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Workin the World The 4 month trip that lasted 5 years .. all the adventures from Workers final year o/s and the trip back to Oz.

Malawi Mishap!

MALAWI | Sunday, 28 October 2007 | Views [1949]

I had great plans for Malawi, specifically Lake Malawi. A lake so large it runs almost the entire length of the country, is classed as an inland sea and is in fact tidal. As I said, I had great plans but thing were about to turn horribly wrong.

Having commenced my SCUBA course on Zanzibar, where you can find some of the worlds best diving, Lake Malawi would provide the opportunity to complete my qualification, whilst ticking off an altitude dive.

Staying at Kande beach, you would seriously believe you are at a coastal resort. Beautiful, white sand beaches, rolling waves and tiny thatched huts make for a most idyllic setting, you could be on a tropical island anywhere in the world, apart from the fact the water lapping at shore is actually fresh.

We had a farily quiet first night here with a few beers, prior to getting up and completing by SCUBA course. Well it was supposed to be quiet but after a few beers, some skinny dipping, on beach wrestling and a few shots it had proved to be anything but. It was still early however, so I could retire and still make my training fresh as a daisy, that was until someone smashed a beer bottle in the sand and Matthewman decided to step on it.

The bottom had shattered off from the bottle and somehow managed to land 5m from where the bottle smashed in the opposite direction. Of course I had no shoes on so when i trod flush on the bottle it sliced the bottom of my foot open. Now, slicing the sole of your foot (about 5cm in length), in sand, in Africa is probably not what one would be hoping for so after some hasty repairs - it is quite amazing how everyone becomes a medical professional in times like this - I managed to get carried back to my cabin where I would spend most of my time over the coming days.

Fortunately we have a nurse on our truck, the lovely Lisa, who has managed to nurse my foot back to health. Quite a relief after the response I received from tour leaders of other trucks who were saying things like "you need to get to a doctor, the last time something like this happened it got infected and they had to amputate", or my favourite "thats the end of your trip mate, you have to get back to Australia before that gets infected". It was also fortunate because that night a massive storm rolled in, washing out the roads for a couple of days, so i wouldn't have been able to get out anyway.

My recommendation to anyone coming to Africa is to get a good medical kit. And check whats in it because despite me buying the biggest, most expensive one in the shop (which will surprise no one), all I managed to bring with me was about 500 syringes. A perfect kit for a herion addict but, as Lisa put it, bloody useless if you need it for anything worthwhile.

So there you have it. I would like to tell amazing stories about the tropical fish I saw diving (most of the worlds fresh water fish you buy in pet stores are from lake Malawi), the great horse ride I did on the sands or simply the exhilaration of swimming in one of the worlds largest fresh water lakes but alas I can't. I spent my time reading books, sulking that I couldn't do anything! 

The one highlight however was walking - read hopping - out to a local village where we were treated to regional meal of vegetable soup and a meat stew before a performance by the local children of the village. If you think Beyonce can shake it you should see the kids in the village, they boogie like their feet are on fire. They all have the most beautiful voices, which put ours to shame when we had a sing along with them. The crescendo, however, was 4 of the boys, who can not have been any older that 10, stripping off their shirts off to perform a perfect Haka, complete with toungue wagging at the end!

So apart from stupidly cutting my foot open, we did have a great time in Malawi. To see an inland lake so large it looks like an ocean is quite something and to dine with the locals was very special. Thats it, next stop Zimbabwe, sorry for the delay in putting these up also, to get online over here is nothing short of a miracle. I promise the updates will be more regular now!!

Tags: Doctors, hospitals & health

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