Yesterday we crossed into Malawi, a small poor country with about 10 million people. We are in the capital city, Lilongwe, staying in a Korean guest house that has Gareth’s favourite Korean food on the menu. I don’t know what the AIDS statistics for this place are but most of the countries so far have about 30 to 50 % infection rate. Pretty scary and it makes me keep my rubber gloves on hand in case we come across an accident on the road, and it also makes me glad to have all the medical stuff with us in case we have any health issues or an accident.
The population seems very young here and in the previous country , Zambia, and everyone walks most places so the streets and roadsides are usually crowded with people carrying water containers and men on bicycles taking huge sacks of produce to market. The other product sold by the sack on the roadside id coke (for burning). This is made by the anaerobic combustion of local hardwood trees so a potential deforestation problem. The other coke (cola) is also found everywhere and it is getting more difficult to find a cuppa. Last cup of tea was served like the Indian chai with sugar and milk already aded.
This morning we were woken at 5am by the chanting from the mosques. So we are getting into the divide between Christian influence and Islam of the northern areas. The number of churches in Africa so far is amazing, every type of sect seems to have a base here and be offering schooling, health care, or some type of bribe to get their congregation from the already church saturated societies. The churches also seem to be proactive in promoting “one partner” and abstinence in the fight against AIDS.
I’m sitting in bed on the free Wi-Fi connection of this guest house. It may be the last decent email connection for a while so don’t expect too many letters.
Lots of love
PS Stayed in the same camping ground as the Long Way Down boys and their crew on the last night in Zambia.