Malawi with the Bates'
The rainy season is usually well underway by the time Christmas comes, so everyone is busy in their gardens, tilling the soil, planting maize seeds and applying fertilizer, with hopes and dreams of a favourable harvest to come.
Many people travel to visit families over the Christmas period: to their home villages, or between the three major cities of Malawi. The roads are busy, drink driving is common here still, so Jes and his team are ready in case of an influx of patients needing operations in the newly opened theatre. It’s a time for getting together, perhaps accompanied by a meal of chicken or goat, rather than the giving and receiving of presents. In many homes the cooking will be done on a charcoal stove (known as an ‘mbaula’) particularly as the country is hampered by severe and prolonged electricity cuts this year.
We are looking forward to the return of Peter and the visit of Jes’ dad. We often have some home-grown goat for Christmas lunch. This year we will spend Christmas Day on Lake Malawi, enjoying some of the beautiful birdlife, sunsets and doing a bit of sailing.