Today (Friday) we only had flying from Lilongwe, Malawi to Harare, Zimbabwe scheduled. Being the seasoned travelers that are now, we decided that this was not enough and we added in a side trip. Getting an early start we had just enough of a window to drive to Lake Malawi and back in time to catch our flight. After all, how could we come to Malawi and not see this attraction? The result was three long hours of driving for one short hour at the lake, but it was worth it.
The lakeside stay ended with some purchases from a stand selling local handicrafts. Beautiful carvings, paintings, necklaces and bracelets were on display. I, for one, was very short on cash, but found the work too beautiful to pass up.
At the airport in Lilongwe airport, we said goodbye to Limbani Chipembere, Cultural Affairs Assistant at the US embassy. He and the others, like Felix Funsani, working with him did a fantastic job of getting us around the country, answering our endless questions, explaining the local culture and issues, going out of the way to show us things… We move on, but the beauty of the country and the people here will stay with us.
It is only at the airport that some of us realized that it was going to take two flights to get us to Harare: Lilongwe-Johannesburg & Johannesburg-Harare. We arrived late in the day, therefore, in Harare, where we were greeted by Jillian Bonnardeaux, local Assistant Public Affairs Officer, who thoroughly briefed us on our schedule and what to expect here in Zimbabwe. No adventures this evening, as we were thoroughly exhausted from our travels and headed to our rooms as soon as possible.