Anne and I successfully met up this morning at Heathrow – Anne from Singapore and myself from Lilongwe/Jo berg. We are now relaxing at the Thistle hotel. I am typing this email at a very unfriendly terminal in the lobby but hopefully I will not experience the server crashes evident in Malawi.
The celebration on Sunday at Ntandire was a great success filled with joyous music to accompany the 3 hour Mass presided over by a very sprightly 71 year old Bishop ( French Canadian ) and in the afternoon enjoyed traditional dances, a play and a comedy sketch. There were nearly 1000 people packed into the church and afterwards the numbers swelled to what I gauge to be 3000; a very attentive sea of teeming friendly faces. Afterwards I gave a radio interview with the very popular Catholic radio station, whose ratings exceed the commercial stations.
Earlier, on the way, as we lurched along the red dusty pot holed road, people were waving and greeting us (in the normal friendly way synonymous of the poorer areas of Malawi) when a rare motorist suddenly pulled out in front of us and we narrowly avoided an accident. The drivers here are shocking and rarely give any signals, but even when they do it’s likely to be incor
rect. The previous day an ambulance spilled into a group of people rushing to receive free voter sponsored T shirts killing 8. They are also fond of road blocks and we have been occasionally stopped by the army or police to check where we are coming from and our destination. The officers however are always friendly.
After numerous thank you's and an endless procession of gifts to Fr Taylor- goats, chickens -and speeches it was time to say goodbye. I asked FR Taylor to cut a section of the cloth I received and together with the hand carved crucifix for OLHC, post it off to me in mid june when I’m back. We left with such a crowd of people following the car you could barely see the road and we crawled along at 1 km an hour until we could eventually break clear when the red dust gave way to a wider section.
On the Monday we travelled to Lake Malawi which is very beautiful and I enjoyed the warm clear water with Fr Taylor, Dyson and his son Felix. A long way off were crocodiles and hippo’s.
Best wishes Lindsay