296 Days of Malawi

As it stands, at this point in our journey, one third of our worldcupandup trip has been in Malawi.  That’s 296 days of a 910 day journey. That’s 32.53% of our journey to be exact.

And in ALL that time the only blogs I wrote were to apologise for a lack of communication, to express my fear of getting fat and to celebrate the birth of Nicks first niece in Sydney (if she were born in Malawi, it would have counted for a great Malawi post).

I was having too much fun, I was living a stable life, the tall trees blocked my internet connection, I had malaria, I procrastinated.

Either way I was busy doing something in Malawi because 296 days have passed in the smallest country we have visited.

Just so you understand the scale of HOW much time we have spent in HOW little a country, here’s a map of the places we have visited from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and then into Malawi. That’s Malawi on the right side of the page…the tiny sliver you can barely make out.

Yep, 296 days there.

Sometimes it freaks me out when I look at it. But I’m not sure why. Its not like I was wasting my time in Malawi. Even though a portion of our stay was forced due to the delayed arrival of a Toyota genuine fuel pump – I never felt like I was being held against my will. Imprisoned in the warm heart of Africa.

I surrendered myself to Malawi.

There were so many things captivating about Malawi and so many simple things that I enjoyed.  Easily, the best thing about Malawi was having a home – one in Mayoka, one in Lilongwe. One on the lake, one in the city. Both filled me with so much love. Like the kind of love you only feel at home.

296 days of love-like-home.

It felt so natural to be in Malawi. Like we belonged. And when you are travelling through a foreign continent that’s a foreign feeling.

I’m not sure I realised I felt like this in all my time in Malawi. I suppose now that we have FINALLY left (and what a difficult leaving) I’ve grown a stronger sentimental attachment for my last home.

My only longing to leave Malawi was to arrive on the Indian Ocean on the east coast of Mozambique, to feel the hot sand between my toes and to swim in crystal clear turquoise waters.

And 3 weeks later……I’m in a dusty town on the WEST side of Mozambique where one litre of milk is twice as much as Malawi and the Zambezi river is inhabited by hippos and crocs, NOT whale sharks and manta rays.

Perhaps this growing frustration of being even further from my sandy beach fantasy is giving me a deeper appreciation for the home I left behind.

Perhaps though, Malawi was actually a very special place filled with very special people.

So although I owe Malawi & all the beautiful people we have met there, much more than a one page blog – I think 296 days is a big enough testament of our love.

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