It’s a bit cold when I woke up on my first morning in Lilongwe. I can’t stand with cold as I always got sun all year in Indonesia. I moved with the team to Blantyre city with Francis from GFDRR World Bank for OpenStreetMap training. But before the training, I went to several meeting then went to Polytechnic School and Chancellor College for socialization of the project. The 5 hours difference was a bit annoying for me as I feel very weak during the day, I lost my appetite and only eat small portions of food. So I just trying to keep myself quite.
My first experience visiting academic institutions in Malawi was a bit surprising because, the lectures including the students are very fancy in the term of how they dress. Very different with my university where most of students just wear jeans with shirt or even T-shirt during class. And it’s more surprising during the OpenStreetMap workshop where people dress like they are going to a wedding reception. Well, I have no problem with that. I mean, anyone can wear anything they like as long they are comfortable with it. But not me, I’m not a fancy person, I always stick with my comfy jeans, sneakers, and regular shirts 🙂
I was staying in Kabula Lodge. It’s a bit expensive instead of other lodge but I like it. And even more like it because when I draw straw with Sév and Maning, I got EXECUTIVE ROOM, which is not much different with deluxe room. The different is only a fridge on executive room, and everything looks the same 🙂
The view from Kabula Lodge is quite nice. Not spectacular but it just nice. The view also quite at the workshop venue. I can see hills, some vegetation, but it was a bit cloudy (and cold).
In my opinion, Malawi hospitality is quite nice (but not in everywhere I guess, you’ll understand after read through the next part). The lodge staff for example, they want to make you comfortable as possible. During a week stay, I didn’t hang around the city but Blantyre is quite nice. I like the shopping center in Chichiri. I can get anything I need there (except Indomie noodles, unfortunately).
On the last night, before the team move to Chikwawa district, I had a dinner in a nice restaurant called Chez Maki. Nice ambient, with a nice music, nice food, but decent price. “Please, let’s enjoy our last fancy dinner”, someone from the team told me that, and it made me worry a bit about what possibly could happen in Chikwawa district. I’m actually don’t have any problem with any conditions, but having a worry feeling at least can make me stronger to face it because I already expect something to happen. And yes, there are a lot of things happened there 🙂
To be continue…