By Annabelle Lafrechoux
On this Friday, we were invited to visit the market in the nearest town, Kasungu. We started the five kilometers walk thinking that it wouldn’t be that bad. Even though it wasn’t the hardest thing, it did take us over an hour to arrive at our destination. It was funny to see our guides slowing down their pace to fit ours. During this long walk, I spoke with one of our co-learners, Francis. I asked questions about pretty much everything (if you know me you can easily see Francis bombarded with questions). At some point he started inquiring about Canada. Trying to answer his questions, I realized that I could only offer superficial answers since I needed to generalize to keep my answers simple and because I realized that my knowledge about Canada is somewhat lacking.
Arriving at our destination, we explored the market which sells a lot of food produce, fabric, second hand clothing and much more. It was really interesting to see how the market was organized and what kind of items were on sale. While contemplating the walk back, I must admit that most of us were dreading it. Luckily we learned that our caravan was waiting for us at a nearby restaurant. It really made me think about how walking is not really our main transportation mode. We do walk everyday but the most of us don’t walk on long distances and that for the ones who do, it is more of a choice rather than a necessity.
On the following day, there was a second physical activity in store for us. We climbed Mount Kasungu. The ascension was hard, sweaty and breath taking. The mountain was quite steep and the altitude change could really be felt. Even the best of us had some difficulty going up. It took over an hour and a half to finally reach the top. The view was incredible, we could see for miles away in all directions. There was a moment of euphoria, of pride for having succeeded and reached the summit. There were butterflies chasing after each other, a nice breeze and a warm sun. After a while, we needed to contemplate the descent. Some were excited by it and some were fearful. To be honest, I’m not sure what I was feeling. I was scared of the difficulty but excited to try. It turned out to be less cardio but harder on the muscles. I enjoyed it, concentrated on the rocks and the rhythm. The angle of the mountain would go from forty five degrees to at least sixty degrees. It was a really nice experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. It might seem exaggerated to some, but for someone like me who doesn’t go out and hike this was an achievement which I am proud of and that no one can take away from me.
Tionana so (see you later in Chichewa)