Hiking Mount Mulanje

This past Easter break I hiked Mount Mulanje in southern Malawi and it was AWESOME!.  Mulanje is a serious, rustic climb that makes you feel like a legit athlete when you're done - 4 days later.  It takes several hours just to get to the top of the plateau, never mind any of its peaks  The secret to my wonder woman feat:  porters.  Truthfully, I couldn't have done this hike without them, not with my bum knee (never mind my lack of physical strength). 

Heading south on a bus Dani (left) and Cara (right).  Optimistic and excited.

Classic "before the hike" pose.

To start the hike we needed to cross this stream river.  And no, I didn't gracefully hop along the rocks.  I fell in the river and needed a helping hand to climb back on the rocks.  I was fine, but my "I am an agile ballerina" ego was a bit bruised.

A view from the top of the plateau.

Often spotted along the trail:  me resting.

A common bridge, not too high off the ground.  Very slippery.

What I thought our "hut" accommodation was.

What our "hut" actually was. 

Rustic (or way better than any "hut" I imagined) interior.

Another view from the top.

Yet, another gorgeous sunset courtesy of Malawi.  We didn't hike that peak
And, we hiked alongside a double rainbow.  Seriously!

Took a proper photo, too.

Our guide and porters.

The never ending adventures of transport.  We took bike taxi's to get back to the main road after the hike.  It was a bit scary blazing down those dirt roads at warp speed.  I don't know how the ladies with babies on their backs sit side saddle.  I white knuckled the mini handle bars the entire twenty minute journey.  On the way to the base camp from the main road, I rode on the back of a matola (flatbed truck) wedged between bails of bananas and a live chicken.  I swear I don't make this stuff up.  Promise, I'm not that creative.

Sharing head space with a bag of who knows what in the back of a minibus.
View from the top of the plateau. 

If hiking Mulanje sounds like your forte, it can be done pretty inexpensively.  My recommendation is to get in touch with the Mountain Club of Malawi Key Keepers.  Most of them are expat avid hikers that have been in Malawi for years and are very knowledgeable.  If you're up for the hike, I highly recommend it.   Of course, feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Saying Good Bye

If you're wondering who my fearless housemate was this year, it's this lovely South African.

In the face of danger (a snake attempted to jump in the bathtub with her in it), she doesn't even scream.  She headed back to SA yesterday and you can tell she is no longer here.  In two days, I'll be moving back to the U.S.  A year ago, I wasn't ready to say good-bye.  The good news was that I didn't have to.  This year I am ready for life's next adventure.  Malawi - it's been good, it will be interesting to see how we meet again.

Crisis Nursery Donation Visit

Today I made one last trip to the Ministry of Hope Crisis Nursery in Lilongwe to hold and feed the babies.  On this trip I got to take with me and the other volunteers a stack of diapers, food, and grooming aids for the kiddos.  These donations were made by some of the kids on the ABC campus and a women's Bible study group in San Diego.  How cool is that?!  The nursery uses cloth diapers most of the time because disposables are very expensive.  Sometimes the lack of water and electricity for hours on end prevents the mamas (staff) from being able to wash the diapers, so disposables come in very handy.  Thank you San Diego ladies.  The diapers were very much appreciated. 

This little guy could have been happily held all night.

As you can see from the food on his shirt, my feeding technique could use a little work.   Although I suspect he may be a fellow food snob, much like myself, since he kept spitting the cereal back out.

Click here to learn more about the crisis nurseries.   

You know you're still a tourist when . . .

If you live in Malawi long enough, you'll probably have a snake in your house.  I thought I might have by passed this life experience, much like avoiding malaria (knock on wood), but no such luck. 

Even after having lived in Malawi for almost two years, I am still a tourist.  How do I know?  You might be a tourist if YOU FILM THE SNAKE YOU CAUGHT IN YOUR BATHTUB BEFORE YOU REMOVE KILL IT.

Truth, I tried to remove the snake by putting it in a box and taking it outside.  It was only a small, blind snake that resembled a worm.  However, I am a squirmy girl and it was wiggling too much for me to coerce it into a box.  So I ended up ... you're not going to like this.  I end up throwing rocks at it and then sending it down the drain. Basically, I tortured, paralyzed, and then drowned the sucker.  I, kind of, felt bad about it.  Kind of. 

On a funnier note,  the snake popped it's head out of the tap covers the night before while my roommate was, get this, taking a bath.  Makes me shiver just thinking about it.  The crazy African didn't even scream.  She's a star.

Recommended Reading For Support Raising Missionaries

Moving to a far away land to serve as a missionary is easy.  Building a community of people around you to partner with the ministry through prayer and financial giving is the hard part.  It's so daunting that many push the notion of entering full time missions aside because of it. 

Don't let fear of finding funding distract you from pursuing your call.  You are NOT alone in this journey and there is help. 

For my own quest to raise support, I turned to those who had gone before me, repeatedly.  Based on my experience, I recommend the following books.  All have the same underlying themes (support-raising is Biblical, get over yourself, and get on with it - only they say it much nicer), but each shares different tidbits and how-to's that you'll find useful. 


Even reading just one of these will help you feel more confident and better equipped to raise support and follow your call.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”