The Sunday morning started off with a quick reality check. Marcia’s mom, Manuela, has been with us for 2 weeks already and it was now time to say good bye. It definitely did not feel like 2 weeks and when I did a quick calculation I realized we’ve been in Malawi for 24 days already! Time has flown by while we tempted fate on the Lumani. Before we know it Clayton and I will no longer be travelers, we will just be unemployed, something that only now and then pop up on my radar of thoughts to avoid. We had to get a move on if we wanted to see everything we planned and be back mid-January.
After a much needed haircut from Manuela we said our goodbyes. While Matt and Marcia drove to Lilongwe to drop her off at the airport, we waited for them at Mayoka – a place that is very close to bumping Tofo off the #1 spot.
We swam, Clayton tried Stand-up-Paddle boarding, we read, I blogged and we swam a bit more. 2 days of absolute pure bliss – our reality check on Sunday morning already forgotten while we lazed away yet another few days.
Before I could mentally prepare myself for it, I turned 31 and while I ate my banana and peanut butter pancakes (Clayton knows just how to get me out of bed) I pondered about what this really means, where I should be in life (career wise and financially) and what assets should surely already be registered to our names. Pretty much measuring myself to the stereotypical 31 year old’s out there. I failed miserably against all categories however, my conclusion at the end was that: I am happy – could the same have been said if I was able to tick all the boxes? Probably not.
Content with life, we went on a boat trip for snorkeling, fish eagle feeding (which was just an absolutely incredible experience – so much so that I forgot to take photos) and cliff jumping – an activity I did not participate in because the 31-year old version of me do not succumb to peer pressure anymore. No, I do not like to launch myself into the air and fall into water, thank you very much. It is not a fear of heights issue, it is a I do not like it issue.
My birthday, started off undercover (just the way I like it) but it was made very public by dearest Marcia and Matt who not only decorated our tent with balloons but, also arranged a cake from the lodge. The cake was delivered just after supper by singing, excited staff members who would not take no for an answer until I stood on the bar and downed a shooter. In front of strangers. Very sober, quiet, nice strangers. Awkward does not begin to explain it. Luckily for Marcia and Matt, they arrived with a bottle of red wine and 5 Nosh chocolates (my favorite) so the damage to our friendship was not as severe as it could have been.
We had to leave the next morning but I really did not want to. Lesson #1 clearly stated that: if you like a place stay. And I liked Mayoka. The crystal clear warm water, the food, the free activities, the people and the overall vibe just made me want to apply for a job, or a job for Clayton (who thus far could have worked at 3 different places if he wanted to). But unfortunately we had to leave. The equator was still very far away… and an amazing surprise was waiting for us on the way!