with us.  Today at Likhubula Pools (which by the way is actually just parts of the river where it levels off forming a pool) some local children hung out with us.  We caught them singing “Wavin’ Flag” by K’Naan, so we joined them in singing and were fascinated by our iPods.  The really young kids know very little English, but what they do know is “Give me money”.  I guess the parents are starting them young.

I’m still enjoying Malawi and it’s been everything I thought it’d be and more.  I miss everyone back home and I’m looking forward to sharing with them my pictures and stories.  But until my return I’m going to continue to enjoy the simplicities of life here in Mulanje District.

Mswahla, didibueno

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