Saturday, June 17:
This morning and afternoon was amazing thanks to Simion! We all woke up and had breakfast then headed towards the mountains at about 9 am. We arrived to Ku Chawe Mountain, on the Zomba Plateau, at about 9:30 am and went immediately to the horse-barns. I don’t know if I have ever been on a higher peek or seen a more beautiful mountain. About 8 “new” riders went on the first round of horses while the rest of us “experienced” riders hung out by the barns, took pictures and ate an early lunch. I was in the second group, and we headed out when the others got back around 11:30 am. My horses name was “Nick A Quid” and he is an old race horse! It’s humorous that I was in the “experienced” riders group but I told them I wanted to go fast and wasn’t scared so they put me in the second group, which I am so glad they did! Simion and I were at the front of the line and were told to go off on our own because we were way faster than the rest of the group. I got to trot, canter and gallop up and down mountains, passing a waterfall, surrounded by sunshine and pine trees. After an hour plus ride, we got back to the barn at about 12:45. For over an hour of horseback riding, in the beautiful mountains of Africa, we only owed 4000 kwatcha which is about 20 US dollars. What kind of amazing deal is that?
After the rides, we went up to the hotel on the mountain while Dr. Kelly and the other professors got beer and relaxed and us students shopped around. As we were pulling out, we were swarmed again by all of the vendors throwing things in our windows. Apparently this is what we need to do at all of the markets: we refuse to pay the prices, and then when our bus is on its way out and the vendors see that we are really leaving, they lower the price by at least ½. Dr. Kelly said that their initial offer is 7 times greater than the actual price of the item because they tend to take advantage of “clueless” American tourists. Not us! I have yet to buy anything except food because I honestly think my pictures and memories are good enough souvenirs. I’d rather save all of my money to be able to donate at the end, but I would like to get a bag and something for my parents at the big market next weekend.
We got back from the adventure at about 3 and most of us got on the internet (finally!) and then took a nap. For dinner tonight I had a vegetable pie, which was like a vegetable hot pocket. It was very good and the portions here make me feel skinny. That’s always a plus haha! Now Katie and I are about to start our lesson plan for Monday, which is hard because our teacher gave us no direction. Honestly, I don’t know how much we will be teaching but more-so just putting smiles on the kids faces and making them feel loved.
Tomorrow morning we are going to Church at 9 am which I am so excited for and really have no idea what to expect. Dr. Kelly said it will last at least 2 hours because of all of the music, but the mass is in English and Chichewa which will be great. I will try to videotape it! Talk tomorrow. Peace, love, Malawi.