Life in Mzuzu.
“What’s life like there?”, I hear you ask. “Where do you live?”, “What do you eat?”
Well, I live on the Mzuzu University campus in a 3 bed house (all to myself!)
(You can see Elaine's house behind mine)
|My "shower" ie a bucket and a cup|
I’d imagine my parents pictured me living in a mud hut when I mentioned Africa. Far from it. However I do keep buckets full of water and candles (in wine bottles) for the frequent power outages and when water is shut off. The university tends to turn off the power and water at the weekend to conserve it. Makes preparing for lectures and eating on Sun a bit of a chore.
Sara lives across the “road”, and Elaine lives next door. It’s the Optometry cul-de-sac. It’s about an eight minute walk to the office and a 15 minute walk to the hospital from my house.
|My walk to work|
Shopping wise, Mzuzu has 3 main supermarkets and fruit and veg is bought in the Main Market. Bananas have become a staple of my diet, at 10 kwacha for one, it’s be a shame not to. Far from the $1.50 I paid in Australia 12 months ago! One of the supermarkets “People’s”, sells the nicest steak I have ever tasted.
|Mike and Mwayi cooking the Braai|
Dairy can be hard to come by and as a result cheese is a precious commodity. It would not be unusual for the news that one of the supermarkets has had a shipment of cheese to spread with the vigour of a juicy piece of gossip.
I have eaten out more than I have cooked at home. Pinetree Lodge is great for a Sunday dinner, roasts, steak and mushroom pie and the BEST sticky toffee pudding I have ever tasted! It is also one of the restaurants that has a gas cooker and as such is frequented when we have no power! Mozoozoozo hostel has amazing Korean food, it tends to be a Friday evening haunt (usually accompanied by numerous greens and a trip to the hotel).
The main staple of Malawi cuisine is nsima, a porridge type dish made from maize flour. I compare the consistency to that of cooked Ready Brek. Then there is the vegetable rape, a green leafy vegetable similar to cabbage. The staff caf serves rape with every meal.
Drinks wise, Carlsberg has a brewery in Blantyre and three different drinks are produced- green, special and stout. Green is basically the Carlsberg we get at home, Special is, in my opinion, a nicer beer and then Stout is just what it says on the tin. A green in a bar will cost from K250-400 depending on the bar. Wine can be bought by the bottle or by the box (cue not so fond memories of goon in Australia) and then there are sachets.
Basically alcohol is a plastic sachet costing K10 each. You can get them in normal (ish) drinks but also lovely fake fruit flavoured ones. Slap shot is a drinking game where, after you down the sachet, someone slaps you on the face to get rid/take your mind off the dreadful taste!