Thursday, October 27, 2016

TBT: Malawi in the 70s

Shortly after my 1979 arrival in Malawi, the country was visited by HRH Queen Elizabeth and Prince Andrew. Malawi had been a British colony known as Nyasaland and was then ruled by a 'benevolent' dictator, President Kamuzu Banda. The official woman below is wearing the standard political party outfit with photos of the President all over the cloth. It was said that he was spouse to all the women of Malawi. Take that as you will...



Below, the Queen is in the center in a white hat.



In Lilongwe, the capital, my children went to a British style school which was divided into Houses. My eldest was the Captain of the Red house which won the sports day events one year and thus had the cup for the year. My daughter was more thrilled to have a rare soda all to herself.



Our later years saw that eldest son going to boarding school down in Blantyre Malawi. On our way we stopped at the Embassy cottage up on  the Zomba plateau. It got quite chilly at night and there was a wall sized fireplace stocked with wood and maintained by the servants.



Here you see my daughter in a dress covering her knees.  Females over 6 had to have their knees covered and trousers/slacks were forbidden.  By contrast, the boys in boarding school wore shorts and  knee socks, a real throwback to the outfits worn by the colonials.



When we had visitors, we often took them out to see the huge ant hills that were out in the open lands. Climbing to the top was a bit dicey because the red ants were not happy when disturbed and had stinging bites.



Later in our time in Malawi, I went with a few other Embassy women to visit a game park in Zambia.  While we as a family had gone to a smaller park in Malawi, there was more chance of seeing the big game in Zambia. The timing of the trip was to allow the woman 2nd from left to see the animals before she went back to the US to have her baby. Always a map lover, I carried the map to track our route even though our driver knew his way very well.



We did see all the animals that were what we called the Big 5 though I don't recall that the leopard was part of that group then,  We considered it the lion, the water buffalo, the elephant, the giraffe and the rhinoceros. This was more of a 'seeing' 5 rather than a 'hunting' 5.





Interesting that I was so blasé about seeing them that I didn't take any other photos. Giraffes we so prevalent in the parks that I took them for granted. Silly me...

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