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Pamela MacNaughtan

Celebrating the Full Moon in Malawi

You can celebrate the full moon anywhere in the world. Many travelers celebrate it in South East Asia, I celebrated in Malawi.

Before we left Tanzania, George let us know that our second night in Malawi would be a ‘fancy dress’ night. The idea was that the truck would stop at a market in Malawi and everyone would buy ‘fancy’ (or just real old & odd) clothing. Our budget was 700 Malawi Kwacha (5 USD). At the time I thought we were just going to have a wee party. I had no idea that our fancy dress night would take place during the full moon.

Most of our group bought shiny skirts, shirts and pants. Some bought scarfs or ties and others decided to not buy anything at all. Although vendors offered me hideous dress after hideous dress, I couldn’t bring myself to buy one. So, I bought a scarf and tried to think of another way to look fancy.

Everyone was to be dressed by dinner time. I painted my nails (one hand was yellow, the other was hot pink), straightened my hair, put on some make-up, a scarf and every piece of jewellery I could find. After my ‘outfit’ was complete, I went to work doing make-up for some of the others -mostly the guys. Simon, James, Cillian and Dave were relatively easy, but I had to wrestle Ben (our driver and one of the shyest guys I have ever met) to get him onto the truck. Ben was so squirmy that all I could do was sprinkle some gold dust on his eyelids and a little around his face.

Once everyone was in their outfits and make-up it was time for dinner -a pig roasted on a stick, fried potatoes and coleslaw. Simon didn’t bother bringing out juice as the majority of us were already making our own cocktails. The party was just getting started.

As soon as dinner was over everyone migrated from our campsite to the bar. With beers in hand, we found a double long picnic table and tried to out laugh the table in front of us. Within a matter of time, we then migrated into the bar where the music was playing and started dancing in our bare feet. Lisa, Sean, Dave and Cillian started dancing on the wooden bar as the rest of us drank, danced and chatted on the sand-covered stone floor below. After a little while, I decided to join the others on top of the bar. I was nervous climbing up there, but once I was up, I was loving it (no there are no photos of me dancing on top of a bar).

The music continued to blare from whatever iPod was plugged into the sound system at the time, and our group continued to dance and party. Although I’d love to say that I stayed up all night long, I didn’t. Around midnight I decided to call it quits and wandered back to my tent in the dark. My feet slipped in the sand and when I finally found my tent, I tripped over the door opening and fell inside. Sure, it was an early night, but it was still a real fun night.

Traveling in Africa, solo, can be a scary thought -especially for solo female travelers. I’m not saying it can’t be done, it can. What I am saying is that there is nothing wrong with joining a group tour.

For 45 days I traveled from Kenya (Nairobi) to Cape Town with Intrepid Travel. This was my very first group travel experience. At first I wasn’t sure what I had gotten myself into, but as time progressed, I began to relax and fall in love with this type of travel. In fact, I would definitely travel with Intrepid again. 

Traveling in Africa, solo, can be a scary thought -especially for solo female travelers. I’m not saying it can’t be done, it can. What I am saying is that there is nothing wrong with joining a group tour.

For 45 days I traveled from Kenya (Nairobi) to Cape Town with Intrepid Travel. This was my very first group travel experience. At first I wasn’t sure what I had gotten myself into, but as time progressed, I began to relax and fall in love with this type of travel. In fact, I would definitely travel with Intrepid again. 

 

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