3 February, 2011

Visiting our Extended Family

Elizabeth writes:

After leaving Madagascar, it was time to move northwards, so we headed for Malawi.

Our first visit was to Andy Uglow and his wife Arani who now live in Blantyre.  Andy was the prime mover in getting Fusi Secondary school started several years ago.  It was good to see them, and to update Andy on the state of things at the school when I left Lesotho.

Many of you will know that our eldest daughter, Anne-Marie, worked as a volunteer in Malawi and there met her husband Wilson.  They now live in Nottingham, and we have never met his family.
Wilson’s brother, Symon, met us in Blantyre, and for the next week we were looked after by him and other branches of the family mainly in the North of the country.

We had a wonderful time and were treated like royalty.  Sometimes, there were barriers of language but a smile overrides everything :-)

..and here are the two mums!

Malawi is a beautiful country, and it made a welcome change for us to be surrounded by green countryside and lots of trees.  We also managed to make a visit to the beautiful lake Malawi, before heading North to Tanzania.

Tour of Madagascar

Elizabeth writes:

Madagascar is something different.
After leaving Lesotho, we joined a group of 16 on a fortnight’s organised tour of this island.

Although geographically part of Africa, it has had huge Asian and French influences during its history and it is really like visiting another continent.  It is the home to much unique wildlife, the best known of which are the lemurs.  We were fortunate to spot several different species of these in the wild:

We also visited a rescue establishment where they got much more close and personal, along with other forms of wildlife:

Our tour ended with a few days at a beach hotel.  Access was by boat only, and we needed zebu carts to take us out to the boats.

It turned out to be unbearably hot there, so all we could do was swim and rest (It’s a hard life!)
We enjoyed the tour, but realised that we have become quite used to independent travel, and missed the real interaction with the local people that you get when using public transport and generally fending for yourself.

Back Home

We have been back in Britain for a few days now, and it is wonderful to catch up with the family.

Apologies for the lack of blog – it proved too difficult with no computer and only access to some quite flaky internet cafes.  We will try to make up for it in the next few days.

I think we are both suffering from shell shock.  The lifestyle here is so different from where we have come from that adjustment needs to be slow.

We have had an amazing journey returning home the “slow way” so I shall try and share some of our experiences.