Saturday, December 31, 2011


For Christmas, me and six of my closest friends here in Malawi went to the beautiful islands in the northern lakeshore. We all met in Mzuzu, then traveled together to Nhata Bay. After taking, what seemed like a lifetime-long, trip on the Ilala (which I did not get to drive this time) we arrived at Likoma island. There we spent the next few days relaxing on the beach, swimming, and enjoying ourselves, when we weren't fighting off whip scorpians.... Gross. Lets just say that we were all really careful about tucking in our nets, even me.

After three wonderful days on Likoma Island, we arranged for a sail boat to take us to Chizumulu island. The boat left at 3am and got us there just before 5am, which meant we got to watch the sunrise over Likoma Island as we slowly sailed away. It was incredible. After arriving and walking across the island (barefoot because my flip flops finally died and it was too hot for close-toed shoes) we made it to the Wakwenda retreat lodge. It was a beautiful lodge on he beach with lots of large rocks to jump off and the most beautiful bar I've ever seen in my life(probably should have taken a picture of it).
Four days on Chiradzulu with delicous food and good friends and we were on our way back to civilization. We opted not to take the Ilala on the way back (because its miserable and expensive and slow and terrible in every way) and ended up taking a boat called "Malungo" (which translates to "Malaria") . We were nervice about taking the slightly sketchy cheaper boat but it ended up being fine. Not only did we pay less, but there was air flow, and we got to watch local music videos at volumes that will blow your ear drums wide open. I don't think anyone I was with enjoyed it, but I had a great time...especially when the people who run the boat found out the seven of us are American's and insisted on playing the song "Barack Obama" over and over again (my local favorite, because of its rediculousness. Its played in buses and bars and everywhere that plays music here all the time. You can enjoy it here (it is not a waste of your time, you won't regret it, regardless of how you feel about him)

We made it to Nkhata Bay safely, and what seemed like quickly after we realized that the entire purpose of the top of the boat was for dance parties.... We stayed in Nkhata Bay only long enough to get transport into Mzuzu. Transport problems, as usual. We arrived in Mzuzu tired, hungry, crabby. Sleep. The next morning, we all had delicious Chipati's and eggs for breakfast then headed our separate ways. Five of us headed to Lilongwe, two went down the lake shore road to Nkhota Nkhota. Getting back was the first time I have ever had an easy time with transport in the Northern Region, thanks to a very friendly bishop who took three of us.
That was my last trip to the North. Goodbye Northern Region.
Since I've been back I've been in Lilongwe working hard on Grad school applications (deadlines are closing in). I'm feeling pretty good about things. I opted to skip out on a party in the north and the south and the central, so I could stay and work to make my applications as strong as possible.

It looks like I am here in Lilongwe until my close of service conference on the 9th of January when I'll go to Senga Bay...then again, I might try to escape Lilongwe for a bit, depending on how efficiently I work. That's a long time in the city. We'll see what happens.
HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERYONE!! To all of my friends and family, I love you and miss you and, though I'm enjoying myself here in Malawi, I'm excited that this is my last Holiday Season away from home. I look forward to celebrating with you next year...regardless of where I'll be (which is still a mystery).

Here's how my Christmas was, how was yours?

Waiting on Christmas Eve where there was network (the cell tower was on the island in the distance, Likoma Island)

Hanging out...enjoying island life.

Everyone waiting for lunch to come.

This is what I stared at for a week, how's the weather in America?

Working in Lilongwe at the Peace Corps office (disregard the fact that facebook is displayed, I actually have been working). Note: these photos are out of order.

Mom, Dad, and Diana, this is what I was looking at when we were talking on the phone on Christmas Eve. Standing at the top of the hill on Chizumulu Island, taking phone reception from Likoma Island (in the distance).

Sol waiting for his parent's to call him.

Colin and Bri waiting for calls from home.

Playing bananagrams.

Bri really likes rice and beans.

Christmas eve lunch...only at the fanciest restaurant.

My hair has officially turned blonde. Waiting for our christmas beans and rice to come.

Katy likes dogs.

Bri and Sol.

I wear my sunglasses at night, so I can, so...I....cann

I tried to keep the sunset pictures to a minimum, but come on, its incredible..


  1. Love the update!! You can post all the sunset pictures that you want because I love them. Happy 2012 to you too!!!