Featured author: Agnes
- Looking along the Shire River, Malawi
A few years ago, shortly after my husband and I were married, I went to study in the fabulous African country of Malawi.
Since the 19th Century, Malawi has had connections with my home country of Scotland. I studied the work of doctors and missionaries who followed in the footsteps of David Livingstone.
I will never forget sitting in the Malawian National Archives looking out at the monkeys playing in the garden. At the other end of the scale, I will never be able to forget some of the ‘your-life-in-their-hands” bus trips on the Malawian roads. There were so many pot holes that they used to say that if you saw someone driving in a straight line in Malawi you knew that they must be drunk.
I loved staying for a number of months with a Malawian family, who were incredibly kind and generous in so many ways. Malawi does not have the natural resources enjoyed by some other African countries, but the warmth, energy and forbearance of its people are its greatest treasure. Its other great resource is the beauty of its landscape.
My trip away was the first time since our marriage that my husband and I had been apart for an extended period of months. Luckily, he managed to come out to stay for my final few weeks in Malawi. We travelled from where I had been staying in Zomba, in the South, up through the incredible Liwonde National Park, to the shores of Lake Malawi, which is more like an inland sea.
My least favourite experience was seeing western tourists “haggling” with local traders over the difference of a few kwacha, which meant nothing to them, but everything to the trader.
Since I visited there, Malawi has suffered internal and international tensions. However, I will always have positive memories of staying in the country that is rightly known as ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’.