Malawian Rice Vendor

Saturday, 27 August 2011

morning time

Mornings here are by far our favorite time of day. It is impossible to sleep in here. The day commences at first light long before sunrise the shades of pastel orange and gray streak across the sky illuminating the misty waters of the lake. The sun makes it´s leisurely ascent over the distant silhouette of the mountains of Mozambique. The gentle sound of the waves lapping against the shore wake us. The sound of women as their bare feet slap against the smooth stones coming closer as they near the shore. Their voices sing out like birds. The tones are anything but hushed as they echo against the jungle floor. Several of them descend upon the shoreline like ants to a picnic. Buckets full of soiled dishes and laundry perched perilously upon their heads. Dropping the buckets on the minute strand the clanging of dishes echo softly across the water. Last night’s pots of nshima are allowed first to soak first in the shallows of the illuminous waters. As the dishes soak, the soiled clothes are thrown into the lake one by one. Once wet soap is applied and then the women beat and knead the ragged fabric against the smooth rocks much like a baker kneads his bread. Once finished the lake makes an ideal place to rinse the soap. As the soap quickly dissipates into the clear waters, canoes each hand dug start to appear coming in both directions as just a dimly lit outline of their muscular bodies and paddles can be seen. Most of them are paddling inland from last night’s fishing expedition heading to market with their evening´s catch. The early morning conversations are lively between the passing men in their crafts and the women along the shoreline. The sun continues its slow climb into the sky as more canoes fill the waters. We sit in awe drinking our coffee as we watch the day to day life of these amazing people. Oh how we do love the morning time on the lake.....

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