“Sheets,” I exclaimed. “Look, there is actual sheets on the beds!”
“And mosquito nets too,” I added, fingering the delicate gauze material that hung from the roof of the thatch hut.
“Pretty sweet mate,” Brett nodded as he dropped his back pack onto the matching twin bed on his side of the hut.
A man materialized at the door with the lemonade we had requested.
“Thanks Joey,” I said as he placed the tray on the sturdy wooden table and set the two tall glasses down.
“Can I get you anything else?” he asked yet again. We had been here a handful of minutes, yet Joey had already taken our dinner orders, retrieved pillows for our luxurious looking beds and shown us every courtesy he could. I could tell that our 50 kwacha a night was going to be the best money I had ever spent.
After double checking that we had everything we needed yet again, Joey bowed, then quietly walked back in the direction of the kitchen. I caught sight of the swish of a colourful sarong disappearing around a corner, then turned back to our room.
“This is going to be awesome,” Brett declared as he bounced on the bed with a laugh. “What should we do first?”
“I need to jump in the lake,” I declared.
The sparkling lake beckoned just a stone’s throw from our hut. Brett stepped onto the porch to give me a minute to change, then we headed down to the beach. Dropping my towel, sunglasses, journal and pen, I ran to the lake’s edge and splashed in to my thighs, before diving head long into the warm waters of Lake Malawi.
I burst through the water’s surface and smiled my face up to the sun. In a pure moment of joy, I kicked out and drifted on my back gazing at the Malawian sky that surrounded me. The sandy beach lay behind me, with its cluster of neat little huts tucked amongst green palm trees. Looking further out into the lake, I saw men in mokoros fishing for the myriad of fish that called this place home. I idly drifted my legs back and forth to gently propel myself along and luxuriated in the moment.
There was no place I had to go. There was nothing pressing that I had to do. I did not even have to worry about what to scrounge up for dinner, as Joey was presenting us with seafood crepes that evening. Later, he would trek across the sandy expanse from the kitchen to our hut, with delightful home-made cuisine on a covered silver platter, but right now there was just me and a serenity that I cherished with all my heart. The warm heart of Africa had stolen mine.
Joey’s Seafood Crepes (for one)
· 2 small eggs
· ¾ cup flour
· Pinch of salt
· ¾ cup milk
· 1 tsp baking powder
· 1 Tbsp oil
*Beat the eggs until smooth, then add flour and salt stirring
*Add milk and oil until smooth
*cook crepes and set aside
· Cut-up pieces of kampango or chambo (fish)
· 1 clove of Garlic
· 1 cup of milk
· 1 Tbsp of cheese (white sauce)
· 1 ½ Tbsp butter
· 1 medium onion
*Fry fish and set aside(can substitute chicken or meat)
*Cook remaining ingredients, then add fish back in and simmer for 10-15 min
*pour filling onto crepe, wrap it up and serve