Mtima sovala sanza is one of my favorite Chichewa sayings.* It means “my heart doesn’t wear rags” and refers to someone that wants riches and comforts beyond their means. Last year, Alick told me that this should be my motto.
Well, a few days ago, thanks to the British Department for International Development (DFID), I was able to spend one evening in luxury. Kim and I travelled to Lilongwe on Monday to present the (meager) results of our pre-protest survey to the funder (DFID) and members of other development organizations in the country. The drive was about four hours, and we were doing data analyses and the powerpoint on the way.
The presentation went well, and I am hoping that when the next planned protest does go ahead (Sept. 21, they are saying now) that we may get funded to complete the study.
Now, back to the real point of this post. After the presentation, Kim and I stayed at probably the nicest lodge I’ve ever visited. Kumbali Country Lodge is situated about 6km from the capital, and — ahem — it’s where Madonna stays when she comes to Malawi. So, I keep good company.
It was more expensive than I would pay if I were paying, but it’s not unreasonable. In fact, I think it’s on par with all the shit hotels in Lilongwe that try really hard, but just look dated.
And the food was AMAZING. The daughter of the owners is a chef, and she knows what she is doing. And, as embarrassing as it is to admit this, I think you will enjoy knowing that I ate so much that I actually, literally threw up. Not on the table or anything, but still. I’m not sure that has ever happened to me before, but I absolutely do not regret taking desert. Or all the homemade cheese and off-the-farm veggies and meat.
Now I’m back in Zomba, gearing up to start training on my own research next week. Joachim and I are planning to go to the lake this weekend, and stay in the lodge where we got engaged two years ago.
*Other than kuiwala kulibe mankwala which means “for forgetting, there is no medicine”…I say this all the time.