Wednesday, February 2, 2011

At the beach and in the news

Well we have arrived at our new home Kande Beach Malawi. We've been slowly settling in over the past week and I've gotten Joy into the water for her Open Water Diving Course. It is beautiful here. The frequent but short-lived rains are cooling and invigorating and the calm clear waters of Lake Malawi just seconds from our doorstep are always warm and welcoming. We have found a real gem here in the Warm Heart of Africa and I invite all my readers to join me here, at least for a little while. There is so much to discover and experience and we ourselves are just starting that adventure. We have spoken before on this blog about our intention to start a volunteer-powered research center here on the lake and that goal is still alive. Check our the Maru Institute for more details on it. But for now we are going to concentrate on settling ourselves into the Kande community, making sure the diving end of our adventure is operating smoothly and that we have gone through all the neccesary legalities.

This morning we went for a dive at Kande Island and saw a beautiful array of cichlids. Out further we dug our hands into the golden sandy lake floor and could feel the heat of thermal springs bubbling just below.

Last night we had the chance to meet chief of this area and one of the so-called T/As, Traditional Authorities, of Malawi. He was calm, welcoming, and dignified gentleman with whom we hope to have many more conversations.

In the news Malawi has just recieved 350 million USD from the the US government to upgrade its eletricity network and power plants. The bulk of this money will go towards fixing up Malawi's only hydropower plant at the southern end of Lake Malawi. There is also real interest, and tenative plans, to start building a coal burning power plant in the country. For most of its history, colonial and otherwise, Malawi has been considered a mineral-poor country. Agriculture rather than mining has been its chief economic concern. However with the opening of a uranium plant a couple years ago and with the continued coal mining in the north of the country many Malawians are hopeful that more minerals can be found under their fertile soils.


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