so. christmas in malawi.
What was going to happen was Meagan and I were going to meet about 10 of our friends at Senga Bay...if only we knew....
I met Meagan in Lilongwe after a long four hours of travelling. It should only take me an hour and a half to get to the city, but it is harder to travel on the weekends. I get there. We talk about our troubles at our sites and how we are so looking forward to seeing everyone at the beach for a nice Christmas by the Lake. We decided a while ago that we wanted to get there on Tuesday and have a day before the Christmas rush on Christmas Eve, when the rest of our party was getting there.
So Tuesday morning, we set out in taking a minibus to the Salima turn off for k100. not bad. All we need now is a hitch to Salima/Senga Bay to get to our campsite/resort. Lucky us, we found a hitch all the way to Salima. Hitching is an interesting science. You not only can have the worst luck ever finding a car, you can have the worst luck finding someone who 1) has been drinking or 2) has filled their matola with people, goats, tomatoes, rice, etc and they expect you to fit...not so much. But our hitch was a nice guy just doing business in Salima. We get to the transit town and we're only 17km from Senga bay! so close!! We're walking down the road and while observing a clinic funded by UNICEF, I trip, twist/sprain my ankle hella bad and catch myself with my opposite knee, twisting it and scraping the crap out of it...not fun. We sit by the road and we are approached by women leaving the clinic who offer their cotton (used for their women business) and their aid in finding a hitch to senga bay. I'm barely walking two minutes before I have to sit down. I don't know if it was from the blood or lack of real food in my stomach, but I was passing out. I was desperate for a ride. so Meagan puts on her best friend face and goes the road to show a little leg for the cars passing by. Not much worked until a guy and his wife were kind enough to pick us up (after about 20 mins...not bad) and drive us all the way to our resort. Thank the heavens, right?
So we get there. We set up our tent. We get in our suits and enjoy the gorgeous water out before us, about 20 meters from our resort. It's gorgeous. The sun is shining, the beach boys are oogling, the malawian kids are aching for us to play with them, we lay out, go swimming, read, nap--everything we wanted to do and were ready to do for four days....
We decide to get some sun on the veranda or at least get some drinks and relax up at the resort a bit. Now let me preface this next sequence with events with a disclaimer: on ANY OTHER DAY Meagan would have brought her huge, awesome camera on vacation, but we decided in LL that it would be my job this trip to take the pictures: a hefty job seeing as Meagan usually takes about 200 pics at each PC event. But I was excited to take on the job...
So there were these monkeys.
adorable, cute, little, gray monkeys.
They were sitting on the veranda with us, just eating the leafy goodness in the potted plants, being cute and sniffing flowers. Meagan strikes up a conversation with the manager of the resort and his uncle as she tells me to get some good pictures of the monkeys. So I approach them slowly after the men say they are used to humans and nice creatures. I am about 7 feet away from one and I get a shot of him sniffing a flower so innocently.
and then henotices me.
and then heapproaches me.
I get up from my seat hesitantly.
What I should have done is run.
But I didn't.
So the monkey decided to jump down from his ledge, attach himself forcefully to my leg, and bite me.
Now don't be too alarmed here. My battle wounds are more scratches, gnawing bruises, puncture wounds, and bruises from him holding me tight.
But really. Christmas: friends, the bars, the beach, the sun, the camping, the everything...
and much to my dismay, as I was in shock, Meagan calls the PC doctor.
The conversation went as so:
Dr. Max: Hello, meagan.
Me: Oh, no, Dr. max, it's Erica. Don't hate me.
Dr. Max: Oh, Erica! What happened? (he was expecting much worse)
Me: well, there was this monkey. I was taking pictures. and it bit me.
Dr. Max:.....oh, my.
Me: tell me I don't have to come back to Lilongwe.
Dr. Max: What really was happening Erica?
Me: just what I said! I took a picture and then it attacked me!
Dr. Max: Oh, Erica. you were playing with the monkey, weren't you?
I promise I was not playing with the monkey. It must have just not liked the paparazzi. Maybe if PC had trained us to not be fascinated with all the animals Malawi has to offer this wouldn't have happened...haha
So I had to stay one night at the resort and head to the city to get rabies shots and meds and be on med hold for christmas. bummer. But the next morning, I was so incredibly happy to get a hitch with Meagan in the back of a matola (truck bed) all the way to the city. This meant fresh air and sights. As we were leaving the resort, I was explaining how happy I was to be sitting in the back of a truck bed because of the wind and everything beautiful when *WHAM*, I get smacked in the face by a tree branch. It just popped out and whacked me in the face, leaving me with a bit of whip lash and some leafy business in my mouth and bra.
bad things come in threes, right?
So Christmas '08. Remember that Christmas Erica got bit by a monkey?
It's a good laugh, really. maybe not on Tuesday, but now it is. At least I got some sun before the monkey bit me...
Missing you guys more than you know. It's been a pretty restful vacation. minus the whole "I might get rabies" thing, it was a good christmas. Zeb is on med hold, too, so he and Tina cooked us some christmas eve dinner and when we woke up in the morning, Santa had made a paper christmas tree with little boxes of tambala and kwacha. I was about to give Meagan hand sanitizer for christmas, but money is WAY better.
will be back on the computer by New Years, hopefully. I send my holiday wishes from Africa. So does the monkey.
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3