By Naomi Crisp
Today was our last day in Cape Maclear so we had our breakfast and headed into town where there was a market. We decided to go to the market place after we visited 3 historical sites; after of course we hugged a baobab tree (I was very excited for that moment). The first was the burial of a missionary in the 1800s. He was one of the people that came with Livingstone but ultimately died due to his dedication. On the way along the road we saw some huge monkeys quite close to us just walk around the village, it’s funny to see how touristy our group gets when there is a monkey. We moved on to see where a church was going to be built by the missionaries but the villagers decided they wanted to build it closer to town. Finally we went to a WWF site that focused on the inhabitants of Lake Malawi. It was interesting to gain some history on the land as it is so easy to just walk past these things and never know its story. We then got some time in the market where we picked up some gifts for our families. The woodwork was beautiful!
After being in our own world at the market, we had to rush to the bus to catch it for 12 pm. All packed up, we left the lodge, but another surprise came along during our travels. We pulled over to the side of the road and walked up a small hill to see a huge rock covered in slashes. This was a historic site where people used to come and pray at the rock and touch it for good luck and to get rain. Of course, after hearing the story, we all touched the rock as we walked past to get to the bus; I touched it twice (which later on became a curse). We got an hour away and the bus sputtered and shut down. While we waited the “3 hours” for a new bus to arrive for us we wrote in our journals, read, played games, climbed trees, got attacked by people climbing trees, told stories and jokes, lay under the stars on the road, almost got hit by cars, got eaten alive by mosquitoes and 6 hours later cheered to see the new bus. At this point we had missed both lunch and dinner so everyone was hungry but also exhausted. It was 11pm by the time we reached a store that was open, but it was only serving drinks so we got a loaf of bread and continued on our way.
It was past 1 am by the time we got home. Everyone was so cold and tired that the sleeping bag in our regular bed was glorious. It truly was a moment of relief to be home. I didn’t mind spending the day on the side of the road. It ensured everyone was on the same page again ready to start work in the morning.