A weekend away at Lake of Stars
24.09.2014 - 01.10.2014 31 °C
With oh so little to do sometimes here in Neno, it would easy to think that I relax, a lot. However, do not find being stir-crazy to be relaxing in the slightest which is why it was a great reprieve to escape the bush this weekend and get over to Mangochi and Lake Malawi for the music festival Lake of Stars. It took a day of travel on Friday to get there, aided by our friend Ernest, a Global Health Corps Fellow, finding us a ride from Blantyre. I never thought I would be thankful to be three people wide in the back seat of a car, but compared to long haul minibuses, it was a first class trip.
We arrived Friday evening and set up camp before heading into the festival. The festival was held at a resort right on the lake, with the stage built on top of the sand. It made for a beautiful venue, but it still couldn't top The Gorge. Once we arrived, we met up with other GHC Fellows that Ernest. They turned out to be a pretty awesome group of people, and we hung out with them for the majority of the weekend. It was a late first night and as anyone who has slept in a tent knows, the sun often turns those late nights into early mornings thanks to sauna-like conditions. That was the case for us.
In the morning we were finally able to take in the view of the expansive view of the lake. For a bit I forgot I was in Malawi, as it was in no way similar to the area that we live and much more resembled the tropical Indonesian beaches I spent time on this spring. After a refreshing swim, the shade of a coconut tree provided the perfect location for a rejuvenating nap. From there is was back to the festival after a lunch stop for chombo and nsima, which we proceeded to eat 2 more times before the weekend was over. The day was spent truly relaxing on the beach, listening to music, exploring beyond the resort, swimming, and even getting in a few games of ultimate. After a quick trip back to camp for dinner and drinks, including fresh coconut, it was back for another great night partying with new friends.
Sunday morning we took our time packing up as we knew we had a long day of travel ahead. We left the resort around noon and after a cramped right in the bed of a pickup, three minibuses, and the ride up the hill from the tarmac to Neno, we arrived around 7. I think I have forgotten what comfort is. Probably a good thing. Above are the only two pictures I took during the weekend. No camera, no phone, little in my pockets, less to worry about, more relaxing.
Since I last posted, the job site looks drastically different. A week ago, we were just finalizing the preparations to pour the slab. Yesterday we we staring walls and forming columns.
I am ecstatic to finally be above grade and to be able to see the progress. From here the next few weeks includes much more of the same. We should be finished with entry way slab and columns by the beginning of next week and then it will be mostly all blocks for a bit. Overall the timing works out well, as Marco and I will be leaving on Friday to make a trip to renew our visas. If we need to leave the country, we might as well go somewhere beautiful, right? I thought so, which is why we are headed to Victoria Falls. Not to worry, the camera and phone will be often in hand for this trip.
Okay, to fill y'all in on the title of this blog post. I don't often post pictures of myself because, frankly, y'all don't need to see my mug. The one thing you would notice if I did is that I haven't been to see the barber since I got here. Anyways, Ernest took to calling my beard "Golden Beard" this weekend and I thought it was catchy.
Final thought, while everyone back home is experiencing the beauty of autumn, the weather here seems confused. Technically it is spring, it feels like summer, but here and there are hints of a Northern Hemisphere fall.
I won't be taking my computer with me to Vic Falls, but I might try to get some posts in along the way to avoid an overload when I get back. I'll definitely be on Instagram throughout the week if you want regular updates on the fun we're having.