A Journey

When someone asks me what I’ve done with my life, its always the same answer, its easy– Malawi. I had long dreamt of Africa and at the age of 20 I packed my suncream and khakis and off I went.. on a Jumbo from Heathrow Airport.   The Journey was a like a taster for what would come before. There were the obvious Malawi nationals, no doubt returning home with stories of lands afar to tell their families, there were toughened looking tanned expat types, and a number of what seemed to be Chinese businessmen, likely to be going to sniff out opportunities for investment.
I was seated next to two twenty-something’s, each of us travelling for different purposes. One was going for business, he was working for a company which sold water cleansing machinery, one was travelling to meet his brother who had recently eloped to live with his Malawian wife, and there was me.. going to live in the deepest outset of one of the most untouched and rawest areas in the world – on a whim. I had arranged an internship with an Englishman by the name of Geoff who was doing his best to extend a helping hand to the locals, but this was the only security and comfort I had, and any other arrangements would be made by myself alone.   What we did all have in common though, was that we had absolutely no idea what to expect! Touchdown. An hour of queuing for Passport control and Luggage claims and I had arrived.
It wasn’t the sweltering heat or the fact that Lilongwe airport resembled more of a disused Primary school that sticks in my mind about my arrival, it was the Smiles. The most honest, genuine smiles in all the world. The taxi Journey to my camp for the night was like an interrogation. I bombarded the taxi driver with questions about every aspect of my new environment. I wanted to know everything! “Why was that man giving that goat a piggy back?”,   “Is that the school that Madonna is building?!”. He answered all of them, in the typical warm Malawian way, with a glint in his eye and a cheeky...