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Muli Bwanji? My trip to Malawi ... This journal is about my trip to Malawi. Find out everything about what I did, the people I met and the blessings I received. Share the experience with me!

Day 8: Fish, crocodiles and beaches

MALAWI | Thursday, 13 September 2012 | Views [619]

Day 8: (Saturday September 8th)

So Saturday we got to be tourists! We headed off to the lake with Mr Sam Chunga and Pastor Abel Sauti-Phiri. On the way, Pastor Abel explained that his brother (who is actually his cousin) had passed away two years ago but today was the unveiling of the tombstone. It is incredibly important for the whole family to attend these events, otherwise if you're not there, people will start asking questions. So because Pastor Abel was looking after us that day, he couldn't attend so his family asked him to make a financial contribution. So we first made a stop in his village. He thought his family would get mad at him for not being able to attend, but instead they got mad because he'd left us to wait in the car! 

Some of the women of the village came to the car to give both Lynn and I some wrapper skirts and after putting them on, we made our way to where all the men of the family were sitting. We had introductions and Pastor Abel explained what relation each of the men are to him. They then took us to see the gravestone. After spending a couple of minutes there we went back to the village and they gave us something to drink before we were on our way. We said our goodbyes and then carried on driving down to the lake.

Our first stop was a fish farm. They have many different types of tropical fish there, all from the lake, ready to export to countries such as China and Germany. The fish aren't exported as food because they are too small but as pet fish. We had a guide explaining everything about the various types of fish and also but how you can tell the difference between male and female fish. It was really interesting to see all the different fish that there and all the beautiful colours that they came in.

After seeing the fish farm, we made our way to a crocodile farm. On our arrival, we were greeted by a crocodile head and a tin of crocodile paté on disply in the shop windowThere are around 15,00 crocodiles at this farm and there are all farmed for their skins. They have many small crocodiles ranging from babies to 4 year-olds. When the crocodiles reach 4 years of age, they are usually slaughtered for their skin. On the other side of the farm were the bigger crocodiles, the mummies and daddies. They were held in breeding pens of 6 females and 1 male. 

The guide took us around all of the different pens and told us about how they look after the crocodiles and what they feed them. He also said what ages the crocodile were and how many crocodiles were in each pen. The first couple of pens of younger crocodiles were quite crowded but they still had enough space to move around. It was the last pen that shocked me. This pen had 3000 3 year-old crocodiles in it, with nowhere for them to move. I didn't really like it but I understand that they are not raised to go into the wild but to be killed very soon.

After seeing the younger crocs we went to see the bigger ones. The guide explained to us that they feed these crocodiles at least 8 chickens per crocodile every other day. He also said that sometimes they feed them the carcasses of the younger crocodiles. He explained that a crocodile eats one stone every year to help them with their digestion. So when a crocodile dies and you open up his stomach, you count all the stones and you can tell how old it was! The biggest crocodile that they have on the farm is a 50 year-old male:

After visiting the crocodile farm we drove on to Livingstonia beach, one of the beaches on Lake Malawi. You know those postcards that you buy with the word paradise written underneath? I'm convinced that they were all taken at Livingstonia beach! It was absolutely beautiful!

We had a really delicious buffet lunch at the beach resort restaurant. There were all sorts of meats and chambo too. There was rice, msina, potatoes, salad, pasta ... I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven! And I got to eat beef for the first time that week! Pastor Abel and Mr Chunga took full advantage of being at the beach and they both bought their supply of freshly caught fish to take home with them!

After paddling in lake with our feet (I brought my swimming costume all the way to Malawi but forgot to take it with me to the lake!) it was time to start heading home again. We saw the most beautiful sunset on our way home! Just as I wanted to take a picture of it, my battery died! So Lynn gave me her camera, turned it on and poof; there went her battery too. Just our luck! We were going back to Assemblies of God where some of the foxfire team were waiting for me so that I could say goodbye. It was nice to be able to spend time with Wellington, Nelly and Chippo again but I did wish some of the others were there because I wouldn't be able to say goodbye to them. After about an hour, they had to leave so we said our goodbyes. It had been a long day so when I got upstairs and put my head on the pillow, I immediately fell asleep, dreaming dreams about the beauty of Lake Malawi!

 

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