Music and Dancing on the Beach in Malawi with Zeb

It feels like a party on the beach on Lake Malawi.   I think we are ready for a party.

Our beach. Ready for a party.

Our beach.  Ready for a party.

Here is the drummer.

Drummer

Drummer

He is fantastic.   I, Zeb the Duck, don’t think he ever stops playing.   We love him.   People are dancing.

Let's dance

Let’s dance

The smiling children are joining the dancing.

Children dancing

Children dancing

We like many dancers.   Everybody should try dancing on the beach to the beat of the drum.

Many more dancing

Many more dancing

If not dancing, many play on the beach of Lake Malawi, in Malawi.

Many people on beach of Lake Malawi

Many people on beach of Lake Malawi

These children love to have their pictures taken, or they really like to see their pictures.

Children love the camera

Children love the camera

Someone is leading the conga line.

Join the conga line anyone?

Join the conga line anyone?

This is fun.   Of course, no party is complete without food.   Esther cooks for us, using this three burner wood burning changu changu moto.

Esther cooks on a three burner wood burning changu changu moto

Esther cooks on a three burner wood burning changu changu moto

Deborah seemed to disappear for awhile.   She was helping Esther.   That was very nice to do.   It is getting dark now; the drummer is stopping and the dancers are stopping.   All the Ripple Africa volunteers, some of our Malawi friends and Ripple Africa employees gather for dinner.   For dessert, a chocolate birthday cake is presented to Linda.

Birthday cake for Linda

Birthday cake for Linda

This cake was baked on a changu changu moto wood burning stove.   And the cake is delicious.   We are all happy that Linda has a birthday while in Malawi, and that she shared her cake.    The humans and Zeb, the Colorado Traveling Duck, will always smile when remembering our farewell party.   We will miss all our new friends at Ripple Africa.   Once again, the people have shown us why Malawi is called the Warm Heart of Africa.

Makuzi Beach Lodge, Malawi with Zeb the Duck

After one week of volunteering, I, Zeb the Duck, and four of the volunteering women have a mini vacation at Makuzi Beach Lodge.   Makuzi Beach Lodge is also on the beautiful Lake Malawi, a 30 minute drive from or Ripple Africa location.

A beach lodge! Fantastic

A beach lodge! Fantastic

Here we are.   Let’s go to the Reception to check in and get our room keys.

Let's get the keys

Let’s get the keys

We are enjoying our time at Ripple Africa, but here we each have our own room with an en suite bathroom and plenty of hot water.   True luxury.  My first thought was to go to the beach.  Here I am lounging on a beach chair.

Lounging on the beach

Lounging on the beach

That is me, Zeb the Duck, on the chair on the right.   We have a nice sandy beach and the rocks in the water give it character, without making the beach too rocky.

Interesting rocks

Interesting rocks

I really like this resort.   We even have birds on a rock in the water.

Birds on a rock by our beach

Birds on a rock by our beach

There are almost always birds here.   Of course, being a duck, I do like birds.  Wow!  This hammock is in front of my room.

Lounging in the hammock

Lounging in the hammock

This could be my favorite place to rest.  Our cabin, or chalet, is so cute.

Our chalet for the weekend

Our chalet for the weekend

Don’t you think it looks so tropical?  I am sitting on the chair on the right, on my porch.   This chair is really comfortable, too.   A  nice splash of color as Deborah walks on the beach.

Bright color on the beach

Bright color on the beach

Love the color of your shirt, Deborah.   On the right, is the bar and lounge.

Restaurant over kayaks. Bar and lounge to the right

Restaurant over kayaks. Bar and lounge to the right

The structure on the left is our restaurant.   They really prepare excellent food here.   Under the restaurant the brightly colored kayaks are available for our use.   Unfortunately it is a little too windy to use them this weekend.  There are a few of these platforms, or beach gazebos available.

Great place to watch the water

Great place to watch the water

There is a canoe in the water.

Canoe on Lake Malawi

Canoe on Lake Malawi

These are narrow dugout canoes.   The person in the canoe must sit on the edge of the canoe and paddle.   I am in the canoe and ready to go.

Dugout canoe. Rather narrow

Dugout canoe. Rather narrow

Oh well, maybe they are not ready to go in the water yet.   But I will be back soon.   Hey, what is happening?

You forgot the duck!!

You forgot the duck!!

It looks like they are going to go without me.   I will be staying on land with mom and the other women.   This is a nice lodge with a beautiful location.   For more information about Makuzi Beach Lodge, visit http://www.MakuziBeachLodge.com  I enjoyed my weekend here.   Maybe you will visit Makuzi Beach Lodge on Lake Malawi soon.

Zeb the Duck Visits a Fishing Village then Lunch at Ngala Beach Resort.

Ripple Africa is working with the local tribal chiefs and the local fisherman on Lake Malawi.   People were given mosquito nets to reduce mosquito bites which can prevent malaria.   The nets were given with good intentions, but now there is a problem.   The fisherman, trying to support their families, need to catch as many fish as possible.   Unfortunately they have been using mosquito nets as fish nets.   This results in very small fish being caught.   If the small fish are taken from the lake, there will be a shortage of fish very soon.  Ripple Africa is trying to persuade the chiefs and fisherman to not use mosquito nets for fishing.   This will cause a reduction in income now and for a few years, but then an increase in fish, and an increase in income. Many people understand and agree with this, but there are still a few that are worried about a reduction in current income.   We were invited to a meeting with the tribal chiefs about this problem.   The meeting was held near this school.

Children going to school

Children going to school

The children are so curious about the volunteer women.    I love the bright colored uniforms.   After the meeting, we visited a fishing village.   These are the fishing boats used on Lake Malawi.

Fishing boats

Fishing boats

You will notice the nets in the boats on the right and on the left.   There was no decision that day; this will take time for all to agree.   After the fishing village, the volunteer women, and I, Zeb the Duck,had a wonderful lunch here, at Ngala Beach Lodge on Lake Malawi.

Ngala Beach Lodge

Ngala Beach Lodge

Chris and Sandi, the owners of the Ngala Beach Lodge really made us feel welcome.

Chris and Sandi, the resort owners

Chris and Sandi, the resort owners

Well humans, let’s go inside.

Let's enter the resort

Let’s enter the resort

Isn’t this beautiful?

Lake Malawi from deck of resort

Lake Malawi from deck of resort

Lake Malawi from the deck the lodge is gorgeous.   These bright flowers are so tropical.

Beautiful tropical flowers

Beautiful tropical flowers

I could stay here and feel like I was in paradise.   An extra bonus.

Swimming pool

Swimming pool

We always appreciate a great swimming pool.   This is a wonderful place for me.

My friend, the hippo

My friend, the hippo

This hippo is my new friend.   And look.

Giraffe with long neck

Giraffe with long neck.  I am sitting on a turtle table.   His shell is comfortable.

Everyone loves a giraffe.   These wooden carvings are fantastic.

Wooden carvings

Wooden carvings

With all these animal statues, we must be in Africa.   For more information about this resort, visit http://www.NgalaBeach.com This is a really great day in Malawi.

To Ripple Africa on Lake Malawi

Today I, Zeb the Duck, and the 6 human women are going to our home for the next two weeks. The women are volunteering with the British organization, Ripple Africa.   We are riding north in two cars for most of the day.  Leaving Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, we will be a little south of Mzuzu, Malawi on the shore of Lake Malawi at Nkhata Bay.   Here is the map of Malawi.

Malawi in Southern Africa

Malawi in Southern Africa

While stopping for fuel, we admire this lady and her bright dress.

Pretty lady with colorful dress

Pretty lady with colorful dress

Isn’t she pretty?   I think she is.   While riding, we saw signs announcing that we were in a goat group area.   So, we asked what this meant.   Our driver told us that Heifer International gave some families a few goats.   The families cannot kill and eat the goat.   They use the milk, sell the extra and let the goats reproduce.   The families then give extra goats to another family.

Many goats.

Many goats.

When the village has enough goats, the extra goats are given to another village.   This is a great way to give people a start and let them help themselves and their neighbors.   Now we know what a goat group is.   We like it.   We are now at our new home.   This is our building.

Where we live

Where we live

My room is the door on the left.   Each of the rooms is for two women.   Inside my room I notice the mosquito netting over the beds.

Our room, with mosquito netting over beds

Our room, with mosquito netting over beds

This is necessary to help prevent malaria, from mosquito bites.   There is always the chance of malaria, but this is not the main season for mosquitos.   However, we are all taking daily pills to avoid malaria.   We will eat our meals here.

This is where we eat

This is where we eat

We have a great view of Lake Malawi from our dining area.

Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi

Of course we want to walk on the beach.

Canoe by our beach on Lake Malawi

Canoe by our beach on Lake Malawi

I love this canoe.    As you remember from yesterday’s map, we are in the tropics, between the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn, so there are many wonderful green tropical plants.

Love tropical plants

Love tropical plants

There is no electricity here, so our meals are cooked on a wood burning stove.   This is a 3 burner changu changu moto stove.

Three burner changu changu moto stove

Three burner changu changu moto stove

We will tell you more about these stoves another day.   Ripple Africa helps support this clinic.

The clinic or dispensary

The clinic or dispensary

The hospital is hours away from here, so the clinic is very important.   Ripple Africa also supports and encourages reforestation.   These little black bags of dirt will have tree seedlings inside and will be planted when they are big enough to grow outside.

Bags of dirt to plant tree seedlings

Bags of dirt to plant tree seedlings

One of the main functions of Ripple Africa is to improve the education.   Many schools receive help from Ripple Africa.

Children in uniforms entering school

Children in uniforms entering school

We will show you more about the schools another day.   Today this duck wants to give you a glimpse of what Ripple Africa does, and what we will be doing for the next two weeks.   The slogan for Ripple Africa is “giving a hand up, not a hand out.”  For more information about Ripple Africa, visit http://www.RippleAfrica.org   There is no better way to end our first day on Lake Malawi.

Full moon rising over Lake Malawi

Full moon rising over Lake Malawi

We love the full moon rising over the lake.   Without electricity, the skies here are so beautiful.