Tag Archives: Livingstonia

Tranquil Travels

By Linden Parker

Sunrise serenity

Sunrise serenity

When I wrote about our weekend excursion to Lake Malawi, I focused on how overwhelmed I was by the touristy nature of the location, even though I loved the beauty and adventure of the trip. Now, after spending the past weekend at Lukwe Lodge in the mountains near Livingstonia, I finally found the peace and relaxation I had unwittingly been seeking. At the beginning of the month and after being in Malawi for only a week, Corinne wrote a blog titled, “Busy Senses.” She explained that this turn of phrase encompasses the constant stimuli that we encounter on a daily bases and I feel it very aptly describes my experience in Malawi up to this point.

The weekend spent in the mountains presented my first true moment of pure serenity. Waking up in the morning and watching the sun rise over the misty hills allowed me to feel truly relaxed. It was a long, winding and bumpy road up to the lodge and we were the only ones staying there, so the isolation helped lend itself to the tranquility of the location. Also, the Belgian owners and the people helping them were very friendly, but not at all imposing. There were a few mini chalets overlooking the valley that were a bit like treehouses, but most of us stayed in little tents in the forested area. I had a tent to myself and since this was the first time that I had slept alone since leaving Canada, I’m sure this is part of why I found the weekend so calming. I don’t have any problem sharing a room, but when there are people around at all moments of the day, either Malawian or Canadian, I find it hard to completely relax and just be in my surroundings. As Corinne puts it, my senses have been very busy, and I just needed time to sit in silence.

Units for a year

Units for a year

This came at a particularly perfect moment in the program, too, because we had just completed a very intense and rewarding week of curriculum development work. Before we left for Livingstonia, we managed to outline units of study for the entire grade one school year. When we finished laying out the general framework for the twelfth and final unit, it was an incredible moment. We still had many details to sort out, but being able to leave for the weekend without being mid-task was such a relieving feeling. I still thought about the units we had just been working on during the six hour drive out to the mountains, but after a delicious dinner that included our first fresh garden vegetables, I was able to completely relax and enjoy the new surroundings.

Fresh veggies

Fresh veggies

The weekend was very much in line with my needs at the time. I had ample opportunity to read the Leonard Cohen book I brought for my book club back home, we were fed incredible food that included mozzarella, basil and tomato sandwiches with ingredients from the local garden, and the view was stunning. We even went on a hike that took us into a cave behind a waterfall! All in all, the weekend left me relaxed, satiated and ready for my last two days of concentrated curriculum development work in Makupo. I am so excited about the work to come and yet apprehensive about concluding my time here in the village. At least I still have the lions to look forward to in Zambia, rounding out the lions, learning and travels part of my expectations as written in my bio. Oh my!