"Although this is the end of the second day’s cycling, it is in fact the end of the first full day for the whole group, as 5 of us were delayed overnight in Abbis Ababa enroute. Our arrival last night at Nkhotakota Pottery Lodge was particularly welcome and what a special place of beauty overlooking Lake Malawi. As the moon rose over the Lake we sat round that camp fire together for a period of devotions, mindful of God’s goodness to us and reflecting on our week’s theme of justice and mercy.
Today has been inspiring and challenging.
Smiling children ran from their villages to greet us all along the way, keen to practise their English “hello” and “byebye”. Some boys ran along the road barefooted, keen to race us, laughing all the way. The route has been undulating through varied scenery, small cassava plots, wild bush along side an animal reserve, and sugar cane plantations. The sun has shone continuously, with temperatures hitting 30 degrees, so the shade of trees and a light breeze was welcome. The roads were generally quiet, apart from thundering trucks loaded with provisions. People travel on foot carrying all manner of things piled on their heads, or bicycle with passengers perched on padded pillion seats at the back.
Our every need has been taken care of by the wonderful team led by Henk, doctor Jenny and the Malawians. We have stopped every 20km to ensure we are all well hydrated, nourished with sweets and savouries. A buffet was set up for us for lunch and even comfy mats provided for a brief rest.
I have been struck by the noise, chatter and laughter as we pass through villages, as people go about their daily tasks: women drawing water from handpumps, pounding cassava and small children running around playing games.
Life is very fragile here, people have to work so hard for the basic necessities of life, and yet they express a visible happiness that is unparalleled at home.
It’s now dark and the cicadas are chirping. Looking forward to dinner, a good night’s rest and another adventure tomorrow".