Life in Malawi: An Indonesian Perspective (Part 3)


On the second week, I moved to Chikwawa district. The view from Blantyre to Chikwawa is quite amazing. There are some point where you can view the Shire from the road. I even stop by to capture the beauty of the Shire with my fancy camera. Got a nice panorama shot as you can see below.


All with the team, we were staying in a small town called Nchalo. It was hot and dusty. I didn’t get any executive room this time. But the room in Arrow’s Lodge is enough for me.  Well, what can I expect from a small town like Nchalo? I’m not complaining, I can sleep anywhere basically 🙂

A busy day at Nchalo trade center. My lodge is very close with the trade center. And this is everyday scene. Always busy, especially on Saturday and Sunday.

I’m glad that I’m going to work in the field on the first day. It was quite hot but looking at the mapping team, they were excited! And of course because it was the first day, everyone seems lost. People seems had no idea about where exactly they’re going. My team arrived in the afternoon. And we walked quite far mapping community houses, public facilities, market, and water source point. My feeling at the moment was a bit nervous, but, I’m getting used with the local people around. I’ve learned a bit of Chichewa language as part of my respect to them. Everywhere I go, I always trying to respect the locals, I do want to show them that Indonesian are nice (and I’m nicer! 🙂 )

Some encounters during the fieldwork

I got the cold at night. Maybe it was because the temperature changing. It was cold at Blantyre then hot at Chikwawa. And I hate the mosquitoes around my room. I had no idea why they can breach into my net! Magic?

Back to the lodge! The team had problem! Basically we were a bit bored about the food around. Me and Maning tried to find Indomie instant noodles. I know Indofood exported Indomie to Africa but I can’t find it in Nchalo! So, we decided to had strange brand noodles from Arrow’s Quick Shop! Maning arranged everything with the noodles. Because we don’t have bowls, we eat the noodles in the cup. Strange but at least it works well 🙂

On the weekend, it was Saturday. Maning left on Friday. It was a bit shame he’s left a day before my birthday! It’s just me and Severin at the moment. Oh, and yes, Saturday 23rd August is my birthday. It was nice, Samuel from Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) treated me to go to a small park called Nyala Park, right behind Nchalo Sugar Estate. It’s the habitat of Nyala Antelope and also some giraffe!

Wildlife encounters at Nyala Park

I usually celebrate my birthday with my family. Having dinner together and eats a lot of cake 🙂 But this time, they’re not around. And I was a bit upset there was something wrong with the internet connection and also my Skype had gone weird. My sister tried to called me but it didn’t work. That is why, I’m very happy when Sam treated me. Even it was like 1-2 hours trip, I had fun.

Back at the lodge! Something wrong with the lodge, I wondering what happened. When I entered my room, I found out my AC and TV were turned on. Had no idea because I (almost) never watched TV anymore. Found some scratch card for phone credits on my table, and found a small charger plugged into my wall. It’s not mine. And I found out it was Peter, the staff from the lodge. He was staying in my room when I’m not around. I mean, it’s not very appropriate. There were couple of empty room, he could use one of that if he wants to charge his phone. I told him, and then… I only got one word (the one that always come up from him whenever he did mistake): “forgive us”. Oops, that’s actually two words! I did mistake, forgive us! Sometimes three words though: “Please, forgive us”.

To be continue…

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