We went 5 hours south to the towns of Blantyre and Zomba a few weeks ago. Chad had an all-day meeting on Saturday, and then we visited with two seminary students on Sunday. Overall it was a great trip...definitely true-to-Africa, but good. The first night we stayed at a guesthouse which was not so cheap, so we had higher expectations than we should have. They wouldn't let us make reservations over the phone ("just come, you'll find plenty of rooms") and of course there were plenty of rooms...just none with more than one bed at our price range! They upgraded us to a 'nicer' room for free, and that gave us a twin and a full--for the 5 of us! So Ethan and I slept in the full, Chad got the twin, and Anya slept on the floor covered in coats because they didn't have any extra blankets. Isaac was in the pack-and-play, at least for the first 3 minutes. Then he discovered he could climb out of it, so it was the three of us in the bed. Then Anya woke up in the middle of the night swearing that she could hear a "sound like a hedgehog" and that her big toe was strangely wet. Whether or not anything was really there was not determined, but I certainly wasn't going to make her suffer through the possibility of a rodent licking her feet!!! So it ended up the 4 of us in a full, with Chad snoring blissfully in his twin! The sacrifices of motherhood!! The next morning we bathed in a great shower but shared the one towel they provided and Chad headed off to his meeting while we drove up Zomba mountain to explore.
We had a great time--feeding horses as a stables, playing at the dam, exploring the trout farm (and getting into biting ants), and drinking hot cocoa at the summit. I even bought some passion fruit and mountain raspberrys (which, sadly, turned to raspberry wine in the car before we could get home and clean them. Talk about tragedy!!!). It was amazingly beautiful. Then we stayed the night with missionary friends in Blantyre.
Sunday we visited with the students at their church and had a nice time. Then we had to visit them in their homes, of course. Only they had been expecting us on Saturday instead of Sunday so they had prepared a feast for us on Saturday and had nothing left to serve us on Sunday! We felt terrible. Of course they borrowed an orange kool-aid-type drink and bread and margarine to give us, and we had a nice time visiting--except that we had to drive home before dark, so we didn't have time to stop for lunch (no such thing as a fast-food drive through here!) We got home at 7pm and the kids hadn't eaten anything since breakfast except for the bread and a peanut butter sandwich a missionary saint insisted I pack up Saturday night. All things considered, they did very well! But I'm not sure I'll ever get used to traveling in Africa with kids. It took a few days to recover!