Posted by: Dana | 2010/04/06

April 5 – A Slug in My Mug

I woke up this morning and found a giant slug in my mug! It was the size of a Snickers bar with a big, thick body, and tentacles, or whatever it is that stick out of a slugs head. Aaaah!

We’ve now cycled into Lilongwe and I’m sitting in a camp site where overland tours stop, so it has a pretty cool vibe, if you’re into drinking and smoking with other international travelers (which I’m not―what a party-pooper!). Starting in Nairobi, we started to occasionally encounter other travelers and now that we’re in southern Africa (I still can not believe we are in SOUTHERN Africa!), we are seeing more and more tourists when we stay at established camp grounds.

As I wrote the other day, I was feeling less than perfect after my violent sickness and the after-effects stuck with me. The infections on my feet got worse―every bug bit or tiny little scratch became inflamed, pussy, and swollen. I think exhaustion is taking its toll. Until now, I don’t think I wanted to acknowledge the fatigue for fear that it would then get the best of me. It is so important on this trip to stay physically healthy and mentally focused. I started a new course of antibiotics last night, and in less than twenty-four hours, I’m already feeling much better. Antibiotics are amazing! I also got calls last night from my mom, dad, and Aunt Margie, which helped.

Other than the immediate things I observed after crossing the border, I’ve been struck by the music in Malawi. We hear singing in the distance at each camp site often accompanied by drumming. We awoke on Easter morning to a group of women who danced and sang their way through our camp site (starting before 4AM!!). Today I passed a bus while cycling into Lilongwe and every person on the bus was singing their hearts out and the man in the back seat was standing, bare-chested, leading the chorus. The children along the road often greet us with well-choreographed rhythms and chants and they are just so freaking cute.

Communication infrastructure here in Malawi seems pretty awful, as it was in Ethiopia. I carry a cell phone on me that I’m borrowing from another rider who doesn’t want it. Most of the time, I have no cell service, and when I do, I usually don’t have any charge left in my phone. If I have cell service and enough charge on the phone, then the credits I buy to load up my SIM card don’t work! Internet has been hard to find and when I find it, it can take over an hour to load my Yahoo inbox and that is before I read a single message. So, for those friends to whom I have been slow to respond, please forgive me!

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