On the road

Today we went to Lilongwe again because we will have to pick up Roy (Riks uncle) from the airport tonight. This means we have spent a couple of hours in the car, but also that we’ve seen quite a bit of Malawi today.

I think that the biggest part of life in Malawi takes place near or on roads. People use the roads too to walk from one village to another, cows and their shepherds also find it easier to walk on the roads. Most of the markets are also on both sides of a road, so it makes sense that people gather around these places.

What I like to see on the road is how people are much more creative when it comes to transporting things. In the Netherlands we take a bike quite often for short distances, however I would’ve never thought that it’s possible to transport 2 pigs or 3 goats on the back of the bike. It turns out it is possible!

Cyclists also take up more space on the roads here. Some examples of things which I have seen being transported on the back of a bike today: goats, pigs, grass, a stack of firewood so big the driver could sit underneath out of the sun (convenient!), beams of 5m in length, etc. Then it’s easy to imagine a whole world of possibilities opens up if you have a car! Pickups are regularly loaded with people or goats, and today we even saw some cows in there for the first time.

It took a while before we realised there was a cow in the back of the car in front of us.

But what if people don’t have access to a bike or car? Simple, then you just carry everything on your head (like a 20kg bag of corn). At least it frees up your hands, so you can wave at those passing by.

This pictures wasn’t taken in Malawi, but in South Africa!

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