Thursday, November 5, 2009

10 years...don't they go by in a flash....

Ok. so we debated putting this in our blog. We don't want everyone at home thinking we're spending your money friviously and we don't want you to think all we do here is vacation. BUT, we were given an amazing opportunity to celebrate our 10th anniversary at Nkwichi Lodge and it was so incredible, we had to share it with everyone. Nkwichi is a 4 1/2 hour drive north a long Lake Nyassa and then an 1 1/2 boat ride to the middle of nowhere right on the lake. Months ago, some of the guys who work at Nkwichi came into town for supplies. One of them ended up with Malaria and was very sick. They had to leave him at our SIM guesthouse and I(Michele) took care of him for a few days until they could get back to pick him up. I just brought him medicine and food and kept an eye on him, but the guys there were so grateful, they offered us a great deal to spend a few days at their lodge. They actually run a conservation program as well as the lodge. They do community projects to help the local people learn to farm properly in the sand and also employ many locals to work on their farm and as staff at the lodge. If you want to know more about them, you can check out their website at http://www.mandawilderness.org/. We had a wonderful time our 3 days there. It is the longest we have been away from our kids in 2 1/2 years, so it was so needed. Janice, our field director, sacraficially took our kids for the 3 nights...and she lived to tell about it! We are so thankful for her. Here are some pictures of our trip.



We spent a few hours in a small village called Cobue waiting for the boat to pick us up. We have a doctor friend who lives in Cobue and does training and education as well as medical services for the people along the lake. They have absolutely no access to any medical care whatsoever, so she is it for them. We were able to observe a training on epilepsy that she was doing. She really has done amazing things for the people there. She has people walking for miles and miles along the lake to come and see her.


These are the ruins of an old catholic church left by the Portuguese in Cobue. It is the only structure in the village other than the grass huts surrounding it.

This was a picture I took on our 1 1/2 hour boat ride. These 4 boys are taking a boat out to fish. The lake is life for the people that live here, it is their source of water for cooking, cleaning, and drinking as well as food, mainly fish.


Here is one of our first views of Nkwichi. Crystal clear water and white sand beach. It looks like the Ocean or the Carribean, but is a fresh water lake.



The Beach.

This is our chalet, Nkwazi, which means fish eagle.



Here is the bathroom in the open air, overlooking the water.



The sink and shower.


We were the only people there and we had 75 staff members at our disposal, so we were treated like royalty. We were given the option of eating anywhere we wanted. For breakfast we ate on the deck.
Lunch on the beach.

Dinner at our own private dining area, right off our chalet.

Or right on the beach.

In the afternoons, we would have drinks on the beach in front of the fire while we watched the sunset.


During the days, we relaxed on the beach and snorkled.
The fish are actually very bright and colorful, which is unique for a fresh water lake.

One day it was windy and there were huge waves, so we did a little body boarding, which was super fun. The best part of all, this is a fresh water lake, so no salt up your nose and in your mouth and making you sticky and itchy.


We also took a walk down a foot path that is traced back thousands of years to when the Arabs came and captured Africans to use as slaves. They used this path to bring the slaves back up north. It is one of the longest footpaths in Africa, reaching from all the way down to Johannesburg and up through Tanzania and into Kenya. Along the way, there is this 2,000 year old Boabab tree. It is 29 meters in circumference. During the war, Mozambiquians would use this tree as a hiding place. The inside is all hollow. It was incredible to see.

We also had monkeys and baboons playing along the beach in front of our chalet. They kept us entertained.

3 comments:

Cheeky said...

So glad you shared--what a beautiful place to rest and relax! We love being able to tell our kids about friends we have living in Africa and showing them pictures. If airfare/travel weren't so expensive for a family of 6, believe you me we'd come visit in a heartbeat. Happy 10 years you guys from some very "old" friends ;-)

Traci said...

Congratulations on 10 years! Good for you for taking the chance to get away just the two of you!!!

Aubrey said...

Thanks so much for sharing! So glad you guys had a good time... we were hoping so. The pictures look soooo beautiful. We hope it was relaxing and that you feel refreshed. Love you guys!
Stephen, Aubrey and Brielle