Chididi

Malawi Travel Blog

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Beautiful.

From Nsanje we hiked up the mountain to the area of Chididi.  They aren't joking when they call it a mountain, and when it comes to journeying back down the mountain we're amazed at some of the slopes we made it up.  About a third of the way up I had a horrible asthma attack - which was strange considering I don't have asthma.  Didn't anyway...  But that was a scary experience.  My lungs slowly opened up again though, and the high pitched wheezing went away - and we journeyed on and I made it up with only a couple more minor attacks.  

 

As we neared the top the kids of the village began meeting us along the way, and soon one of them was saying Suzanne, Suzanne!  I replied, "No actually, my name is Emily."  To which he yelled "Suzanne!  Suzanne!" and gestured onward.  We pushed ourselves once again and attempted running up the last bit, and rounding the last hill saw our tents pitched and chairs out for us with tea and bananas.

Our child escorts greeted us with a chameleon.
  Let me tell you, the moments of that level of joy are too few.  I was even offered my first bucket shower, and was delighted to find the water had been heated!

           

The next five days spent on the mountain were beautiful and wonderfully challenging.  In four days time we held 12 services, quickly conquering our fears of preaching and giving testimonies, and developing the rhythm of translation.  Worship in these churches is amazing!  Here beauty in singing is not determined by tone or pitch but by volume, and the louder you sing the better.  It’s powerful to say the least.  The women circle in front with shakers that are loud enough to be heard even as the entire village is crammed into the church singing as loudly as their bodies allow.

Walking to Masona we passed a school, causing a bit of an interruption. Luckily it was recess.
  It’s absolutely beautiful!

 

A couple of the days we hiked to other villages to preach.  One day we hiked three hours to a village, winding in and out of Malawi and Mozambique as we navigated the peaks with half of our host village as our escort.  This and the countless children that flock around us everywhere we go make it easier to visualize the gospels as they mention crowds gathering and following Jesus. 

 

There is no electricity here on the mountain, and night falls early in the evening.

Emily in Mozambique - first steps
  We sit in the dark, marvelling at the dome of stars touching the horizon and disappearing in the trees around us, and chat with the villagers as we await the call to our candle lit dinner of chicken, cabbage, and nshima.  We are asked to stand and we know the time is near, as the young boys carry our chairs on their heads to the pastor’s house so we may sit and dine.  Later they carry them back and wait for the call to service, to carry them up the hill to the church.

 

Life here is beautiful and simple.  So different than anything we know.  Everything relies on the crops yielded, which are brought down either side of the mountain to either Malawi or Mozambique to be sold or traded for goods that are then carried back up the mountain.

Night Service in Thepeya - lit by one lantern, as the one lightbulb run by a car battery usually lasted about ten minutes.
  Money doesn’t travel up, as it serves little purpose up here, though there are a number of random Coke and sweets vendors in little huts:  Ahh, the wonderful far-reaching capability of Coke.  It has become a staple treat, as it is all we know other than nshima.  The people here know nothing of snow, and after a few fruitless attempts at explaining the concept, I decided to make it a point to avoid the topic.  One of the leaders, Barrett, also had an interesting conversation with a church elder who wanted to go to America to see what he would look like when he turned white.   It’s a different world here, and we are constantly being made aware of the assumptions so often taken for granted in the west.

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Beautiful.
Beautiful.
Our child escorts greeted us with …
Our child escorts greeted us with…
Walking to Masona we passed a scho…
Walking to Masona we passed a sch…
Emily in Mozambique - first steps
Emily in Mozambique - first steps
Night Service in Thepeya - lit by …
Night Service in Thepeya - lit by…
Mozambique or Malawi?  Maybe both.
Mozambique or Malawi? Maybe both.
Homemade instruments, a treat from…
Homemade instruments, a treat fro…
The gals that cooked for us at Mas…
The gals that cooked for us at Ma…
The road the Handy Landy had to ta…
The road the Handy Landy had to t…
Massive tree:  Yes, it is too big …
Massive tree: Yes, it is too big…
The sweetheart that insisted on ca…
The sweetheart that insisted on c…
Laura, Monicca, Happy, and I
Laura, Monicca, Happy, and I
Chilling outside on The Chairs.
Chilling outside on The Chairs.
Cokes near the top of the mountain…
Cokes near the top of the mountai…
Part of the crowd after we reached…
Part of the crowd after we reache…
Adorable.
Adorable.
Night Service, Pr. George (Thepeya…
Night Service, Pr. George (Thepey…
Quite possibly our dinner one of t…
Quite possibly our dinner one of …
Emily & Emily.  Quite possibly the…
Emily & Emily. Quite possibly th…
Scary Barrett
Scary Barrett
Vincent and Peter
Vincent and Peter
Cokes in Mozambique
Cokes in Mozambique
The Women in Mozambique
The Women in Mozambique
The Men in Mozambique
The Men in Mozambique
Shaking with the Shakers
Shaking with the Shakers
Our home church in Thepeya, a vill…
Our home church in Thepeya, a vil…
Local Pastors of Chididi
Local Pastors of Chididi
Pr. George and his wife
Pr. George and his wife
The Villagers of Thepeya
The Villagers of Thepeya
Candle lit dinners in Thepeya
Candle lit dinners in Thepeya
Suzanne in Malawi and me in Moz
Suzanne in Malawi and me in Moz
Bob, one of the many that accompan…
Bob, one of the many that accompa…
Yay!  Shade!
Yay! Shade!
The rooster with a funny cockadood…
The rooster with a funny cockadoo…
Meal time in Nsilanga.
Meal time in Nsilanga.
Fred, Tim, Rhys in Phokera, Mozamb…
Fred, Tim, Rhys in Phokera, Mozam…
BANANAS!!
BANANAS!!
Yeah, thats Dave in the shower.
Yeah, that's Dave in the shower.
Thepeya Friends
Thepeya Friends
Thepeya Friends
Thepeya Friends
Barretts Birthday Cokes
Barrett's Birthday Cokes
Days hike to Nsilanga.
Days hike to Nsilanga.
Praise time in Nsilanga, service u…
Praise time in Nsilanga, service …