Trip to Blantyre

Blantyre is just over a 4 hour drive south of where we live in Lilongwe. We drove down and back on Wednesday, with the primary goal of visiting the Immigration Office to pay for our Temporary Employment Permit (TEP). Hopefully we will receive the final letter in the next few days, which will function as our visa for the next 2 years.

In the 5 hours down to Blantyre (details on the side trip below), and the 4 hours back from there, we saw a good portion of the country of Malawi. Here are some highlights from the trip:

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We have no idea what this sign means, but if you say it in a cutesy voice… well, just try it.

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The Shire River (pronounced “sheerie”, sorry Tolkien fans), part of Liwonde game park.

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Matt got pulled over for going 56 kilometers an hour in a 50 kph zone. That would be like getting pulled over for going 25 in a 22 mph zone. But they actually made it very convenient and let us pay right there – and gave us a receipt, so we knew it was legit. They also told us that the only other speed camera in the country was another few miles down the road. Ah, good to know!

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Somewhere along to way we missed a turn, and took an hour detour through Zomba, a mountainous, forested area. It was beautiful, and one of our favorite parts of the drive!

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Hand-holding is common amongst friends, and means nothing more than friendship.

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Once we finished up at the Immigration Office, we had one other stop to make in Blantyre: Game, a South African store somewhat similar to a Target in the USA, but about half the size. There’s nothing like this in Lilongwe, so we stocked up on things like drill bits, ceiling fans, and a 220 volt iron. And for those of you wanting evidence of the man-purse, here it is!

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Some things, though, were still a little more than we were willing to pay. This little roll of Duck Tape costs about $7. No thanks.

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On the other hand, a few things are a great deal! These are the exact same cups that I got for $1 each at Crate & Barrel. Here, they’re 37 cents.

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On the trip back home, we passed this sign. It’s hard to read in this pic, but it says “Aids is Real. It’s Not Witchcraft.” What a reminder that the people here need the truth of God’s Word and His grace to be free of the lies of superstition and witchcraft.

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One of our favorite trees in Africa, the baobob! This one’s for you, Judah Gundersen!

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Our other favorite tree, the acacia. It just looks “African.”

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And finally, one of the most common sights in Malawi, a little village perched on a hillside.

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