Farmhouse in Mpalnganga
Our farmhouse is located on a small hill, 7 miles and 20 minutes from the town of Zomba. The driveway winds behind a dairy and alongside a horse paddock. Nearby, a knotted tree protrudes from an enormous termite hill. Its roots provide the framework for the complicated construction of the small critters. It's not always a quiet place, as monkeys shriek and birds chatter.
White horses graze comfortably in the African sun. The mountainous Malawi offers endless views of beauty from the house, across grassy landscapes and gold-shimmering peaks. Tom and Jess, the two big black dogs lie unimpressed on their blankets. They're only interested in a daily scratch under the chin and chasing the goats and monkeys when they want some exercise. The door to the farmhouse opens with a squeak and the roof creaks. The local residents retreat, allowing us to enter.
The walls are pleasantly cool, masks hang on the walls and candles stand over the fireplace. In the courtyard, the ground is spotted with white and red droppings. They're from the other guests at the house, who dangle from the beams of the porch roof, wrapped tightly in their own winged arms. The rumbling of the falling avocados does not frighten them. There's a large owl that shows itself only rarely. Tiny spies in the kitchen flee silently. On the walls they are faster than my eyes. Because of their slip-resistant feet, the small geckos never fall.