Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Few Photos of Truck or Bus Travel in Malawi--George's Post

Below you will find a few photos of truck and bus travel in Malawi.  Anyone who has lived in Africa will find these scenes strikingly familiar.

Often we find old abandoned trucks in the townships.  This one is in front of the Zingwangwa meetinghouse and is used as the landmark to help investigators find the building.
 
For several months this flatbed was left parked across from the Manase Police Station.  We could never quite figure out what a "mice mark" was?
 
This is a very common scene.  Men stack their bikes with several bags of charcoal for delivery to Blantyre, Lilongwe or other larger market towns.  The loads are so heavy they must push them up the hills, but usually can ride downhill.
 
This is a photo of a truck loading its passengers in the Blantyre market.  What is less clear is that it is pouring rain.  Most of the passengers sat patiently waiting for the truck to depart, despite the terrible conditions.
 
This bus was loaded with passengers leaving from Esther's funeral in Mpamba, a village 30 some kilometers from Blantyre.  It took close to an hour to extract the bus from the mud.

The second photo gives you a better sense for the chaos, crowds and mess.  You can see how much help I was to extracting the bus.  Just about as much as the kids in the foreground.

The intercity buses stop occasionally at the market cities to allow passengers to purchase food.  The local food peddlers instantly appear when the buses pull aside for the quick breaks.  Getting there first is the difference between making a sale and coming up empty.

These beautifully clad women gathered in Limbe, waiting to head back to the outlying villages, after a day of work or shopping in town.
Gathering, packing, assembling, sorting through stuff, and waiting are just a part of the experience.