24 Hours in Malawi

Imani guys picked me up in Lilongwe. very nice. main interstate is a one lane road. hilarious. full of tobacco trucks and autos and taxi buses. pedestrians and vendors under tin and straw huts. women and small girls in traditional fabric skirts with warm sweaters. men in jeans and hoodies with bikes for riding and for carting. I delivered the biz-linkages proposal into a huge wood box in third floor lobby in ministry of trade. no pomp. anti climatic but did a happy dance. parliament buildings set in empty green fields. sprawling and lush and quiet. one hour before the bus ride so I waited in hotel lobby reading. board the double decker bus and head to a petrol station for more passengers. fancy leather bags.and heels and tidy jeans with navy blazers and men with suit bags. charter buses are not tqxi buses (#economic divide). jesus praising songs blair over PA. 15 minutes on the road we divert off N1 to dirt road through ramshackle neighborhood. bumpy bumpy. sway sway. thump-crash. hit a car. 40 minutes with no info. off to Area 3 police station to make a statement. one hour of waiting quietly as a collective. back to scene of accident for no discernable reason. one hour of waiting. triumphantly we hit the road. a passenger leads us in prayer. arrive in Blantyre at 11:30pm. great new is I slept the entire drive and it was a nice bus and Malawians are calm people. Imani staff were super friendly and picked me up all the same. ate local chocolate biscuits for dinner with ceres mango juice. slept in awesome soft bed. delicious garlic tomatoes on bread and coffee for breakfast. morning of short but great mtg with Imani managing director and some of their team. drive through Blantyre full of road side commerce scenes and mountains in the distance. beautiful sun lit scapes. at the airport in Blantyre (security = look in purse. ive been checked more vigorously at concerts.) return ticket was for *AUGUST* 31. Sold out flight. somehow they still got me on the plane. thank you quiet, smiling, persistent airport staff fellow who was commited to helping me. smallest airport ever. half the building vacant with empty or broken windows and wood scaffolding outside for nonexistant construction. their bag check consists of looking in purses and not using the metal detectors. all in all not a bad trip.  drove through sleepy, sprawling city of Lilongwe and this morning through the medium size bustle of Blantyre. didnt take photos cause that never works from a moving car but i saw many scenes and people. i cant believe its been just 24 hours.

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